During my long experience with teaching flute playing to students, I have come across some common problems that they usually face while playing the flute. I will list some of them for the sake of caution on your part as a flute learner. These are the eight Death Traps for a budding flautist, and must be avoided at all costs. The solution for most of them is singular. So you just need to focus on some points to make sure you do not fall into the trap. Here are the things you need to keep in mind:
- Playing the flute in wrong posture: Shortening or lengthening your body while playing the flute harms the air flow in your lungs, and you have some trouble while playing the flute with perfect synchronization of breathing. Time and again, I have observed a student’s flute playing capabilities improve dramatically if he/she adopted proper positioning and posture. So, check out the proper posture while playing the flute, stay comfortable, composed, and straight: you will play the flute great.
- Holding your flute perpendicular to your body posture while playing (Do not droop the flute of you will face the dire consequences by the decrease in quality of your flute sound): Do not droop your flute’s tail while playing it. Hold it firmly. But do not over-do it. You need to stay composed, and not stressed out while you are holding your flute. Else you will heave your chest high and mess up with the required posture while playing the flute.
- Blowing into the headjoint like blowing into a balloon: Most people face the problem of covering the entire embouchure with their lips while playing the flute. See yourself playing the flute in the mirror. If you find that you are covering more than half the embouchure hole with your lips, you need to reconsider your positioning again. You must not cover more than one-third to one-half of the embouchure with your lips. That ensures proper airflow into the flute and makes the best possible sound. In fact, you need not even see yourself in the mirror while playing the flute. If you find your sound too muffled or “pinched”, you can be sure that you need to roll the flute the other side, to make the proper amount of air get into it. One thing might be that you are tilting your head forward as you play. Often, excess pressure or fatigue might result in this posture, and you need to avoid this as much as possible. Make this your alerting alarm when you notice that something like this is happening, and take some rest. Do not stress, as I say always.
- Stop blowing constantly: Most flautists do not realize that they need to keep blowing into the flute all the time. They get involved in other things like keeping track of what knobs and cogs they are pressing and forget to blow! And this happens normally. Once you begin to get into flow by flying your fingers on the instrument, sometimes your breathing gaps increase and there are pauses in your airflow, because you get more involved in thinking about the keys you are to press and not the wind blowing into the embouchure. You know that in woodwind instruments, without air, the sound totally stops. So, you need to get composed. Here, it is all the way more important that you stay composed and hold the right posture while playing your flute. Always make sure that you are exhaling the right way, and are calm while breathing. Do not sweat it. With our awesome guide to play the flute, you will surely be doing great while playing the flute. We bet it.
- Not tuning the flute right: This is a fact that many budding flautists ignore: flutes need to be tuned the way guitars are! Well, not that much, but they need to be tuned still. Many flautists and pianists dream of performing on the big stage but are afraid (or rather, unnerved) of tuning their instruments. You must use out flute tuning gadgets to tune your flute. By all your means, tune your flute well! You must be able to “hear” your sound while playing the flute, for constantly tracking your flute sounds.
- Improper grip and pressing the keys too tight so you are unable to move your fingers swiftly when needed: You need to make your fingers move very fast on your flute keys, but you also need to press the keys with enough just to make them do their work of making different tunes. You need not press them so hard as to get your fingers stuck at one place when you want it on another one. Often, an improperly tight grip on your flute creates such problems. As I say, relax, relax, and relax. You will do well. Don’t stress a lot.
- Faulty fingerings: You can make sure that you are playing it right if you hear it right. Unless you are playing a very fast tune, you have to use correct fingering (you do not notice much difference when you are playing it very fast).
- Letting the vibration come into your tune: A vibration comes in as a distraction rather than as a melody. Although vibration in your flute playing becomes a common thing if you play a lot, you need to practice your fingers and your blowing so that vibration comes in the least amount possible. For some reason, vibration is hard to hear yourself, and you need to record yourself and listen to the recording if you want to track your vibration. Keep your vibration low and subtle, by breathing well, and avoid inducing wobble in your flute playing.
So, as I have stressed always, you need to maintain your posture, and breathing to play the flute well. Refer to our guide for correct posture and breathing, and do it right, always. You will love the way you play your flute.Read More
What is the flute
As you might know, a flute is a cylindrical tube of wood, or of some metal (in fact, most flutes, today, are made of precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, just to make them stand out in the hands of the flautist), that produces sound when the flautist (that is you) makes the stationary air inside it vibrate by blowing straight across the hole at its mouth (the headjoint, it is called), forcing the blown air to strike the opposite side of the hole and making the direct force of the air stream divert into two parts.
