The flute is one of the smallest instruments of the woodwind family, and like any instrument requires care and maintenance. Even though many musicians take the proper measures necessary to keep their instruments in good shape, sometimes accidents happen, as well as regular wear and tear, that do require a visit to the repair technician. It is important to teach care and maintenance to young students so that they can develop good habits early on that can prevent frequent trips to the repair shop. Check out this week’s tips on how to maintain and care for your flute.
- Wash your hands. Before playing your instrument, make sure to wash your hands before assembling your instrument. Dirt and the natural oils from your hands can tarnish and damage the finish of your instrument.
- Remove jewelry. Before assembly, make sure to remove any jewelry you are wearing on your hands. Damage to the surface of the instrument is a common repair needed for flutes.
- Careful assembly and disassembly. When you are assembling or disassembling your instrument, do so carefully. The flute is comprised of three parts. Start with attaching the head joint to the body. Make sure that the embouchure hole lines up with the keys. Then you can attach the foot joint. Depending on your hand shape, it is important to consult with your teacher the alignment of the foot joint so that you are able to play comfortably.
- Clean your flute. A clean flute is a happy flute. After use, wipe down your instrument with a polishing cloth from the inside and outside. You can use the cleaning rod to clean the inside of the instrument. It is recommended to not use a metal cleaning rod as it can cause scratches and damage to the instrument. Make sure to swab the inside of the instrument to remove the condensation that builds in the instrument after use. This helps prolong the life of your instrument and to prevent unnecessary repair trips to the woodwind technician.
- Keep your flute in its case when not in use. This helps protect your flute from extreme temperatures and humidity. Even when the instrument is in its case, avoid bumping or dropping it. Flutes are fragile and can be damaged if not transported properly.
Another preventive measure is to schedule an appointment with your repair technician to help your instrument get back to playing condition. In order to keep your instrument in top condition, it is important to schedule an appointment with your repair technician to make sure your instrument is in playing condition at least once a year. This allows you to make sure that your instrument is always in top playing condition and helps prevent more serious repairs. An overhaul may also be required for larger jobs that require a larger number of services, such as a full repad. Most repair services provide an estimate of how much it costs for the repair needed, as it also depends on the instrument’s type and its current state. Prices can also vary if the owner wants to customize or make individual adjustments to the instrument to their needs. Check out the repair services offered by Lisa’s Clarinet Shop to learn more about flute repairs.