Fife and Flute Care

Fife and Flute Care

When your flute arrives, it will be in good condition but needs to be looked after!

It is therefore up to the owner of the instrument to make sure it is looked after and maintained

Here are some guidelines on how to keep your instrument in good condition

Breaking in a New Wooden Flute

When new, it should be played only a few minutes at a time up to a cumulative amount of an hour a day.

After a month, the instrument can be played gradually more.

The wood needs to get use to the cycle of wetting and drying.

The flute should be oiled every 5 to 10 hours of playing time

Some people use Almond Oil or Olive Oil. Bore oil can also be purchased from Music shops

Both the insides and outside of the flute should be oiled.

Dry the inside of the flute after playing -- do not let moisture lie in the bore of the flute

Warming up a Cold Flute

If your flute is cold to the touch, such as from transporting it from outside in cold temperatures

allow the flute to warm up to room temperature for a few moments by itself before playing,

or sudden cracking may result!

You may also use some of your body heat to warm the flute by placing it near your body -

but avoid placing it near a heater or keeping it in a warm centrally heated room

Keep your flute out of direct sunlight


Cracks, unfortunately, are common with wooden wind instruments - but are usually not fatal to the playability, structure and cosmetics of the instrument.

The woods that are commonly selected for tone have the drawback of being naturally brittle and therefore prone to checking.

However, careful oiling of the instrument renders the wood more supple - wood is like leather. When it gets wet and dry, it becomes brittle - so keep it oiled, and it can remain flexible forever.

Most cracks are due to not breaking-in the instrument properly, lack of oiling, and/or not paying attention to the tightness of the joints.

If a joint becomes too tight , fine sandpaper can be used carefully to buff the cork down slightly to ease the tightness

If a joint becomes loose , linen thread lubricated with beeswax can be wrapped around the tenon to take up any slack

Fortunately, cracks can be easily repaired by sealing them with a low viscosity cyanoacrylate adhesive.

Loose Rings and Ferrules can be glued back in place using 2pack epoxy Glute such as Araldite. Any surplus glue must be removed using paint thinners on a cloth