The sound range of every flute is 3½ octaves, although you would usually not touch the extreme limits in most cases (trust me).
The flute belongs to a category of instruments termed as the “woodwind instruments”, a family that includes a kind of piccolo, three oboes, an English horn, three clarinets, a bass clarinet, three bassoons, and a contrabassoon. But, since it is the highest pitched of all the listed instruments, it is usually the king of all of them wherever you look for it (although it’s younger brother piccolo produces even higher notes, it has not become as popular: which makes me call it younger). The reason for this is that the flute is capable of producing almost every kind of music, from classical, to jazz, to rock, to even traditional Indian music.
Although a flute seems exceedingly complex with the knobs and tubes and bells and whistles, it is basically a pretty simple one. At the time of conception of the flute, it was made of hollow bones with air holes through its length. Then it began to be refined and tuned. It evolved as a wooden tube (your old recorder) with carved holes. Today, it is moulded with metals, with precision and delicateness not seen in most things in the world.
The modern flute is made of three parts. The most common flute, the C flute, is basically a cylindrical tube, composed of three marked parts:
- The Headjoint:
Being at the head of the flute, this is the part where you blow in using your mouth (apparently).
- The Body:
This is the middle part of the flute, with all the bells and whistles (the keys, knobs and holes). It is the largest part of the flute, and is the most important part if you are willing to produce proper notes (unless you simply want to blow!).
- The Footjoint:
It similar to the body, with holes and keys, and fits at the bottom of the body via a socket. There are flutes without a footjoint (open ended). Such flutes produce a lowest note of D, which does not make it of much “note” (pun). With a footjoint, the flute produces a lowest note of C or even B. The footjoints come in various varieties, and it is upon the flautist to choose one.
The keys of a flute are of two kinds, again. Closed (called “Plateau style”) and open (called “French style”). The closed holed ones actually have knobs to make it easy on your fingers while you are playing the flute. The open holed ones are more professional and will become more prominent once you have undertaken the journey to play a flute well. At the moment, the closed hole flutes are the most ideal for you as a beginner (presuming you are one). But again, open hole flutes are more versatile, since they do not need to be replaced at the professional level, since you can use key plugs to close the holes at the beginner level and make it resemble a closed hole flute.
Therefore, it comes down to a matter of personal preference, to choose the kind of flute you are about to begin your journey with.
In today’s time, there can be no doubt that you may even find an artificial, carbon fiber flute. But the flute experts have their own tastes. No one but they can mark the difference between the sound produced by a silver flute, and a nickel plated steel flute. Flautists have a sort of faithfulness to the material of their choice for a flute. The following materials are commonly used today, for moulding, carving, and sculpting a high quality flute:
Being made of a highly resonant material, a solid silver flute strikes your imagination. Most flautists are of the opinion that a silver flute has to be at the top of the line in the list of the best possible flutes in the world. Silver is used to make common, as well as professional flutes, today. As is evident, pure silver cannot be used to make a flute (it’s very soft). Therefore, alloys of silver (with more than 90% silver) are used to make flutes. Maybe a psychological perception, but most professional flute enthusiasts are of the opinion that a flute with higher percentage of silver produces a more melodious tune. Be aware that the “Nickel Silver” flute in the shop, although is highly prized for its quality of sound, is not made of real silver, but an alloy of various metals with Nickel holding a large percentage (it might be plated with real silver, but it is not a silver flute; nonetheless, it is of high quality).
Possibly mainly due to its highly renowned sheen and precious value, people are of the opinion that gold flutes are highly melodious. But that actually happens to be true. Similar to silver, gold is soft. Therefore, using it in pure form for making a flute is not practiced. But a silver flute is sometimes considered better than gold in sound quality and its perceptibility.
Traditionally, flutes were made of plain wood (the reason why the flute family is called “woodwinds”), which was considered to be the most “natural” sound. Wooden flutes are usually made in simplistic form, and produce a notably “wooden” sound, which is sonorously, a refreshing feast to some. Recently, wooden flutes have regained their old sheen, and are gaining prevalence, due to their lower costs (as opposed to silver and gold flutes), texture and feel, as well as the change in perceptibility.
- Carbon fiber:
A carbon fiber flute is carved and sculpted to perfection according to the manufacturer’s will, which gives it a huge flexibility in the range of its sound quality. Carbon fiber flutes use highest technology available today, for the most precise notes, and require least effort due to their low weight and sturdiness.
