My Flute Won't Play Popped Springs

I have an awesome video demonstration of this article in Module 4:

Oh No!

I immediately say, “check for popped springs.”


When a student tells me that “my flute won’t play”, I immediately say “check for popped springs”.

They always say, “Springs?”

Your flute has some thin, tiny little metal sticks that we call springs.

Most of the keys on your flute are open all of the time unless pushed down by one of your fingers.  Occasionally (sometimes never) one of these little springs will pop out from under its spring cradle and create the problem of its connected key to be laying down when it is not supposed to be.

When a spring is popped, your flute will sound terrible.  Most of the notes will give the same airy tone no matter how many keys you have pressed.  It also causes panic.  Don’t worry.  The video on your flute in Module 4 gives a quick demonstration on how to fix this problem.  It’s easy and painless.

You’ll just have to get your eagle eyes on and search your flute for a spring that is out of place.  Then, using an eyeglass-type of mini screwdriver (or a long fingernail) hook it back in its cradle.

You’ll be good as new within moments.

There.  All better.


 If your still having problems leave a comment below and I will help you figure it out.

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

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

29 thoughts on “My Flute Won’t Play – Popped Springs”

  1. Yes, Patricia- it sounds like you popped a spring. It’s a very simple fix you can do yourself. Did you watch the video #1 in module 4 of the Silver level? It shows you exactly how to fix it. You’ll be working fine within just seconds. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  2. Hi so today in band my flute sounded fine until we were practicing a part and then I couldn’t play an Eb, so I told my teacher and he said to play the whole Bb scale and I did. No note would come out at the right pitch except for C (not really but close). It would mean so much if you helped me because I have a concert in 2 weeks.

  3. Hi Mariah, so sorry! Yes, your band teacher tightened the screw too much. It’s a tricky trick to get the screws just right – usually when you adjust one it messes up the other ones. The only way to fix it is to get it to a flute technician who knows what they are doing. It’s probably an easy fix though. Hope you get it fixed soon! ~Rebecca

  4. Hi. My flute keys F and G are not sounding right like they sound lower than usual. My band teacher tightened a screw on my flute and that fixed the problem with the F key but now the G key is not working. I don’t see any loose screws.. Please help!

  5. Yes, Qistina- you can put that popped spring right back under its cradle. All should be well after you fix it. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  6. Hi, I can’t play my Db lower octave. One of the springs popped out. Can it be fixed? Which is the last spring on the right of the flute.

  7. Oh man. This is a definite bummer, Heather. I’m so sorry. I hope you can find a good technician quick so you and your kids can get on the ‘band wagon’ again. Let us know how it goes! ~Rebecca

  8. Hi Jamie, thanks for the question. Perhaps your piccolo is older and has gummed up stuff inside the rods (?) That would be my best guess if the springs all seem okay. Have a technician look at it. Good luck! Hope you get it fixed soon. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  9. Hi!
    I have been playing Piccolo for 4 years and I have been unable to play an F#. The only problem I can detect is the key won’t come down. There is no popped springs and the pad is in tact. How do I fix this?

  10. I bought a used flute excited to teach my kids multiple instruments only to come home and find each note involving my eight first finger will not play. I’ve checked for springs and leaks. Hopefulbi can fix this myself. Although I know it needs to be replaced.

  11. RebeccaFuller

    Hmmmm. Uh Oh. Are you positive you have your fingers on the right keys? If so, then you definitely have a popped spring. I hope you watched this video and have now fixed it. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  12. i can only play b flat and c. when i try to play d or the other notes it dosent make a sound. D:

  13. Hey Joe, I’m glad you got the flute working again. Whew. I wonder if there was a loose screw or something.. Tell your daughter I’m really glad she’s playing the flute. So fun. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  14. I’m sorry. I wasn’t clear. My daughter has been playing about six months, so she’s a beginner but not brand new, and she could play an F on her flute until about a week ago. I also should have said that “her” flute is a hand me down from her mother that is about ten years old, though lightly used. It’s a Jupiter I bought her as a Christmas gift to replace her student flute from high school that was falling apart.
    Anyway, my daughter took it in to her band teacher. She says he “made a few adjustments” and now it works fine. Just last night she was playing Fs with ease. Not sure what he did, though. Thanks so much!

