7 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Flute

Adjusting Screwdriver
Some flutes come with a tiny screwdriver in the case. This is for you to use should you need to make an adjustment of your flute. Although you will need one of these eventually in your career as a flute player, it’s often a sign that the flute is likely to need adjusting very soon. If something rattles loose on your child’s flute, will you or they know where to apply the screwdriver?
  1. Reliability - How Long Will the Flute Last?
2. How to Spot a Forgery?
3. Extras - Which are the Ones You Need?
4. Tone Quality What Makes a Flute Sound Good?
5. New vs Second-hand
6. Design, Features and Options
7. The Best Brand
Yamaha flutes, for example, don’t supply you with a screwdriver. The possible reasons for this are that :
  1. their flutes don’t require adjusting very often;
  2. when it does require an adjustment, they want you to take it to a qualified Yamaha technician.

Driving across town for half an hour to a specialist flute repairer who makes a 30 second twist on one screw seems like a waste of time to me, so I’ve learned how to perform a few minor tasks myself. But tweaking flutes is an art in itself, and it’s good if you can watch over the shoulder of an expert as the job is being done in order to learn the basics.

My recommendation: Owning one won’t show you how to use it, but it’s better to have than not.

Pot of Grease
Some flutes come with a tiny pot of grease that is intended for the joints where the flutepieces join together. This seems like a good idea, but in practise it’s not, because the grease attracts dirt and lint which make it harder to fit the flute together. Flutes don’t need it. Clarinets and saxophones, yes, but not flutes. If the pot of grease is offered with a new Yamaha flute, it’s a good sign that the flute is a fake. Genuine Yamahas never ship with grease.

My recommendation: Will cause damage to your flute.

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