LFP 038 | Why Is My Flute Silent?

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LFP 038 | Why Is My Flute Silent?

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, we will be answering the question “Why is my flute silent?” including how to make sure your flute stays in tip top condition.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 038.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • How to tell if your flute needs help
  • Why it is so important not to fix your flute on your own
  • What you can to do fix your flute if it isn’t playing right
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening

Learn Flute Podcast 038

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Tada! It’s episode thirty eight. Today I’ll be answering a student’s interesting and a little bit unusual question of “why is my flute silent?”

Well hello everybody and welcome to the Learn Flute Podcast where I Rebecca Fuller the expert at Learn Flute Online dot come will take you through a question-and-answer session that will help you again take another step forward in your journey to learning how to play the flute really well. 

And remember I always say play the flute really well because I think that this instrument especially just isn’t the same when it’s played poorly. Haha is any instrument? I think you can agree that anyone who embarks on the journey of learning to play the flute has the intention of sounding really great and feeling good about their playing as well. I agree!

Today I received this question from another student who actually commented on YouTube. He found this video that is NOT on my Learn Flute Online channel, and left this question for them to answer- which they didn’t. Someone forwarded it to me for help. 

The reason I tell you this, that this is actually comment from YouTube, is because it is obvious that he is not involved in my online flute lesson series because right from the very beginning in the Silver Level membership and also the Gold Level flute lesson series membership I take you through exact details about your instrument, what to do with it from day one and how to deal with it if it starts to have troubles.

I continue this education all the way through the – well, at the time of this recording this audio I have close to nine hundred learning videos all in a step-by-step order that will really show you the way. And, it’s so much fun to watch you move through the sequence – proudly all the way. I’ll toot my own horn here and say that it is the best way to learn online – for sure!

Okay – let’s read this exact question I have here, it says: “I changed the cork and all the pads, but now the flute don’t play. What is the most common things when the flute turns to be “silent”?  Haha, okay I kind of had to leave the grammar errors there because I think you’ll understand that this person is a self-learner who is really trying to get it done.. Without any formal or education from a proper source.

So, let’s dive into this subject for today and see what we can learn!

I could actually make this a super short episode and just say that point blank – you should never be changing the pads or cork on your own instrument..  Unless you are a trained flute technician. That’s it, I guess we can say good bye now. Haha – okay  not really, I’ll expound for a bit. But, it’s true that trying to take your flute apart by yourself and put it back together is going to be a futile effort. 

Believe me, and believe the others who have tried it and failed- had to purchase a brand new flute after that. I guess, the new flutes should come with a tag on them that says, ‘warning- fragile, extremely fragile and delicate, – parts are subject to weather, humidity, and small children. 

Do not attempt to change the way these intricate parts and pieces were placed with care for you – you could suffer the consequences of not having a flute to play at all should you ignore this advice.’

Haha – you might think that’s extreme, but it’s really not. I don’t think it’s even an exaggeration at all actually.

I had a band teacher who once taught us flute players to take the cork out of our head joints and soak the head in a soapy pool of water. Huh? Ya, true story. And, if you want to hear the end of that story you’ll want to hear that unfortunately that flute of mine did not  make it. It was a hunk of junk! 

And, I should also mention to you that it never did play well. Which I didn’t know until I had a much better flute. I think I’ve told you before in this podcast series that some people are just misinformed because of information they have about a different instrument – like a trumpet or a string instrument. They’re just not the same as a flute.

So, here’s the quick low-down: your flute should arrive at your door or when you take it from the showroom floor in mint condition. They come from a hand-made professional or a factory who has them all checked over before polished and sent out to you. The idea, if we’re talking about a perfect world, is that it comes all 100%. And, then it’s up to the user to keep it that way.

Never, under any condition should a person just start pulling things apart – that’s when trouble arises and so does horrible tone. Like this person’s comment of Why is my flute silent? 

Well, because of the previous sentence that’s posted there it’s obvious that he didn’t know how to put it back together again- like humpty dumpty! There’s just way too much to get it right to know, and even people who fix instruments for a profession have a tricky time getting those flutes back to perfect condition.

It’s kind of sad, but many store technicians will simply tell you that your flute can’t be fixed – they’ll blame the quality or something else, but it’s just difficult to get it right. I am super blessed to have an amazing technician within an hour or two’s drive of me. I hope he never, ever retires. I don’t know what I’ll do!

Now I’ll take this episode and turn it around a little bit by giving some instruction on a simple fix or two that I know you CAN do on your own. 

For example – if one of the little tiny felt pads falls of your flute falls out and you find it on the floor – first of all they’re super tiny, so congratulations on your eyesight – you can get some super glue it back on in the proper spot under the lever (in the back is where they usually are) that it belongs to by using tweezers and probably an extra pair of hands. I’m NOT talking about the pads under the keys or anything big or substantial that affects your tone.

Just be super careful not to bend anything in the process – be gentle and don’t even try it if you’re not sure.

The second fix I’ll talk about here is the simple act of putting a spring or rod back in place when it pops out. This happens. And, it doesn’t mean your flute is broken. But, it definitely sounds like it is. If you haven’t run across this phenomenon yet you need to go watch my video in the module number four in video number one. I show you what to do when the spring pops and how easy it is to remedy yourself. No need to go to a technician. 

For some of you that is not exactly a convenient thing. For me I have a four hour round trip drive as well as the wait when the instrument is being fixed, so it pretty much shoots my whole day. I’ll do anything to keep my flute in good condition because my time is too precious. 

Some of you live in areas and even countries where it is even more inconvenient, so let’s all learn a lesson here- be careful with your flute, and really learn how to take care of it properly. I do offer all of this education in the module lessons. 

With what I show you- it should be totally possible to go a long long time before your flute needs to be looked at by a professional.

Whew! That was a lot of quick info about your flute that I hope you can use to help you keep yourself oiled up and running well — I guess I shouldn’t have said the word ‘oiled’ there because we don’t actually use any oil on our flutes. Nope Nope. No matter what comes in your flute kit (sometimes they come with your flute).  Just a good flute cloth made of silk or other material designated for the instrument and you’re good to go for a long time.

If you have any experiences in this area, I would LOVE to hear from you. Good or bad. I’ve definitely have had my fair share of both sides. And, I’m happy to pass it on to you what I know so that you can be successful and like I always say – learn to be the best flute player you want to be.

I’m Rebecca Fuller – this was episode thirty eight of the Learn Flute Podcast- signing off for today. We’ll see you next time!


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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the flute today to answer the question “Why is my flute silent?” including how to make sure your flute stays in tip top condition. Join us for the next episode.

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

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