Flute/Flute Key Plugs

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Question
Hi Herbert,

I have recently made the leap from closed to open keys on a new flute and am looking for key plugs to make the transition a little less awkward. however the flute is a Mateki and I am struggling to find places that sell plugs to fit Mateki flutes. Being a similar style flute to Muramatsu and Powell would the plugs designed for them fit my Mateki or are there specific plugs that I am yet to find!?

Thanks

Imogen

Answer
Hello Imogen!

Congratulations on the new instrument!  Mateki makes some great (albeit lesser known flutes).

To your question, though, flute plugs are not brand specific, so you do not need to find Mateki plugs.  However, flutes generally use one of two different sizes of holes (either 7mm or 9mm), so plugs are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

The best solution is to simply measure the holes in your keys and buy the appropriately sized plugs. If you or someone you know owns a set of calipers (cheap ones would be fine for a measurement like this), they would be the best tool for the job, though you could likely use a ruler if no calipers are handy.

Most music stores or flute dealers will have the appropriate plugs on hand once you know what size you need.  They can also be bought online.

Keep in mind, however, that on some flutes, plugs will noticeably affect intonation, so while they're fine to use during the transition to a French-keyed flute, they should be removed as soon as possible.

I hope this is helpful.  If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Herbert

Flute

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Herbert Smith

Expertise

I can answer questions about almost any flute-related topic.

I have trained professionally as a flute repair tech and music educator, and have a broad range of experiences as a performer. I also have experience with a huge array of flutes with any imaginable material or specification, and can comment on the quality of various instruments, as well as guide people through the flute-buying process. I'm willing and able to discuss various flute gadgets (Valgon rings, Foster extensions, etc.) as well.

I'm very familiar with piccolo, alto, and other harmony flutes (including those in unusual keys, such as Eb flute, Db piccolo, G treble, Ab alto piccolo, Flute D'amore, Contrabass, etc.).

I am also glad to offer advice on how to approach difficulties within pieces of music, offer teaching tips to those who give lessons, or answer just about any other flute-related query you can throw at me!

Please note, however, that I am not an appraisal service, and will not provide estimates of value. Please do not ask me about the value of your flute. I also must decline to date instruments based on their serial numbers.

Experience

I'm a professional repair tech with years of experience, and a veteran high school band director. I've maintained a successful studio for private flute lessons for many years, and have performed professionally in just about any imaginable venue.

Education/Credentials
I have bachelor's degrees in music education and performance from highly regarded universities, and have trained with one of the best flute techs/flute makers in the US.

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