What the CORK in the End of Your Flute Does

What the CORK in the End of Your Flute Does

Aug 13, 2019

Did you know that you have a cork in the end of your flute? And did you know that it SERIOUSLY affects your tuning?

What the CORK in the End of Your Flute Does

If this cork is in the wrong spot (even by a tiny bit), you literally will not be able to play in tune.

I show you in this quick video how to easily check if your cork is in the right spot. (It's worth checking because it is such an easy fix!)

Also, I seem to be amusing myself quite a bit in this video, so I hope you are as entertained as I seem to be!

Jane xx

PS. The Masterclasses I mentioned in the video have closed (they were really good - sorry you missed out!). If you haven't already, grab the free mini-course that instantly improves your flute tone here:

Cork in the end of your flute

Hi, in this video, I'm going to show you that you actually have a cork in the end of your flute, like a wine cork. And I'm going to tell you what it does and how you know that yours is in the right spot. It's very interesting in a kind of nerdy way.

How to improve tone on the flute

So stick around to the end of this video, because if you're a flute player, which you probably are, I'm going to show you at the end of this video, how to improve your tone on the flute.

Flute School

I am Jane. my business, the Flute Teacher School.  I started because I love showing people how those fundamental skills completely changed their flute playing really quickly. They're tiny little, they're not tricks cuz they're real - tiny little techniques that make the world of difference.

Crown at the top of the flute

Okay? The cork. So let's just work with the head joint in this video. If you have a look down the end of your flute, you'll see silver at the end, but on a lot of flutes you can see around the edge of that silver end, you can actually see cork. Same thing if you undo this, do not lose this ever. It's really important.

Cork affects tuning of the flute

If you look down there, you might be able to see cork around the edge of that little metal plate as well. Okay? So there is a cork at the end of your flute about here and it's in a very specific spot so that you are able to play your flute in tune. If this cork is in the wrong spot, too far this way, you're gonna be really flat and whatever you do, you cannot play your fluting tune.

Cork is most likely in correct spot

If the cork is too far up this way, you're going to be too sharp. No matter what you do as a flute player, no matter how good you are, you're not gonna be able to play in tune. Let me say something while I'm talking about this, your cork is probably in the right spot.

I would say of everybody watching this video  99% of you will have the cork in the right spot. And if you're playing out of tune, it's not because of the cork. What will get you to play in tune is improving your tone, which I'm gonna show you at the end of the video.

Use flute cleaning rod

 This video is more, just a curiosity about this cork thing because mostly they're in the right spot. So do you wanna know if yours is in the right spot? Yes, you probably do because it's fun to find out. Take your cleaning rod. And on the end of your cleaning rod, you'll see a line like this. This is a marker, which shows you whether the cork is in the right spot.

Affects the tuning of the flute

So stick that in your head joint and you'll see that that line that I was talking about should be exactly in the middle of this hole. If the line is too far that way, the cork is too far this way, which means you're gonna be really sharp. By the way, when I'm watching this video, when I see myself it's reversed. So if you see me get confused with directions, that's why.  So if the line is too far, that way the cork is too far that way. And your flute is going to be too long, too flat, and you won't be able to play it in tune.

Thread on the screw inside flute

Now that you know that I'm not gonna teach you how to move this cork because that is a flute repair's job, an instrument repair's job. This is getting into territory where if you do this incorrectly, you can actually damage your flute. So that is enough for you to know that the cork is in the right spot, but I am going to teach you how to stop your cork from accidentally moving.

Flute crown becomes loose

Sometimes I see students fiddle with this and they sit there and they just sort of tighten it because it won't tighten up fully. So they keep trying to make it tight, but what's happening and the reason I said never to lose this is because this is actually a little screwdriver. There's a little, if you have a look, there's a thread on there. So this is effectively like a screwdriver. And if you turn this really hard like that, and some flutes it's loose, so it doesn't have to be very hard. It will shift the cork up this way and it makes your flute flat.

Don't fiddle with crown on flute

So number one, don't fiddle with this, make sure it's tight and then you just leave it. And the other reason that the cork can move is if the cork dries out over lots and lots and lots of years, and it becomes loose and can move, you don't want that cork moving. It should not be loose. If you can pull this in and out and the cork shifting around, take it to a repairer, cuz you can't play the flute properly when with a cork like that.

So there you go. That's how you know that the cork is in the right spot by using the line on your cleaning rod. And also you've just learned not to fiddle with this because it will change the position of the cork. So I mentioned about how that affects tuning. Most people's corks like I said, are in the right spot. They just kind of get set there and set and forget. So it's not, for most people why they can't play in tune.

Free flute mini course

There's a few reasons why people can't play in tune. And one of them is having a not clear tone means that for example, they have to blow harder up high, which makes you sharp up high. That's just an example. So go to And I'm gonna show you there in a masterclass, three tips on how to get your tone heaps clearer really quickly. So if you wanna do one of those masterclasses with me for free go and sign up there, And I'll see you there.

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