As a flute teacher, I have come across so many different ideas that people have about the flute. Many of them are not true and may be damaging your flute! So in this article, my goal is to help you be aware of the most common flute misconceptions so you can continue to progress onward and upward.
Have you ever bought a new flute or a flute starting kit and seen a little thing that looks like chapstick? This is usually called cork grease or flute oil, and can actually do more harm than it does good.
This is a definite no no!
Many instruments use it to help the parts of their instrument slide together more easily, but on the flute this can attract small pieces of dirt and dust that will actually scratch the areas that your flute comes together.
Each flute is made uniquely and perfectly to fit together. Little scratches will prevent that from happening. So long story short, don’t use cork grease, flute oil, vaseline, or anything else on your flute.
Another common flute myth is that you can use dollar bills or pencil rubbings to fix sticky flute pads. This is a definite no no! They will only make your pads more dirty and sticky or damage your pads. (think: Expensive Fix!)
I’ve written another article specifically about this. So if you want to know more about the correct way to fix sticky pads click on the link below:
One more common misconception is that the flute has to be quiet and blend into the background. This is mostly heard in a band setting where flutes are usually overpowered by bigger, louder instruments such as trumpets and saxophones. However, well played flute solos are filled with impressive combinations of loud and soft.
Do you know of any other flute myths and would like to find out if they are true? Leave a comment below.