How to Maintain a Flute
Basic Flute Fingering Chart
Never use any silver polishes on your instrument. Polishes strip precious silver from the surface of your flute, ruin your keypads and can badly damage the metal of your key system. Gently wipe down your flute with a soft cloth before and after playing. A clean mouth (rinse with water even after brushing to keep toothpaste residue out of the flute) will prevent discoloration of your flute - inside and out - as well as keep food particles from building up in keys.
If you have sticky pads, take a sheet of cigarette paper and place it beneath the sticky key. Gently push down, but with a little more pressure than when you play the keys. The idea is to wick the moisture out of the pad with the paper. Repeat as necessary, but be careful not to push down too hard or your pad may be worn. Prevent sticking keys by always rinsing your mouth with water before playing.
Donít forget to wipe the tenons (the places where your flute joints fit together) of your flute regularly. They accumulate grease and dirt, which make it difficult to connect the joints of your flute. The headjoint is particularly important to clean, as it is the weakest joint and can be easily damaged if forced into a sticky joint.
The embouchure hole of your headjoint should be cleaned regularly, and if you have an open-holed flute, remember to clean the holes of your keys. Particles can build up in these places and can easily be cleaned with a Q-tip; carefully push down the key and swipe with the Q-tip. Stubborn spots should still be approached gently, but to help, dampen (not soak!) the Q-tip slightly in rubbing alcohol. Use only the rubbing alcohol, not water or other forms of alcohol, including aftershave, as they will damage the keypads.
- Keep your flute clean! Moisture buildup on the inside of your flute can cause damage of pads which will have to be replaced, and corrosion of the inside, cause your sound not to be as full. After every playing session, be sure to clean the inside of your flute and wipe any fingerprints off of the outside. If it starts getting corroded, send it in to a professional cleaner right away.
- When you are leaving your flute anywhere, make sure it is in a safe place! Put it somewhere where itís not going to get knocked down, or put it away. Never keep your flute in extreme temperatures or conditions for any length of time! While putting it together, be sure not to grasp it too tightly, and not to hold it by the keys and rods; this does extreme damage to your flute over time.
- Take your flute in for a check-up around once or twice a year. Any alignment problems, internal problems or corrosion will be noted and fixed. Always remember, to prevent damage in the first place, keep your flute clean, safe, and in good health.
The oboe is a double reed instrument with eight keys and a range of a little over three octaves. Oboes are usually made of wood and the type of wood dictates the colour - black, red or brown. Plastic oboes can be purchased, but donít produce the tone that a wooden one does.
No matter which saxophone you choose to play, the fingering is all the same.
The saxophone was invented by and named for Antoine-Joseph (Adolphe) Sax. He was an expert instrument maker and talented musician. The saxophone was patented on March 20, 1846.