Flute Care & Maintenance Page

Flute Care & Maintenance Page

The Basics


Sit on the edge of your chair, and always keep your:

  • Spine straight and tall
  • Shoulders back and relaxed
  • Feet flat on the floor

Breathing & Airstream

Breathing is a natural thing we all do constantly. To discover the correct airstream to play your flute:

  • Place the palm of your hand near your mouth.
  • Inhale deeply through the corners of your mouth, keeping your shoulders steady. Your waist should expand like a balloon.
  • Slowly whisper "too" as you gradually exhale air into your palm.

The air you feel is the airstream. It produces sound through the instrument. Your tongue is like a faucet or valve that releases the airstream.

Producing The Essential Tone

Embouchure (ahm-bah-shure) is your mouth's position on the mouthpiece of the instrument. A good embouchure takes time and effort, so carefully follow these steps for success:

  • Hold the closed end of the head joint in your left hand. Cover the open end with the palm of your right hand.
  • Rest the enbouchure plate on your bottom lip. Center the embouchure hole with the tip of your lips. Check by touching the embouchure hole with the tip of your tongue.
  • Gently roll the head joint forward so that approximately 1/4 of the embouchure hole is covered by the lower lip.
  • Keep upper and lower teeth spaced slightly apart.
  • Draw the corners of your mouth straight back and relax your lower lip.
  • Make a small opening in the center of your lips. Blow air partly into and partly across the embouchure hole.
  • Practice regularly in front of a mirror. Roll the head joint in or out to find the embouchure position that produces your best and clear tone.

Taking Care Of Your Flute

Before putting your instrument back in its case after playing, do the following:

  • Carefully remove the head joint and shake any water out.
  • Put a clean soft cloth on the end of your cleaning rod and swab out the head joint.
  • Twist the middle and foot joints apart and draw the cleaning rod through each joint.
  • Carefully wipe the outside of each section to keep the finish clean.

Getting It Together

Step 1: Hold the head joint in your left hand and the middle joint in your right hand. Gently twist and insert the head joint into the middle joint. Make sure that the embouchure hole is directly in line with the middle joint's row of keys.

Step 2: Hold the assembled middle joint in your left hand and the foot joint in your right hand. Gently twist and insert the middle joint into the foot joint. The embouchure hole, keys of the middle joint and the long rod on the foot joint should all line up.

Step 3: Rest your left thumb on the underside's long straight key. Keep your wrist straight. Your fingers should arch naturally. Rest your fingertips on the center of the keys.

Step 4: Place the tip of your right thumb on the flute's underside between your first and second fingers. Arch your fingers and rest them lightly on the keys. Put your little finger on the E-flat key.

Step 5: Allow the embouchure plate to press lightly against your lower lip.

Information above provided by Hal Leonard from the Essential Elements Methods Books.

Demonstration Videos

Parts Of The Flute

Assembling The Flute

Hand Placement

First Sounds

Flute Maintenance

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