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Trevor James Care & Maintenance for Flute

Published: Thu October 16, 2008  News Feed

Trevor James Care & Maintenance for Flute

Assembling the flute

It is of vital importance that the mechanism and joints are not subjected to any stress during these procedures. These are delicate areas and can be expensive to repair. Therefore, do not take the flute out of the case by its mechanism.

Hold the body by the barrel (headjoint socket) and the headjoint around the tubing below the lip plate.

Keeping the headjoint inline with the main body, insert the headjoint into the main body using a careful rotary action.

Place the footjoint in the palm of your hand, and hold the main flute body around the headjoint socket.

holding the two parts inline, join the two sections together with a careful rotary action. Should you need to get a better grip on the footjoint, place your thumb on the low C and/or C# key cups.

To disassemble the flute carefully reverse the above procedures.

Cleaning your flute

Inside: When you play your flute, condensation forms inside. Before putting your flute away after playing it should be thoroughly cleaning internally. Pads quickly absorb moisture, which can cause them to swell. This swelling may lead to the pads not covering the tone holes correctly. the result is leaks, poor intonation and sound quality. to ensure this is prevented, undertake the following procedure:

  • Take a lint free cloth and thread it through the eye of your wooden (to prevent scratching) cleaning rod.
  • Wrap the cloth around the tip and insert through all sections of your instruments separately. Rotate the cleaning rod and withdraw when all moisture has been absorbed.

Outside: To ensure that silver plated and silver flutes do not succumb to the effects of perspiration acids, which can cause tarnishing and possibly plating problems, we recommend that you regularly clean the outside of your flute with a special Trevor James polishing cloth.

Headcork Positioning

To ensure that your headjoint is correctly positioned, carefully insert the ringed end of the wooden cleaning rod into the headjoint. If the cork is in the correct position, the ring should be visible at the centre of the embouchure hole. if the headjoint mark is to the right or left of centre it is recommended that you take your flute to a local specialist who will be able to safely adjust the head cork positioning without exerting any pressure.


the pads are very delicate and can easily be damaged, especially when they are damp. Should the pads on your flute become sticky then it is essential that you clean the inside of your flute as detailed above. The utilisation of cigarette papers has become a common route when sticky pads have occurred, however studies have revealed that this course of action can lead to the delicate skin of the pad being broken. This results in leaking pads and major problems. the message is simply 'DO NOT USE CIGARETTE PAPERS'. Ensuring that you do not eat or drink during practise will assist you in your efforts the reduce moisture on your pads. Should sticky pads persist then contact your repairer.


The simple message is DON'T unless you have detailed technical knowledge and experience. The oils used are of a specially formulated type. If oiling is required, it is essential that you contact your repairer who knows how much of the correct oil to use.


  1. Never apply grease or oil the the joints or sockets of your flute. It attracts dirt, which may become abrasive. Grease is used on instruments with cork joint. Should the joints become very tight, simply clean the socket and tenon with separate Trevor James lint free cloth. If the problem persists, or the joints become loose, contact your repairer.
  2. Do not use silk cloths to clean inside as they merely redistribute the moisture.
  3. Do not leave damp cloths or pad savers inside the instrument case.
  4. Never use liquid metal polish, of any type.
  5. Avoid straining any mechanism during and care and maintenance procedure.

Carefully polish all areas in regular contact with the skin, taking extra care not to touch any pads.

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