Caring For Your Flute
You need to take care of your flute.
Woodwind instruments are expensive and delicate items and as such should receive great care and attention if they are to function to the best of their ability. A small amount of time spent on regular and elementary maintenance will sustain the value of your investment and ensure a long and trouble-free playing life. Remember that the factory guarantee and your warranty may become void if you neglect to maintain your instrument properly.
Factory guarantees vary from brand to brand (between 2 years to a lifetime guarantee) and essentially cover faulty materials and manufacturing process related problems.
All retail prices include a minimum of 12 months warranty. The warranty period for flutes made by Mateki, Trevor J. James and A.D. Geoffrey is 2 years.
Find out more about Trevor J James flutes
Caring for Your Flute
The flute should never be exposed to extreme temperatures (for example by leaving it in the boot of the car or under the rear window or even in sun-exposed areas in the house).
Always keep the flute in its case when not in use, with the lid shut. It is highly recommended that the lid of the case be kept shut even when the flute is in use to avoid dust getting into it.
Please make sure to position the flute correctly when returning the flute to its case in order to avoid damage to the key mechanisms. It is most important that the G# key sits on top of the padding and that the keys of the foot joint are facing upwards. When the flute is assembled but not being played, it should be placed on a firm, flat surface or on a special flute stand (available from MAGIC FLUTES INTERNATIONAL) with the keys facing upwards, to avoid condensation coming into contact with the pads.
Silver protection strips (which protect the flute from tarnish) should be placed in the middle of the case with the white side facing upwards and renewed every 6 months.
Assembling and Disassembling Your Flute
While assembling and disassembling your flute, do not handle the key mechanism any more than is absolutely necessary. This is the most delicate part of the instrument and can be expensive to repair. To insert the head joint, hold the main body tubing around the socket with one hand and the head joint (below the lip plate) with the other. Be sure to align the joints carefully before gently twisting together. Next, hold the foot joint carefully below the keys with the thumb gently pressing on the C# cup and, again, twist together. Be careful not to “wobble” the joints. For curved head flutes please refer to the specific instructions provided. To disassemble the instrument, reverse these actions. All joints of metal flutes should be clean and dry. Only apply the grease supplied to the sockets of instruments with corked joints, such as wooden flutes, piccolos, recorders, clarinets, etc.
• DON’T handle the lip plate or key mechanism during assembly
• DON’T grease the mechanism, joints or sockets as this attracts dirt, which may have an abrasive effect on the instrument
• DON’T oil or regulate your flute without expert guidance
• DO have your flute serviced regularly
Cleaning Inside Your Flute
When cleaning inside the flute, use the LINT-FREE COTTON GAUZE CLOTH provided with your flute. Inserted the slotted end of the cleaning rod into the tab of the cloth (these cloths are washable). Wooden rods are recommended as they are less likely to scratch the inside of the tube.
Gently push the rod and cloth through each section of the flute and rotate several times to insure that the inside wall is completely CLEAN AND DRY. When cleaning the head-joint, make sure that there is enough surplus cloth at the tip of the rod to reach into the corners at the base of the cork. For curved head flutes please refer to the specific instructions provided.
• DON’T apply any pressure to the key mechanism or tighten the crown on the top end of the head during the cleaning process as this will affect the tuning of your flute.
• DON’T leave the damp cloth inside the tubing or case of the flute as the moisture it holds could damage the pads and working parts and lead to tarnishing.
• DON’T use silk cleaning cloths as they redistribute moisture, rather than absorb it.
Cleaning the Outside of Silver or Silver-plated Flutes
To avoid unnecessary corrosion through perspiration, always remember to WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE PICKING UP THE FLUTE. Especially in warmer and humid climates, it is important to remove all traces of corrosive perspiration acids by using a soft, dry, lint-free cloth, preferably a “micro-fibre” cloth (available from MAGIC FLUTES INTERNATIONAL).
Only occasionally use the specially treated silver polish cloth to polish particularly tarnished areas. (The specially treated silver cloth is NOT washable).
The lip plate should be wiped lightly with the cloth. Use a soft artist’s brush to gently dust under the key mechanism, being careful not to dislodge the springs (extra tuition is recommended).
• DON’T touch the pads with either cloth
• DON’T apply pressure to the rim or inner sides of the embouchure hole as this may eventually alter its playing characteristics.
• DO avoid straining the mechanism and snagging the cloth on any moving parts or springs
Use Silver Protection Strips inside the flute case to eliminate tarnish-producing gases from the enclosed space.
Care of Wooden Flutes and Piccolos
There is very little wood available today which has been naturally seasoned in the fashion of the last decades. Consequently, wooden wind instruments, especially new ones, need more care and attention than ever before.
A new wooden instrument needs to be played in carefully to allow the wood to gradually accustom itself to the increase in humidity due to condensation. The same applies to a wooden instrument which has not been used for some time. Increase the playing time slowly, from only a few minutes of uninterrupted playing. Clean the instrument each time after playing. Do not force the cleaning cloth and rod through the instrument, especially if it has a conical bore. The wooden body generally does not need to be oiled between overhauls.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require further information.
All musical instruments should be insured. More expensive items may need to be specifically added to your household policy or have separate insurance. The cover provided by most household insurances is not necessarily adequate and it is often more expensive to add an instrument to household insurance than to have a musical instrument policy.