The Flute Academy
Prevent Your Flute From (Literally) Falling Apart

Prevent Your Flute From (Literally) Falling Apart

Jul 23, 2019

The other day, my student was almost in tears. Her flute had literally fallen apart.

Prevent Your Flute From (Literally) Falling Apart

She came to her lesson and had the flute in one hand, and a whole section of the keys in the other hand.

I almost laughed, because I was 99% sure what had happened.

(But I didn't laugh, because I made the nice decision not to laugh at someone who's upset! Plus I was only 99% sure, not 100% that it was a simple fix.)

As it turns out, it was a simple fix. So I made a quick video to show you how to prevent this minor disaster from happening to your own flute.

Jane xx


How to fix your flute

In this video, I'm going to show you literally how to stop your flute falling apart. This is a little mechanics lesson that is really worthwhile knowing for anyone who plays or teaches the flute. At the end of this video, I'm gonna show you how to quickly improve your tone on the flute. So stick around if you want to learn that for free.

Flute School

And I should tell you who I am. My name is Jane Cavanagh. My business is the Flute Teacher School. And I started it because I love showing people the fundamental techniques of playing the flute that quickly improve their playing and make playing really so much easier when you know these little techniques that are the foundations for flute playing.

Mechanics of the flute

Okay. So the other day a student came into one of her lessons. This is little Jade, she's about 13, and she was almost in tears because she had her flute in one hand and a whole section of her flute in the other hand and I had to stop laughing because that would be really mean but she thought she'd broken her flute. And so I was shocked when I saw it because you don't see this very often at all. But I had seen it before and I know what had happened. And the first thing I said to her was, don't worry it's not your fault because it wasn't.

Screws in the flute

What had happened is one of the little tiny screws, actually, they're not tiny. They're quite long. One of the little screws in her flute say here had come out about,  if you can see about that far. And it did mean that the whole rod of her instrument had come off. It was actually the section here that had all of these keys. So she had all of these keys in one hand, plus a long rod, which was attached.

How to fix screw on flute

So the way that I fixed it was to put it back in place, and find the screw, she still had the screw, which is pretty amazing. And then screwed it back in. Oh, I have to get the screwdriver that I use for this video. Just hang on a second.

Tiny screwdriver for the flute

This is a glasses fixing screwdriver, which I got from the optometrist for about a dollar 50. You can also get musicians screwdrivers, but they're more expensive. Now. I am not going to tell you how to take apart your flute. I'm not going to tell you how to fix your flute because I am not an instrument repairer. And neither are you probably. And I don't think you should meddle in this because you can end up doing damage to your flute, that then you have to pay lots of money to have it repaired.

Adjusting screws on the flute

But what I am gonna tell you is a very quick fix. That is very, very surface-level and can stop your flute from falling apart like I explained in what happened to Jade’s. If it falls onto the ground, it can break and that's expensive. So that's what we want to avoid. So I'm gonna show you how to avoid this from happening, the whole section of your flute falling off by just keeping an eye on these screws.

Tightening screws on the flute

So if you have a look at your flute, there's a whole bunch of rods. And on the end of each rod, there's a little screw. There's one there, there's one there, there's one there, one there. And then on the thumb key, there are another two. And then here, there's another two on the ends. Where else down here? There are two. Now, if you see, let's take this one for example. If you see that little screw coming out and it's sticking out beyond the end of this rod, it's a little warning sign.

Warning sign on the flute

If you see it's sticking out even further, it's a big warning sign because once it starts to come out further like this, that is when the rod and the keys with that rod can fall off your flute. So if you see it sticking out a  little bit past the end of the rod, grab your screwdriver and screw it back in. It does not need to be tight if you do it too tight, things are gonna get too tight in your flute and not work properly. So screw it so that it goes back in and it's flush again with the end.

Be aware of loose screws on the flute

Now so that you don't get all obsessive about this. I'll just give you an idea about how often this happens to flutes, which is not very often. Of my 25 weekly students, I see this happen to one or two of them each year. So it's very rare, but if you just keep an eye on those little screws, you can avoid something rather dramatic happening to your flute.

So there you go. That little mechanics tip might well avoid one day, your flute falling apart and breaking, which is expensive and stressful. Another note, some flutes, this never happens to really high quality flutes like this one. I've never seen it happen with this one.  So again, this is really rare. You might spend your whole life and never see it happen, but it's always nice to keep an eye on.

Free flute mini course

Okay. About improving your tone quickly. If you go to www.flute.school/free, I will teach you there How to Instantly Improve your Tone with four little tips. The first three, get your tone really clear. And the fourth one makes playing high notes so much easier. It's a masterclass it's free and you are totally welcome to participate in it so I will hopefully see you there.

 

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