Flute/flute cork


Hi, Holly!
I was checking the cork position in my flute, and it appears to be off. When I put the cleaning rod in my flue, the line is too far to the right. I'm trying to make the line move to the left (toward the crown) so it will be in the middle. Everything I read on the Internet says to turn the crown clockwise, since that will make the cork move to the left. However, even if I turn as clockwise as possible the cork doesn't move at all. Is there a better way to make it move?

Hey Lee,

In this case, it sounds like the cork is a little stuck.    To move it left towards the crown, you'll need the help of your cleaning rod.  Unscrew the crown, and then insert the cleaning rod into the headjoint and use it to gently push on the cork in the direction you want it to go.  I recommend placing the cleaning rod so its lower end is upright on a table or chair bottom, and using both hands on the headjoint to slowly and gently (key word!) ease the cork.  This gives you a bit more control.

If you move the cork too far, that's okay: you can push on the unscrewed crown with the palm of your hand until the cork moves and is seated where you want it.  Then screw the crown back in until it's snug but not too tight.

Corks can swell or shrink with age or exposure to weather, or get stuck if they haven't been moved in a long time (or ever).  If the cork doesn't want to move even with the aid of the cleaning rod, I really don't recommend forcing it.  It would be better to take it to a repair store to have the cork checked and possibly replaced (not an expensive part).  

In the meantime, having the cork too far down the tubing of the flute means that your flute is going to be sharper than usual, so you'll have to compensate by pulling out the headjoint a little more when you play.  

Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions!



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I can answer questions about learning to play the flute, reading music, problems encountered when playing, flute repertoire, practicing tips, and performing, as well as information about classical composers and their works. Please note that I am no longer accepting any questions about what kind of flute to buy, upgrading, flute brands, reselling, what a flute is worth, etc. I have answered many of these questions in the past, so please either view my answers in the the previously asked questions section or visit my website, which has a page about buying flutes: silentgalaxy.com/buyingflutes.html. Thanks!


I've played the flute since fourth grade, graduating with my master's degree in flute performance. I have taught at local music schools, given flute lessons for over ten years, have played in and soloed with several orchestras, chamber groups, and various other ensembles. For more information about me, visit my website at silentgalaxy.com. I love the flute, and I love helping people, so I welcome your questions!

Bachelor's and master's degrees in flute performance from Carnegie Mellon University.

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