#05 - Don't Let The Bottom Fall Off

A Quick Fix for Cork Wrapped Tenons

Most Irish flute players use flutes that often have cork wrapped tenons. If you find that you're losing power on your low notes, it may because the tenons are too loose. This causes the flute to leak and you lose response as a result.

For a quick fix:

Carry teflon tape in your case. It's also known as plumber's tape or joint tape. It can be found in almost any hardware store and it's not very expensive. It is not an adhesive tape, so you don't have to worry about it damaging the cork. Just a couple of wraps around the tenon should fix your flute.

A slightly more sophisticated approach is to wet the cork and then heat is by using a cigarette lighter, twisting the flute so as not to burn the cork in any one spot. This process causes the cork to expand. Be careful not to burn your flute, but if you do and you need to order a new flute, you know where to reach me...

Loose keys are another source of leaks. Keeping a couple of elastic bands for pony tails (about 1 inch in diameter) handy. They are great for beefing up the springing of keys. Don't use rubber bands. They may leave marks on your flute. Wrap the elastic band around your flute so that it goes over the arm of the key, just behind the key cup itself. You should still be able to operate the key because the tension is not that great.