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Thread: flute maintenance

  1. #1
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    Default flute maintenance

    Good evening to everyone!I am a new member from Greece and an amature flute player.After thorough searching I have learned how to maintain my flute in good condition.Except one thing.Can I protect it from becoming grey-black due to ageing?It is a pearl flute silver-coat(is that the correct word?) for beginners.
    Some say that I can use isopropylic alcohol.Others cream for silver polishing while others claim that I should use nothing but a suitable cloth(that I already have).
    What concerns me is that I will propably keep this flute for 30 years,so I want to keep it in the best condition.
    Any opinions?

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    Senior Member NightHawk's Avatar
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    thanks for the link.Any other ideas?

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    Hi Soundlover,

    is your flute .925 silver or higher, or is it just silver plated?

    This is the most important distinction: if your flute is just silver plated, you probably don't wish to use a silver polishing cloth or silver liquid, which will attack the silver layer, and strip it back (i.e. reduce it from its oxidised Ag+ state). You can use silver polishing cloths with solid silver bodies, however you need to check whether your keywork is also solid silver, or just plated.

    For plated silver, you can use a silver plated lacquer cloth. Selmer make them specifically for silver plated flutes (like student ones).

    Isopropyl Alcohol won't harm your flute, however it won't stop the black-greying of the silver which is normal after time. To revert it back to its original condition, it really does depend on whether you have enough silver in your flute to use a proper silver polish.

    If it is a Pearl student flute, you will probably move on to a better intermediate one

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    Hi Head case and thanks for the answer.

    It is a student flute,silver plated.I don't know what a lacquer cloth is but I'll check it.So there is nothing to do to stop the black-greying effect on a silver plated flute which is normal after time.
    I guess intermediate flutes are good for intermediate students.I play only for five months.

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    Hi there,

    Yes - then you will have to avoid all silver polishes. These will strip the silver plating off your flute back to the base metal.

    The material of your flute is not actually as important: silver flutes are highly overrated imho. The wooden Boehm flute has a much more pleasing resonance and coloration without the shrill metallic edge of silver flutes (but they can be quite expensive).

    Here's one type of safe silver plated lacquer cloth:http://www.justflutes.com/denis-wick...duct18876.html

    With your silver plated flute, you will need to swab out moisture, and use alcohol to clear the finger based acid residues, to stop the oxidisation. After a thorough clean, you can try a safe silver plating solution to restore it:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...#ht_1989wt_978

    This one is safe, however you need to prepare the flute correctly before using it.

    It's unlikely you will stay with your intermediate flute - open holes; a different embouchure to suit your playing style; off-set Gs all make the ergonomics more efficient.

    In any case, a secondhand .925 silver flute or higher (.935) can be a great buy - if you give up during the recession, the silver content might hold its value lol (not!!)

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    I've heard that you can upgrade by getting a solid silver head-joint/mouthpiece. That's where the sound comes from.
    Your closing key is not the same,
    This gives the Masters pain;
    But Hans Sachs draws a rule from this:
    In Spring, it must be so! 'Tis plain!


    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I知 certainly not! But I知 sick and tired of being told that I am!" - Monty Python

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    Lawl "flute maintenance"... That is all.

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    'Flute maintenance'? What kind of forum is thi--...oh,...flute maintenance, I get it. Carry on...
    Humidor likes this.

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    Junior Member Humidor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    I've heard that you can upgrade by getting a solid silver head-joint/mouthpiece. That's where the sound comes from.
    Yes DEFINITELY get a mouthpiece. Way more sound when you use one of those. . . get it?

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humidor View Post
    Yes DEFINITELY get a mouthpiece. Way more sound when you use one of those. . . get it?
    Except in certain cases like yours; no mouthpiece required.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Sep-13-2012 at 05:35.
    Your closing key is not the same,
    This gives the Masters pain;
    But Hans Sachs draws a rule from this:
    In Spring, it must be so! 'Tis plain!


    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I知 certainly not! But I知 sick and tired of being told that I am!" - Monty Python

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    Quote Originally Posted by Head_case View Post
    Hi there,

    Yes - then you will have to avoid all silver polishes. These will strip the silver plating off your flute back to the base metal.

    The material of your flute is not actually as important: silver flutes are highly overrated imho. The wooden Boehm flute has a much more pleasing resonance and coloration without the shrill metallic edge of silver flutes (but they can be quite expensive).

    Here's one type of safe silver plated lacquer cloth:http://www.justflutes.com/denis-wick...duct18876.html

    With your silver plated flute, you will need to swab out moisture, and use alcohol to clear the finger based acid residues, to stop the oxidisation. After a thorough clean, you can try a safe silver plating solution to restore it:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...#ht_1989wt_978

    This one is safe, however you need to prepare the flute correctly before using it.

    It's unlikely you will stay with your intermediate flute - open holes; a different embouchure to suit your playing style; off-set Gs all make the ergonomics more efficient.

    In any case, a secondhand .925 silver flute or higher (.935) can be a great buy - if you give up during the recession, the silver content might hold its value lol (not!!)
    thanks for the information.My flute is more than ok for the next couple of years,after and if I become a real flutist I will look for an upgrade..

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    Quote Originally Posted by kv466 View Post
    'Flute maintenance'? What kind of forum is thi--...oh,...flute maintenance, I get it. Carry on...
    Quiet you two ...! Mine is bigger than yours!



    Soundlover - good luck with resisting an upgrade for a couple of years lol.

  14. #14
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Is that a contrabass flute, or a sub-contrabass flute?
    Your closing key is not the same,
    This gives the Masters pain;
    But Hans Sachs draws a rule from this:
    In Spring, it must be so! 'Tis plain!


    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I知 certainly not! But I知 sick and tired of being told that I am!" - Monty Python

  15. #15
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    It's just a small contrabass *modesty* lol.

    Contrabasses are notable because a melody is still detectable. I'm not sure what the purpose of a subcontrabass is, other than bragging rights. Here's one played by a very experienced player.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANE84...endscreen&NR=1

    It lends itself well to beat boxing.



    I'm just not impressed by it: once all you can work out is a bovine like noise bellowing in different pitches no?

    The subcontrabass is way less musical than the contrabass. But the longest flute (with a straight head) which can be played, is usually the alto flute. Bass flutes with U bend heads are easy, as are alto flutes with U bends and the bass flute has a glorious non-irritating drone about it. My alto flute is a metre long due to its extended footjoint. It gets really heavy just holding it horizontal. Its pitch favours mellow sultry music - like jazz and minor 3am music. It is just so creamy smooth for pitch. Well, the weight ...that's why the contrabasses and subcontrabasses are all of a vertical design. That sadly kind of loses the appeal of the flute for me. A flute has to be a flauto traverso and not vertical, otherwise it's just played in the same direction as a fipple recorder.
    Last edited by Head_case; Sep-15-2012 at 00:37.

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