When installing the foot joint and headjoint, do not hold the flute body
or the foot joint with your hand around the keys or rods. This could
bend the rods. Hold the flute body up at the headjoint end where the
name is engraved. Hold the foot joint at the bottom and gently twist
the foot on. Flute tenons must be kept clean & dry. Do not use
oil or grease on the tenons. Wipe the tenons and the sockets
they fit in with a soft cloth frequently.
Cleaning the inside
Moisture is the enemy of every flute. The pads are made of felt with a covering of cow
intestine lining called "fish skin" (go figure?) and we want to keep them dry.
time you play or practice, use a soft cotton cleaning
with your cleaning rod to push it through the foot joint and
body. Stuff the end of the cleaning cloth
the head joint with
the cleaning rod, and twist it around enough times till you
see it turn through the embouchure hole. Do not store your
cleaning cloth in your case. You want the moisture away from
Cleaning the outside
Wipe the outside of the flute with a treated polishing cloth designed
for a silver finish. I have very fine quality treated polishing
cloths made especially for flutes in stock. If your flute is nickel
plated, any soft cloth will do. Gently wipe the keys and body,
being careful not to touch the pads as they are very delicate
and tear easily. Also take care you do not catch the cloth on
the springs. Do not use metal polish. It contains abrasives
that may break the skin on the pads or get into the moving parts.
Dust and dirt can be removed with a duster brush once a month.
Your cleaning rod has a reference line on the end of it. When the
rod is inserted in the head joint until it meets the cork, this
line should be in the center of the embouchure hole. Adjust the
head crown until it is centered by turning it clockwise to move
the rod reference line in, and counter-clockwise to move it out.
After turning it counter-clockwise you will have to push the crown
in by pressing it against a table top protected with a soft cloth.
The pitch of your flute may be changed by moving the headjoint in
or out, not by turning the crown cork adjustment. Most flutes are
set to play in tune with the headjoint out a few millimeters.
Do not oil your flute unless you know what you are doing. Proper
oiling can only be accomplished by completely disassembling the
flute. It is unlikely oiling will need to be done more than once
a year. This is a service that is inexpensive, but can keep your
flute in fine shape. If the keys are sticking they are probably
gummed up with old oil & dirt and need proper cleaning rather
Open your case on the floor or table. Be careful not to bump your
flute against chairs, music stands, etc. Do not leave your flute
unattended or in extreme temperatures, like in a car in summer. When not
playing, either hold your flute or put it in the case. Do not set
it on a chair or on the ledge of the music stand. Symphony
musicians during intermission of a concert will carry their
flutes with them. Their living depends on their instruments
being in good condition, and so treat your flute like a professional.
Do not store pencils, cleaning cloth, etc. in your case.
Be sure your case is securely locked before you pick it up.
Keep your case in a case cover for the
best protection. If you leave
your flute on a sofa or chair someone could sit on it. (It happens!!) Only
keep the cleaning rod in the case if there is a proper storage
place for it. Protect your instrument.