Apart from the above metals, various combinations of metals are used as alloys, to produce flutes, including brass, bronze, and multiple copper containing alloys, which are lightweight and sturdy.
Requirements to play the flute
I like a perfect setting for doing anything, be it gardening (in which case, I need a perfect shady atmosphere, with a good lot of greenery, an end which I strive to achieve), or playing a musical instrument. If you are anything like me, you will need some important things to build the necessary ambience and tune and motivate yourself to playing the flute.
And you thought that there was no such requirement except a flute and yourself! Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind and possibly in your repertoire for the best performance in flute playing:
- The exhilarating enthusiasm which led you to purchase the flute and led you to this place.
- The persistence to make it through and become better at playing one of the oldest and most melodious musical instruments in the world. You must keep to your practice schedule strictly to become an expert sooner rather than later.
- Self-retrospection of your progress. Do not begin to think that you have already become a master flautist, by the time you begin assembling your flute properly.
- Taste for music and the ability to reproduce at least simple tunes, maybe with trial and error. Some inbuilt musical talent is a must for any musical exploration.
- Unending love for whatever you are doing, and the confidence that what you do is actually the right thing to be done.
Things you might need
A few tools are essentially needed to begin learning to play a flute. Most of these can be produced on a makeshift basis, so you don’t need to worry a lot about spending a fortune. I’ll try to provide you with everything you will possibly need while playing a flute. Later, when you are confident that you can progress further in your quest to play the flute, you can purchase professional versions of the tools. Here they are:
- A music stand: Posture is the most important thing in your quest to play a flute. To stand straight, and breathe well (I will tell you about this as well), and stay focused are one of the primary things you need to do for learning to play a flute. So to start off, better not read music in an improper posture by keeping your notebook on a bed or table. Get a musical stand or create a simple one by hanging the notebook on a way with some padding at its bottom. This will encourage you to have a proper posture while playing your flute.
- A mirror: Mirror, mirror on the wall; who is the best flautist of them all? It’s you, sire (you expected the answer, didn’t you? Do not let this flattering praise get to your heart, or your flute learning exertions will slump). And you have to make sure that this is true in reality. You need to keep track of your lips, hand and body, and make sure they stay in their correct position (you can consult my guide on posture). Motor senses can mislead, and I mean it. You might think that you are standing upright, while your back might be humped (maybe even slightly).
- A metronome: Now what is this thing? A metronome is a piece of technical hardware that produces rhythmic clicking sounds to help you keep track of your rhythms and keep your tempos in sync. Since you are just starting off, an online metronome ought to be your “device” of choice. You can try one for free, and probably stick to it, since moving around will only push you back in your schedule. Later on, you can strive to achieve perfection by using a proper electrical one. I am providing you one below, for your ease (you will need to enable iFrames in your browser to use this one):
- A tuner: Now you have heard about tuners if you have been in any musical surrounding ever. People use tuners for guitar, violin, and what-not tuning. You will need one too. No, there is nothing to tune in a flute, but yourself: the pressure with which you blow, are you doing it just right or not. Believe me. A tuner can be hugely helpful in getting you on the right track in a very short time. Now tuners come in many shapes and sizes, and range from cheap to costly (evident). But for now, I would suggest you to use an online tuner to test your works. You will need flash, and a microphone, and a room without much external noise, to make it work perfectly. Here, try this one (you will need to have flash in your web browser. Allow when the tiny flash popup asks permission to access your mic). You might need to shift the input level control to make it “hear” your microphone’s sound optimally:
- A recording device: Yes, you’ll be needing this one if you want to retrospect and improve upon your notes. But then, as with every other thing, you can do this with a free substitute on your computer. But do record whatever you do, in case you plan on making a journal about your path in learning music.
- A couple of cloths for cleaning and polishing: You want to keep your awesome flute looking and feeling awesome, don’t you? Then you need a cloth or two just to keep it in prime condition. Two soft dry cloths, preferably of silk will do. When you blow, you expel water-vapour, you might know. And you need to prevent it’s buildup in the flute. Therefore, do not use water to moist the cloths. Dry ones will do fine. Besides, outward looks matter equally. Don’t they? You will need to keep polishing your flute to remove the stains, and signs of wear like fingerprints and grime on the surface by constantly polishing it. Just do not use a wax polish or any sort of abrasive substance. It would be best to use just a plain simple piece of silk to softly wipe out the stains and fingerprints. Keep to it and your glossy and elegant flute will catch anyone’s eye, even before it catches their ears.