  15. Hi Joe, this is a really great question. It’s true that a more experienced player can make ‘less than perfect’ flutes still sing. I’d definitely have the flute checked. But, if your daughter is brand new to playing then you can just help her practice and experiment with small details (as given in my lessons here), and I think she’ll be fine. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  16. Hi-
    My daughter can’t play an F on her flute but can play it fine on her mother’s flute. However, her mother can play it fine on both flutes. Maybe the pads are worn and her mother presses harder?

  17. Hi Mariah, if the notes improve when you press harder, it’s because your pads are poofed or cracked etc. You’re probably due for a re-pad (not cheap). Weigh the options, if your flute is really old and of low quality to start with, you may enjoy a new one. 🙂 Get it checked by a professional and see what they say. Good luck! ~Rebecca

  18. Hello, so I can play my a,b,c,g perfectly fine but the other notes sound airy and bad but if I press the keys hard it sound kinda okay. If it’s something you can do at home please let me know because to get it repaired by a professional is in the city next to me. Thanks in advance.

  19. Hi Felicia, I’m so sorry about your flute problems today. Check these two things: *popped spring… look really closely. You may have missed one when you were looking. They’re really hard to see. Also, it’s possible your Ab key (the pinky one that pokes out on left hand) is bent and causing the key that it closes to not actually be ‘closed’. If this is true and it’s just a teeny bit bent, you can bend it back yourself. But be careful! Show it to your band teacher and see what he/she sees. Good luck!! ~Rebecca

  20. Hi, Ive had my flute for a year now. Ive been playing for 5 years. My F, G ,and A keys are not working at all. I do the B (scale). C. D. E but when it hits F… It sounds to loud. I checled all springs and screws and tuned it/ cleaned it. Still nothing.. There is NO flute technician around me whatsoever and I have a homecoming parade in 3 days ? i miss my flute sound so much! HELP ME!!!!

  21. RebeccaFuller

    Have you checked the ‘other keys/pads’? Meaning, the ones that are supposed to lay flat when you actually press a different key.. finger the notes in question and watch for a similar key – there’s probably one leaking – get a friend to press on each key as you finger the F (also try the thumb keys) – you may find the culprit. My guess is that the G#/Ab key is bent which is causing the key to be slightly open instead of closed on those notes. (this one opens when you press the Left Hand pinky lever). Check it. Good luck!! 🙂 ~Rebecca

  22. Kristin Paxinos

    I had a Student come in tonight and f#, f, e, eb, and d wont play on her flute in both the middle and low octave. Every other note plays fine. All the springs look good, there are no screws that seem loose, and the keys look to be sealing just fine. Any thoughts?

  23. Hi Joline, I’m so sorry your flute is leaking. 🙁 I suggest you take your flute to a technician who will help you get it fixed up quickly. It’s difficult to give instructions for this fix online because it depends on where exactly the issue is coming from.. Good luck!! ~Rebecca

  24. I can’t play my F because one of the keys is not sealed completely can u teach me how to fix it?

  25. Hi Rebecca! I can’t get my flute to play an F or F#. I only have a problem in the lowest 2 octaves.

  26. Sounds like your flute is kind of having a hard week, eh ? If your springs just keep popping by themselves, you’ll need to take it to a flute technician who will fix it up for you in a jiffy. No worries – this is something a good tech knows how to do. 🙂 Rebecca

  27. Hi Danica, I’d love to help you. Some thoughts on the school flutes; I think I’d only have to hear or see one of these flutes for about 2 seconds to diagnose the issue. Perhaps they’re sending them to a trumpet specialist instead of a flute technician? -or- are your sure you are using the correct fingerings? -or- do you perhaps have popped springs? Feel free to play for me at this link:

  28. Danica Lorraine Tumanda

    Hi Rebecca
    Thanks for this one it helped me last summer. 🙂 But I have another problem I want to ask your opinion with.
    I’m a flute player on our school band for almost 3 years now and I have problems with the flutes our school have. Some of the flutes doesn’t play the right tone/pitch, like F and F#. We’ve sent it to a specialist already, twice, and the same problem still occurs even after the repair. and i have know idea at all what really is the problem. It would be great if you could help me with this. thanks Rebecca

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