For parents of children who are strarting band, and for any flute player this will be a great article to read, and learn to properly maintain your flute. Below our repair man Fred Sullivan who has many years of experience repairing instruments gives his best tips on how to properly maintain your flute.
Flute Maintenance - Tips for Every Day
1. Never pick up the instrument by the keys as you are removing it from the case.
- Pick it up by the ends where there are no keys.
2. Put your flute together by twisting slowly back and forth.
-Do not shove it together or yank it apart. This will bend the tenons and make them loose.
3. Cork grease should not be used on metal tenons of a flute.
-This will damage the metal over time. If your piccolo has cork where the head joint attaches, use a small amount of cork grease to make assembly easier.
4. After each time you are finished playing, use the cleaning rod with an absorbent cloth (either cotton or silk)
-This is to get the moisture out of the inside of the instrument. Use the cloth to wipe the tenons to get any resides off. Use a microfiber or silver polishing cloth to wipe off the body and keys of the instrument to remove oils from your hands and fingers from the metal.
5. Store your flute in the case when you are not playing it.
-Do not place any paper or music in the case. This presses on the flute and can bend the keys.
6. If you see any screws that are coming loose, take your flute to a repair shop to have it adjusted.
-Don’t try to adjust them yourself – you can over-tighten the screws and cause damage.
Bonus Tips for Yearly Maintenance
1. You should have your instrument checked and adjusted by a repair shop at least once every year.
-If you use the same instrument for marching and concert band, you should have the instrument adjusted after marching band so it is in top condition for concert band. Spring is the best time to have your instrument serviced because repair shops are not overloaded.
2. Don’t let your instrument sit unused over the summer.
-First of all, practicing will keep your skills sharp. And, small bugs can get into the case if it sits too long and eat the felt of the pads. That would be an expensive repair!