LFP 075 | Answering a Question Involving a Flute and a Finger Trap

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LFP 075 | Answering a Question Involving a Flute and a Finger Trap

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, you will learn about my answer to a student who asked a question involving a flute and a finger trap.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 075.


You’ll learn:

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • How a flute and a finger trap are similar
  • A common error that students can make while cleaning their flute
  • What to do when your flute cloth gets stuck in your flute
  • What you can look forward to learning from listening
  • How to make sure your flute doesn’t turn into a finger trap 

Learn Flute Podcast 075

Press the Play Button to Listen Now:

Hello Hello you’re listening to Rebecca Fuller and the Learn Flute Online Podcast or the Learn Flute Podcast. This show is in conjunction with the Learn Flute Online lessons where I show-and-tell YOU everything you need to know about learning to play the flute. It’s flute lessons in ‘style’ I like to say. This is episode seventy five, and today we’re going to answer a fun question involving a flute and a finger trap. Stay tuned!

Hi there, it’s good to have you here today. Let’s talk about something new, shall we? I was recently going through some comments and questions that you awesome flute-learners have given me and I found a gem from a nice student who reminded me that learning about playing the flute isn’t always just about actually playing the flute! Haha

Over the years I will say that I’ve racked up a small stack of interesting unexpected issues that have popped up. Including today’s subject of some stuck fingers.

I received this message from someone who reminded me that this exact thing also happened to one of my sons one time. It was kind of funny at the time, and I didn’t really anticipate that it would ever happen again. But, after receiving this message last week, I see now that perhaps it requires a little attention.

This person wrote to me:

“After cleaning my flute it seemed that it is still a little wet; so I used my finger to check the middle piece from the bottom from inside….. And then I wasn’t able to take my finger out! It happened very easily. I was worried the only option would be to use an iron saw to get my finger out….. Which would be very expensive and an unpleasant mistake. In my case it ended up well, I managed to tear the finger out after a short struggle. WHEW.”

Aw, this is really fun. And, kind of funny don’t you think? Now can you see the relation from a flute to a finger trap I was talking about?

Perhaps you’ve seen or even had one of those little toy Chinese traps before.

They are also known as Chinese finger puzzles, or a thumb cuff. It’s basically a gag toy used to play a practical joke on unsuspecting children or even adults.

What happens is you put your thumbs in one or both ends of the tube, but then when you pull to get your fingers out, the trap only gets tighter.

In order to actually escape the victim must actually push their finger farther in to loosen it.

Soooo…. It seems like a little bit of common sense not to push your finger into the barrel of the flute so far that it gets stuck.. Right? Right.

Okay- what IF something DOES get stuck inside the barrel of your flute? What should you do? And, what am I even talking about?

Haha, well- I’ll tell you another story that has happened over and over to flute students around the world as they try to clean their flutes.

So, first of all, there are different methods to getting the moisture out of the barrel of your flute, and the method I’m talking about right now is when you use your tuning rod to thread your cloth through like a needle and thread, then twisting it around the stick and running it through the flute. This is a very effective method to getting your flute all wiped out and feeling dry and clean again, but what some people don’t realize is that the method of doing this is kind of important.

IF you push the rod with cloth wrapped around into the end of especially the middle section of the flute, the body, there’s something special you need to do OR you could end up like the finger trap and have to make an emergency pit stop at the flute hospital. Seriously! This is true.

Let me explain further: So, picture this with me… the rod and cloth (wrapped around it) is pushed into the end of the flute, and then… most people realize that it isn’t going to reach the other side (which is also wet and needs to be wiped out), so they pull on the rod to bring it back out with intentions of now doing the same to the other side… but- wait- what’s this? The rod came out and the cloth STAYED IN.

Oh dear.

Yes, this really does happen. Now, let me continue. Haha Seeing that the cloth is still INSIDE the flute barrel, they try to reach it with their finger to pull it out. Nope- that’s not going to happen because that durn flute is like the Chinese finger trap and you can’t reach without getting your finger stuck. Sooo, the next idea is to poke at it with the tuning rod.

Now, really all this amounts to is pushing the cloth further into the barrel,.. So the next instinct is to push it out from the other end. Well, can you see what is happening yet? This is a bad situation. Pushing the cloth (which is wedged inside the body of the flute already) from both ends just wads it up tighter and tighter in there.

So… now what? Well, now is about the stage a student calls or emails me in a panic. “Um” (they usually say). “How do I get the cloth out of my flute? It’s stuck in there.”

Oh dear, I have to say. I have worked on this before, and depending on how jammed in there it is, I have to break the news to the student that I cannot fix it for them.

I can do a lot of things though.. But getting a tightly stuck cleaning cloth out of a flute barrel is not one of them that is on my list of expertise.

Nope, we have to take the flute to a flute technician to have some major surgery done on it. CAN you believe it?!

The keys have to be taken off. All the way OFF, I said. Then the cloth has to be fished and pulled through one of the finger holes (which is sometimes very difficult), and then the keys have to be put back on.. Perfectly. And, this is where the issues really come in because taking something this delicate apart is for sure much easier than putting it back together again.

Okay things to think about today.

Well, first of all thanks for joining us. I hope you’ve already had time to come into the membership area for a lesson this week. Including the lesson on how to clean your flute without getting the cloth stuck inside, or your fingers. I’m sure it’ll be totally worth it.

You’re awesome, and I appreciate you all for your willingness and teachability.

We’re all going to be quite the good flute players very soon!!

As always, leave your comments or questions here because I love to read them, get inside your head and help you all learn to the best that you can be.

I’m Rebecca Fuller from Learn Flute Online lessons and programs where you can come to learn how to play the flute confidently and beautifully. See you later!!


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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the flute and answering a question involving a flute and a finger trap. 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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