- Pad papers: You will need these to keep your keys dry, without water bubbles, and prevent stickiness which develops on your flute keys. You can use “official” ones from your favorite music store, or even use cigarette papers. Just make sure that your cigarette papers are not gummed (which happens to be a common thing, indeed: beware), else you will be achieving the exact opposite of what was intended.
With these tools in your repertoire, you are ready to learn to play a flute right away, now. So take care and make sure you have each of these under your arms.
The required time and dedication
I know I need not point it out, and you are dedicated enough, but it is nice to have someone experienced tell you the basic things to learn. Here is the timing schedule you need to undertake for optimal learning results, and performance improvements, categorized by the level of learning, you consider yourself to be at:
- Beginner: You need to give it at least 30 to 45 minutes of time a day, and stick to it.
- Intermediate: You can spend around an hour to 1½ hours a day, every day. You can divide your day into various times when you practice, instead of doing it all in one single go.
The three mantras to begin playing flute
Categorizing the practice schedule is a good thing to do. Keeping points in your mind while practicing, makes you learn even faster, and you achieve results within weeks. Here are the three things you must focus on, while on your pursuit of flute playing:
- Notes and melodies: Listen to your own flute melodies, and record it if possible. Listen again. And again. Improve upon your notes. Learn the best force with which to blow into the headjoint at every note. Tune and tune. Achieve perfection. To do this, you shall begin with holding a note as long as possible without letting your breath out. Concentrate on your breathing pattern and the time till which you can keep playing the note at the required pitch (use the tuning gadget).
- Agility of fingers: You must learn precision in placing your fingers at the right key at the right time, for the right note. For this, you need to get highly familiar with your flute: get interlinked with the exact sound that every key produces (try this by using random combinations of keys at a time, to learn the pitch of every key). Review your musical notes, and make your fingers agile and eager to hop onto the correct key when needed, without your thinking twice (you need to think many times during practicing, to make this an instantaneous movement).
- Rhythm and combination of notes: Once you have become familiar with blowing and fingering, you can move onto advanced stuff like making proper music, with successive notes played dynamically. Pay deep attention to the sequences of notes, and memorize a few sequences. It helps when you are bragging about your abilities in front of guests J
Breathing the right way
Of course, you have ben breathing throughout your life without a break, and you might not like me teaching you “how to do it”. But believe me, I just wish to tell you “how to do it better: from the perspective of playing a flute”. You will be thankful you did so, when your first performance is in near sight. Breathing well increases oxygen supply in your mind, and provides you more confidence to do it the right way.
The main part of breathing during playing a flute is actually exhaling well, which directly affects the force and consistency with which you blow into the flute. You need to exhale slowly and in a consistent manner to get the best experience during a long note. It also gives you the ability to play softly or loudly whenever required. Of course, exhaling hard is something that all can do. But exhaling slowly over a longer time is something that we do not do very often. You need to learn doing this. Try the following exercise a few times a day (preferably in the morning):
- Lie flat on your back and lay your hands on your sides. Relax and listen to the sound of your breath. Listen to your heart beating.
- Inhale. As deep as possible. Inhale. Hold the breath for 5 seconds.
- Exhale from your mouth, producing a deep hissing sound to resist the air flow, and not till your chests get to normal pressure, but exhale as much air as you voluntarily can without causing much ache in your chest. Make your lungs as empty as possible. Don’t overdo it.
- Feel your lungs vibrate softly all along the way.
Posture: standing tall and straight
Standing tall has many benefits, which includes better capacity to attract the opposite sex, warding off the caricature of yourself as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and staying healthy throughout your life. People think that standing straight and tall means tense your back and pull your chest in and up and pulling your head back into your chest. This is not so. Standing straight means to weigh evenly on both your feet, and not lean in any direction. Just that. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and get used to sitting on an office chair. It naturally maintains your posture, without you doing anything!
Stand with your weight mostly on the balls of your feet, and not much on your heels. Tuck your chin a little to keep your head level. That shall be it. I know you are intelligent enough to know for yourself, what standing straight is like.
Finally, you are ready to take off with your flute playing. I will begin with a simple experiment to check how it works out.
Oh yes, you have made the flute sound before. The glass bottle!
