Sunday, July 19, 2015

Just Back from the Shop

Have you ever gotten your flute back from a C.O.A. (clean, oil, adjust) and noticed that it simply feels so much better in your hands -- and that you are not working as hard?  We spoke with Powell's Repair Technician, Rachel Baker, to learn more about the differences in your flute before and after repair...

Rachel told us that in general, a flute does not simply "stop working all of a sudden."  She said, "Well, of course, it could, but that is not typical!"  Over time, your flute experiences very gradual and subtle changes from the regular daily "wear and tear" on the instrument.  These changes are so subtle, in fact, that they go undetected, and the flutist will compensate for them without realizing it.  For instance, if one is having trouble with creating dynamic changes or feels that his/her sound is not full enough, s/he will work harder to try and achieve the desired results.  However, the reason for the difficulty may actually be air leaking -- which can happen over time.

After your flute comes back from the shop, one of the first things you'll notice is a nice, snug fit of the footjoint onto the body.  Your mechanism will be quieter, and the spring tension will be even throughout the mechanism.  You'll probably notice a better response in general, and suddenly the flute takes much less effort to play.  Why is this?  Well, any air leaks have now been remedied, so Rachel shared, "Your air is being used properly.  When air leaks, it does not travel the full route.   Leaks allow the air to get out where it is not supposed to, so you don't get as full or true of a sound." Once the leaks are gone and the flute is sealing, it should be much easier to get the results you intend! Relax and enjoy your sound!

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