“Musician knows that his instrument is not just an object, but a partner with whom he dances to the melodies of infinity”. David Bowie

To find the key, you need to find the door first.
Does your instrument need repair? Signs of the problem. Causes. Solutions.

Perhaps for most musicians, there comes a familiar moment when they want to loudly complain about their instrument for its “inability” to produce sounds as they would like, whether it’s a violin or a piano, a saxophone or a bandura, whether it’s expensive or budget-friendly. No? Then you still have it ahead of you 🙂

“Not in tune, doesn’t sound right, doesn’t work, can’t play.” And a whole list of “nots” that performers often mention at the first signs of performance difficulties. And indeed, it’s easy to blame the instrument for everything – it’s easier to replace it than to daily refine your own craftsmanship and acknowledge one’s own ignorance, which is often not easy for many. But is the instrument really to blame? And will a new instrument solve the problem? Let’s consider common difficulties that can arise during playing and try to differentiate them to understand the issues related to the instrument or dependent on the performer. For this purpose, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the flute’s construction and the correct names of its parts here.

Weak volume, especially in the lower register.

a. Air cannot flow properly through the blowhole.

Solution: Blow into the instrument. There are two options: 1. Gently close the blowhole with the base of your thumb and blow forcefully into the instrument, directing the air inside and blowing out any possible obstructions from the channel. 2. Rotate the instrument, cover the bottom of the headjoint with your palm, and blow into the window, directing the air from your instrument through the blowhole upward. This option is used to avoid exerting pressure on the lip plate, which is particularly sensitive to the instrument, and to prevent water droplets or dirt from settling on the internal important structural elements of the instrument.

b. There is a crack in the headjoint or at the joint.

Solution: Check for cracks in the headjoint. If there is one, contact the manufacturer for evaluation and flute repair.

c. Poor seal at the headjoint and footjoint junction.

This problem usually arises due to excessive drying of the instrument, causing the connection not to be tight enough or due to thread/cork wear. Solution: Simply wind a new thread or replace the cork. IMPORTANT! Note that professional-level instruments should not lack additional material for sealing (thread or cork) or at least a designated space for it. Although the procedure of winding the thread may seem simple to you (which is indeed the case), if you haven’t done it before and are unaware of important details, it’s better to seek professional assistance. Excessive thread amount and excessive compression force will lead to excessive pressure and damage to the instrument’s wall, resulting in at least a change in pitch or, at most, the formation of a crack.

d. Tone holes not fully closed.

In most cases, this is the most common cause of poor sound quality in beginners. Even the slightest air leakage between the finger and the tone hole will immediately affect the sound. Solution: Try playing in front of a mirror and identify the problematic closure.

Issues with the upper register.

Difficulties with high notes are likely the most common problem encountered by almost every flutist. However, the causes may vary for each individual case.

a. Unplayed instrument.

Many performers believe that a new instrument should meet all their performance demands right from the first hours of practice. In this case, such thinking is incorrect. A wooden instrument requires time, breaking in, and careful maintenance before it can fully reveal its potential. Solution: Play the instrument for at least 30-40 hours before drawing any definitive conclusions. In most cases, this will be enough time to adjust to the new instrument’s nuances and to evaluate its acoustic properties in various registers.

b. False fingerings.

Another common cause is false fingerings (incorrect combinations of fingers that produce a pitch in a certain register). Solution: Review your fingerings and ensure they are correct.

c. Always sharp or flat specific notes.

This problem is often a consequence of incorrect positioning of the lips and poor air direction, as well as incomplete closure of tone holes. Solution: Work on your embouchure and air support. Pay attention to the position of the lips, direction of the air column, and closure of the tone holes.

d. Embouchure too tight or too loose.

The embouchure (the way the lips are shaped and positioned on the lip plate) plays a significant role in achieving the desired pitch and sound quality. Solution: Experiment with your embouchure and find the optimal balance between tightness and looseness for different registers.

These are just a few examples of common difficulties encountered by flute players. Remember that proper maintenance, regular practice, and seeking professional advice when necessary are crucial for overcoming instrument-related challenges and improving your overall playing experience.


Prevent “hoarseness” caused by condensation that obstructs the windway with the effective use of Anticondens. This specially formulated solution, consisting of organic washing up liquid and water, reduces the surface tension of water droplets in the windway, resulting in a smooth film of moisture. Simply apply a few drops of Anticondens into the windway, allowing it to flow down over the block surface towards the windway entrance. Finally, blow gently to remove the Anticondens from the recorder, ensuring optimal performance.

Typical issues

Cracks and Their Causes

  • The junction area of the instrument can develop cracks due to excessive pressure generated by the wood’s natural movement during use or insufficient lubrication when assembling or disassembling the instrument.
  • External mechanical impacts. Cracks may occur as a result of rapid changes in humidity or temperature.
  • Extended periods of use. Over time, the wood may change its shape, causing the round body to develop bends or become oval in certain areas.
  • Improper storage and transportation of the instrument without a case or protective cover.

Difficult or uncertain response of the instrument

  • Incomplete closure of the finger holes;
  • Poor fitting of the head and foot joint connection;
  • Presence of cracks;
  • Deformed block or windway wall;
  • Insufficient lubrication in the internal bore;
  • Dirty windway

Appearance of mold in the windway or internal bore.

Most likely, the instrument has been stored in excessive humidity and not properly maintained. To avoid this problem, it is important to follow proper instrument care guidelines.

Loose or falling block! What should you do?

Each recorder is made of two different types of wood – one for the body and one for the block. As a result, they react differently to moisture (especially during playing), drying (after playing), and external factors in general. This is a normal process, and under optimal storage and care conditions, occasional maintenance and addressing these minor issues with a professional will be needed. However, due to various factors (excessive use, external impacts, low-quality materials, etc.), instrument parts can become significantly deformed, causing the block to not fit snugly against the body or even fall out, or conversely, the block may have expanded and nearly closed the airway. In such cases, the block needs to be replaced, and it is essential to consult experts for this.

And most importantly! Do you have any questions about caring for your recorder? Don’t worry! We are here to help you.

We understand that taking care of a musical instrument can bring some concerns. But don’t worry – every problem has a solution! It’s important to thoroughly learn about your instrument, understand its needs, and use special accessories that will help maintain it in good condition.
Our team is ready to support you every step of the way. If you have any questions about caring for your recorder and you’re unsure about what to do to restore its original appearance and beautiful sound, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our experts will be delighted to assist you with any questions and issues so that you can enjoy playing your favorite instrument.