You surely have the glass bottle you used to drink cola from, the last night? No? Well, get one, because for starters, it is an amazing tool to make flute-like sounds and get a knack of it. Besides, you can also try making different pitched sounds, by filling the bottle to various levels with liquid (water, maybe). Do the following:
Place your lower lip at the edge of the bottle’s opening. Keep the lips opened slightly with a small rounded air hole in between them; now blow air across the bottle’s neck to make sound. This is nearly similar to the flute sound you will be making soon. Keep your lips moistened, and try making the sound with different lip positions and air blowing directions. Also try with different levels of liquid in the bottle. It is fun to start with. And it makes your ears tuned to the sound of the real flute that you are going to play.
Assemble your flute
Now that you are down to it, you can begin assembling your flute carefully. Read the following guide before beginning to assemble it right away. It will make you cautious at places you should actually be so.
- Open your flute case, taking care that the flute does not fall out. Preferably, keep it on a flat surface and then open it by unlocking the latches, and opening the box.
- Take out the headjoint first, carefully. You do not want to drop it, nor want to damage or even bruise any part of it. Take care not to rub it against the flute’s box.
- Now take out the body of your flute. Take special care not to hold the body by the rods, keys and posts. Just hold it by its barrel, to ensure it comes out safely without any damage.
- Connect the headjoint to the barrel of your flute’s body. Twist it gently to secure its position on your flute. Make sure again, that you are connecting two pieces of solid metal, so do not bruise any of the parts. Slide the headjoint as deep as it goes, then pull it back a bit (by about a quarter of an inch), since flutes produce the best notes in tune, with the headjoint pulled out slightly. The best place to position the headjoint can usually vary, and you have to check for the mark made on the headjoint to keep it in the proper position. If there is no mark, you have to go the trial and error method. Once you connect it to the body, do not hold the heavy flute by the headjoint, or you will find a bend and that will be the end (didn’t intend to make it poetic).
- Now take out the footjoint. Once more, care should be taken not to hold it by the bells and whistles on it. The keys and knobs should not be touched. Hold the footjoint by the body. Again, connect the footjoint to the body securely, by twisting it onto the barrel of the flute’s body.
Now that you have connected your flute’s parts, it is time to make them aligned. Line the tip of your footjoint (the bottom edge of the “embouchure hole”), with the end of the flute’s last keys, tenderly, so as not to make it slide inside much. Now twist the footjoint rod in line with the keys on the body. Do not sync the footjoint keys with the body keys. That would make it difficult for you to reach the keys on your footjoint. Instead, make them as I have described. That is the most efficient way to connect your footjoint (the image is not a very sharp one, but I have placed it to give you a good idea of the angle of the footjoint. See the image closely).
Again, a final note: do not touch the keys while assembling your flute. Hold all the parts by the barrel.
Make the real flute sound melodiously
Now that you have gone through the basics (or jumped straight to this?) you can begin hitting the real moolah. Hold the flute as you see the flautists holding it (I am sure you know the way. Consult the image, for better knowledge of it). Check yourself out in the mirror you set for yourself, before even touching the flute for the main purpose. See the hole in the headjoint. It’s called the embouchure hole. You will notice that one lip plate is larger than the other in it. That is for resting your lower lip, and that is the side you are to use for blowing into the flute.
Put your lower lip on the “lip plate”, and slightly part your lips to get ready to blow into the hole. Your lip shall cover about a third to half of the hole. Try not to put your full mouth into the hole, as that does not give the best air flow into the flute, making it bray (you wouldn’t like it; I know). Take full breath, and blow some air softly into the hole to make a sound. You want to make sure that your blow hits the opposite edge of the embouchure hole, to make it split and the half goes smoothly into the barrel of your flute. Get a good idea of what is the optimal force with which you need to blow into the hole, to get the best tune. This is very important to learn, before you begin learning fingering positions. You need to think of it the way you try to make a soap bubble fly high, instead of directing such force in your air blow that it gets broken (blop!). Try the following:
- Try blowing more or less air by adjusting your force through the pressure in your lungs. You don’t have to be an athelete to play a flute (most flautists are not, see!). You just need better air management.
- See if opening your lips wider or narrower works better for you. Try to make the best possible sound with the most optimal air flow into your flute. You need not let a narrow jet of air inside. Nor do you need to mist your flute like you mist your windows in winters. You need the blend, the blend I say, always. Find your favourite aperture in this way.
Once that you have found the optimal air flow and pressure, it is time to find the best angle in which you are to blow into the flute. Try out various directions, and notice how the air gets split in the embouchure hole every time that you change your angle of blowing. Get the best placement with trial and error method. Do this in the following way:
- Try different ways in which your lips cover the embouchure hole. Twist your whole flute to do this. Look into your mirror.
