Steve Deutsch Music

Flute Care

These are some very simple things you can do to take care of your flute. With a little time and love it will respond to your kindness and play for you for many years to come.

Assembly tips:

When assembling never shove the joints into one another. The head joint and body should be rotated together; and as the joints go together they should be turned in opposite directions from one another. This will keep the head joint from being bent and getting out of round. The foot joint is put together using the same technique. With the foot joint in your right hand and the main body in the left, put your right thumb on the low C# key, close it and gently rotate the parts together. Do not wiggle or use force, the sleeve your putting the foot joint onto will go out of round.

Cleaning Tips:

Use a cloth with denatured alcohol on it and clean both the inside and outside of where the joints go together, 0000 steel wool can also be used to keep the oxidation and tarnish from building up. This oxidation will make it difficult for you to put your instrument together. The cleaning rod in your case serves two purposes. It is used to clean the inside of your flute after use with a small absorbent cloth that is put through the oval hole at one end of the rod. How this cloth is put on is important because if it is too large it bind up inside and get stuck. Thread the cloth through the hole with some material over the end and twirl the cloth down the length of the rod. Having done this swab the inside of the flute to clean after playing.

Setting Intonation:

At one end of the rod there will a line one the rod about 3/4 of an inch from the end. This is used to set the intonation by placing the rod up the inside of the head joint and against the cork assembly that is inside the head joint. This line will be visible when you look in the embouchure hole and should in the center. If to far to the left the flute will be flat, if too far to the right you will be sharp. If flat, unscrew the head crown slightly and push in about 1/8 of an inch at a time until the line is in the center of the embouchure hole. If sharp take your tuning rod or better a wooden dowel about the size of a drumstick and push gently until the line is in the center. This can also be done by turning the head crown clockwise. Then check to see whether the head joint cork is still airtight by putting your thumb over the embouchure hole and sucking on the open end of the flute. This should hold a firm suction If not now is the time to take it to the repairman because it means that the head joint cork needs replacing or the lip plate needs to be resoldered.

General Maintenance:

A little oil in the joints where the keys fit together every two or three months will go a long way in keeping the mechanism working smoothly. The oil should be of a medium consistency (sewing machine oil for instance) and only one drop should be used at each joint where the key butts up against the post or against other keys. ( Bb-A or F-E combinations) Do not use silver polish! It gets in the pads and joints of the mechanism causing the pads to disintegrate and rods and screws to rust. Using a chamois cloth or a Shino polishing cloth to take off the fingerprints. Leave those adjusting screws alone unless you have a real good idea of what you're doing!

Keep the music alive and if you have any questions contact me.

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