What should you watch out for
when playing-in a new wooden flute?
  • A new instrument must not get too moist during the first months of use, and it must be well pulled through/swabbed during breaks to remove excess moisture..
  • During the period when central heating is used you should not play for more than one hour a day, and in the summer not for more than two hours; this period should then gradually be increased.
  • Basically you should hold and put down the flute in such a way that no water can flow into the tone holes; water usually gets into the tone holes when the line of condensation which forms in the inner bore during playing runs through the tone holes.
A little tip: When playing-in your flute you should make sure this line forms a channel along the lower side of the bore. You can encourage this by letting a drop of saliva run through the body and footjoint of the flute, checking the channel from above and if necessary correcting it by means of gentle shaking. An established channel shows condensation the way, so it should be checked on occasion and corrected if necessary.
  • Most damage to the mechanism occurs when putting the flute together or taking it apart.
However, such "accidents" can easily be avoided if cork grease is occasionally applied to the cork layer (1) on both of the body tenons and to the inner area (2) of the metal headjoint slide. The sections will then slide more easily, and you will not need to grip them too tightly. You should never handle the body by gripping the mechanism in the middle, but should hold it as near to the upper end as possible, and you should always hold the footjoint by gripping the lower end.

Whereas the mechanism on metal flutes is soldered to the tube, on wooden flutes it is attached to the body by means of small wood screws. It is therefore especially important to adhere to the above instructions to avoid causing any damage. The same naturally also applies to piccolos.
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