- Move your head according to the desirability of the aperture in the embouchure and your lips.
- Use your jaws to adjust air angle. This is the most precise way to do that.
- Move the lip plate of the headjoint up and down on your chin in small changes to find the best position.
Now you have learnt blowing perfectly into the flute. It is finally time to learn that which you thought was the only step in playing the flute. Learn notes. Follow my guide to learn how the notes change. I will also provide you the fingering charts and common mis-fingered positions while playing a flute. You have got to be a perfectionist like myself. You can try with some random positions right now, but you will play it properly only once you learn to play it properly.
Change your notes
It is easy to learn how to change notes once you have learnt all of the things I told before (counter-intuitive? You thought that this was the most difficult part? Not exactly. You have already become quite honed with flute playing methods, once you have mastered the techniques I listed before. This is just the final topping on your pizza!).
Minutely observe your flute. You will find rectangular keys on the footjoint. You also have a couple of cylindrical devices (they’re called “rollers”). They don’t have holes under them unlike the keys. They are provided to operate the round keys covering the holes. You will notice a few on the top side of your footjoint, and one on the opposite side, alone. When you have assembled the flute completely, you are to operate these bells and whistles with your right hand’s little finger (your pinky). Yes right; all the keys and rollers of the footjoint, by one finger. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Here must be your fingering positions at the start:
- Hold the headjoint with your left hand below the lip plate, with the palm in your direction.
- Put your right hand index finger on the first rectangular key on the footjoint.
- Place the right hand ring finger on first round key.
- Finally, place the right hand little finger on the second round key (in a C footjoint. For a B footjoint, there is a third round key, which shall be abandoned for the moment).
- Put your right hand’s thumb below the tube of your flute, to hold the footjoint firmly.
- Now place your lower lip on the lip plate in the embouchure, and begin to play notes!
You will note that closing the holes with keys increases the pitch of your flute by shortening it’s length. Opening them decreases the pitch. Now you are ready to consult fingering charts.
Get a book with a collection of fingering positions, because you want to have all the important resources at hand while playing the flute. And knowing what to do is most important. You can try the following book (this is what I personally use):
Also check out this chart to find out positions that are often mis-fingered while playing a flute. You don’t want funny sounds while playing it, do you?
Once you have had your day’s practice schedule fulfilled, you can begin cleaning and dismantling your flute using the following page (I need to be thorough, don’t I?).Read More
As I told you before, you need to keep cleaning your flute constantly (almost every hour), to keep off dirt and grime buildup, apart from moisture, which hampers good air flow and also stifles the melody produced in your flute. Do it thoroughly before keeping it off after practicing. Follow these simple steps:
- As while assembling, take care to hold the flute only by its barrel, and not touch the keys while dismantling (they are highly delicate, and even a slight twist can render your flute sonorously maimed forever. Take out the footjoint of the flute, twisting it out gently (like you twisted it in while assembling).
- Still holding it by the barrel, take the headjoint off in a similar way.
- Take your cleaning rod which you got with your flute (it looks like an extra-long sewing needle). If you didn’t get one, buy a wooden or plastic rod as opposed to a metallic one. You do not wish to scratch the innards of your flute, do you? Do not listen to the statements by others about metallic rods being sturdy and persistent. It is your flute rather than your cleaning rod that you wish to preserve forever.
- Put the cleaning cloth as I told you in requirements (a silk cloth, to recap), in the hole. Put just enough cloth that doesn’t bunch up while moving your cleaning rod inside and out.
- First, take your footjoint and push the cleaning cloth into it, and move it back and forth to clean out any moisture which might have accumulated due to your breath. It your cleaning cloth sticks into any part of the flute, push it all the way through and take it out from the other end.
- Now, clean the body in the same way. Remember to avoid touching the rods and keys while cleaning any6 part of the flute.
- Now wrap the cleaning cloth and tie it on the sides of the cleaning rod (to get a cloth covered cleaning rod). Now push it into the headjoint, and work around in the headjoint, to clean all the moisture. Mainly pay attention to the cork end of the headjoint. When you’re thoroughly satisfied, put the headjoint back in its place (on the flute body if cleaning while practicing, or in the flute case after practicing).
- Use the second silk cloth and wipe off all the fingerprints on the flute’s outside, taking care to hold the flute’s barrel securely.
- Finally fit all the parts and accessories of your flute into the case snugly. Close the case, and let the flute rest till the next practicing session.