Well, it was actually very simple to diagnose the problem. Rachel knew exactly where to look when the customer mentioned the "gurgling." Rachel took a peek inside the embouchure hole of the headjoint, and there was a buildup of some material on the undercutting of the headjoint. How did this happen? Well, we all know that as air travels through the flute, it contains microscopic particles -- no matter how many times we brush our teeth and try to keep everything clean. Particles had accumulated on the undercutting over time, and it is likely that this buildup was not removed in the swabbing process. Rachel told us that sometimes, a thinner silk swab might not get everything, and that could be the case in this situation.
So, how did she solve problem? Well, it was easy. She took a dry Q-tip and wiped it around the undercutting to remove the buildup. It was that simple! She handed the flute back to the customer, and the gurgling noise disappeared. The customer also had no trouble getting out the low notes. As we can see, a seemingly large issue can be traced to something that is quick and easy to remedy. Make sure that you check periodically for buildup, and take a dry Q-tip to clean the undercutting, just as Rachel did. One small swipe can make a world of difference in a case like this!
|Arrow points to buildup on undercutting.|
|Cleaning the undercutting with a dry Q-tip.|
|Gunk came off on the Q-tip.|
|Undercutting is clean!|