Marshall McGurk logo. Tel; 01900 813200

Elm House Farm, Crosby, Maryport, Cumbria, CA15 6SH
Tel: 01900 813200
Mob: 07718 394355
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Flute Care And Maintenance by Steve Marshall


Care should be taken when assembling the instrument. Damage often occurs to instruments during assembly.

Flute joints should be applied inline i.e. not at an angle. Push the parts firmly together with a twist.The joints shouldn't be too tight or too loose.

It should not be a great effort to assemble the instrument. If you are struggling, something is wrong!

After use always return the instrument to the case!


Flute joints should be dry joints.

No grease should be applied to flute joints. Keep them clean and dry.

Joints may require cleaning from time to time. Wiping with a clean cloth is usually enough. If necessary a little warm water on a cloth with a touch of washing up liquid will remove deposits. Make sure the joint is dry before assembly.

Make sure both parts are clean!


Music books and sheets of music should not be stored in instrument cases (unless there is a specific compartment). It can damage the mechanism.

Instrument cases should be secure and in good condition. Clasps, hinges and handles may be oiled occasionally to prolong effective operation.

Cases in poor condition should be repaired or replaced.

Loose objects in the case should be kept to a minimum. Severe damage can be incurred when objects ( rods, sheets of music, oversized handkerchiefs, pencils etc) are compressed against an instrument body when closing the case lid. If you have a handkerchief in your case, make sure it isn't too big making the case difficult to close. Sometimes there isn't room in a case for such things so leave them out!


Polish should not be applied.
Instrument bodies that are dusty can be brushed down using a previously unused 2" paint brush. (Care should be taken not to dislodge springs).

Silver plated fluTes may be cleaned using a silver polishing cloth. These are impregnated with an anti-tarnish agent. Polish should not be used

bore (Inside the instrument)

Instruments should be swabbed out after use with a lint-free cloth using the cleaning rod. Push one corner through the 'eye' of the rod and twist the remaining cloth around the rod. Insert the rod turning it so that the cloth stays on the rod.

If using a pullthrough ensure new pullthroughs are unfolded fully.

Fluffy wire brushes leave material deposits in the bore and on the surface of pads.


Mechanism should be cleaned after use using a clean lint-free cloth.

Silver plated keywork may be cleaned using a silver polishing cloth. These are impregnated with an anti-tarnish agent. Polish should not be used.


When cleaning a sticky pad, make sure that the pad surface is dry using cigarette papers or Yamaha cleaning paper. N.B. Do not pull the paper through.

Yamaha powder papers can be used to prevent pads from sticking. Apply light pressure to the pad as the paper is pulled through. Puff or blow away excess powder. Graphite may be applied to flute tone hole surfaces as an alternative to help to cure sticking pads.

OILING - mechanism

It is necessary for instrument mechanisms to be oiled like any other machinery. It is usual to have this done by your repairer as part of an annual service.

I would not recommend students to apply oil themselves as some oils can rot corks, cause glued parts to become unstuck and react with some cork greases to solidify.

MARSHALL McGURK, Elm House Farm, Crosby, Maryport, Cumbria, CA15 6SH
Phone: 01900 813200

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