Welcome to Experience CANEX Flute & Piccolo

Flutes & Piccolos We Make

1 Q: What material makes the best flute?

There is no easy or obvious answer to the question, "What material makes the best flute?" Every practical material, including silver, gold, platinum, wood, and even glass, has its proponents. Some say that material makes little or no contribution to the sound of a flute, since it is the vibrating air column in the flute that creates the sound. Others are sure that material does play an important part. Contributing to the disagreement is the difficulty of comparing instruments.

Even two flutes of the same model can sound and "feel" different, so one can not be sure how much material affects the equation. At the border between objective and subjective tests, scientific measurements are not conclusive.
The most important thing is that the flute works well for you and stays that way. Three main things are important:

1. It needs to be well made, so that you can play with it more than the repairman does. A flute is an extremely precise machine, that gets subjected to a lot of stress. It's very important that it be solidly made.

2. It needs to make a great sound, _when played by you_. Everyone is different, thus no one flute is best for us all. The type of head, key arrangement etc. will all depend mostly on how your body is built and how you play, not some consensus of pundits on a flute list (as if there was ever a consensus on this list.)

3. (Big item) You must be confident in it. You must believe that it will never get in your way or prevent you from sounding the way you want to. It should be your faithful friend that makes you smiles each time you open the case and see it waiting there for you.

2 Q: what Materials Should Keep Away from my Flute?


A: Things to avoid include:
Rubber. It will degrade silver and silver plated flutes.
Wool and the Clothes in Your Closet. Okay, wool is used in pads. But wool does tarnish silver. And wool attracts wool moths that love to eat flute pads. So if you plan to store your flute, do so in an air-tight bag. Again, the flute gets the air tight plastic bag treatment if in storage. And don't worry about wool being in pads.
Salt. It reacts poorly with silver and most metals. Remember that we have salt in our bodies, so that's why you want to wipe down your flute after playing. And if you are a person who tends to tarnish your silver flute when handling it, wipe or wash your hands before playing.
Water. Wipe down your flute after playing and if you tend to generate a lot of moisture in your instrument then wipe it down while playing and also blot the pads with absorbent paper. And if you play a wooden instrument, never store it without first swabbing away the water in its bore.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Between Meal Snacks. Please limit your intake of food before playing. If you need to eat before playing, then rinse your mouth or brush your teeth.

3 Q: What is a gold/silver riser?

A: The riser is the short "chimney" that attached the lip plate to the head joint. This riser can be made of different material than the lip plate and head joint.

4 Q: What is the advantage of a gold plated lip plate?

A: It looks nice but does not change the tone at all. (Not to be confused with a solid gold or silver riser which does effect tone) Unless you have an allergic reaction to the silver on your lip, it is for aesthetics only, so save your money!

5 Q: What is the difference between an Inline and Offset G?

A: The double G key that you play with the third finger of your left hand is the key we are talking about. It can be placed on the same steel rod as the other keys (in line) or on a smaller steel rod of its own, closer to the hand (Offset). There are different opinions on this feature, many professionals & teachers prefer inline G, but an offset G allows for a more comfortable hand position and can lead to better hand health over the years of playing.

6 Q: What is an open hole verses a closed hole flute?

A: An open hole flute has holes in 5 of the keys that need to be covered with the players' fingers. Closed hole flutes are also called plateau style. Open hole flutes are sometimes called "French" style, not to be confused with "French pointed" keys on professional flutes. Open hole flutes are harder to master but the holes can easily be plugged to allow a student to learn on a closed hole system, and then remove the plugs when they advance. Opinions differ on this feature. Most advanced players prefer open hole for advanced techniques, increased volume, the ability to half cover the holes, and quicker response. It also requires you to have proper hand position

7 Q: What are "French Pointed Keys"?

A:This is the style of key that has a pointed tonearm that extends to the center on the pad cup and is soldered to the top of the cup. This type of construction is stronger than the standard "Y" cup mounting where the tonearm is solder to the edge of the pad cup. The key is pressed in the center of the key with this design rather then the edge with a "Y" cup. French pointed keys are normally found on the higher end step-up flutes or handmade flutes.

8 Q:My head joint/foot joint is too tight, should I apply some cork grease?

A: NO! Applying grease to the head & foot joints will just attract dirt & dust making them even more difficult to assemble. The first thing is to really clean them. Pull the foot joint out a 1/4" and apply a few drops of lighter fluid (be careful, do not smoke or do this near an open flame) then insert the foot joint all the way and twist it around a few times. Remove it and clean both parts with a soft cloth. Then do it a few times more until it produces no more dirt. The foot should slid on easily now. If it is still too tight, it needs to be fitted and that requires special tools. The same goes for the head joint.

9 Q: How do I clean sticky pads?

A: If one or two pads on your flute make that little "clicking" sound: Get some cigarette paper or special pad papers and insert it between the sticky pad and the tone hole. Gently press down on the key and pull on the paper just a 1/4" or so. One or two times should do it if it is just a normal stickiness. If oil or other substance is on it you could try lighter fluid on a Q-tip.
If the key itself is sticking in a closed position, or opens slowly when released, the steel pivot of the key would need cleaning and adjustment

10 Q: How to buy A Flute for my son or daughter?

A: For a beginner, ease of playing should be the first consideration. A closed hole* flute is easier to play than open hole, or French style. A C foot* flute is sufficient for a beginner. As it works out, a closed hole C foot flute is the cheapest. An offset G key* makes it easier to reach that key with less strain on the hand, although some teachers insist on an inline G but normally all student flutes are offset G.

11 Q: What kind of maintenance does a flute require?

A: Your flute needs to be cleaned after each use. Clean the inside of the flute with a silk or cotton cloth free of chemicals. Attach this cloth to a cleaning rod (make sure rod is either wood or plastic), insert gently and rub the inside up and down a number of times. Polish the outside of your flute with a micro-fiber cloth to remove oils and finger prints. Don’t be talked into buying more than the two cloths. You don't need to buy oil and cork grease. You only need the cork grease for a piccolo (if you own one) and leave the oiling to the repair professionals. A flute needs to be oiled and checked for any problems once a year by a flute repair professional. Also, remove all jewelry from your hands or fingers while playing or handling your flute as these can leave permanent scratches on the body of your flute. Always keep the flute in its case when not in use! Never chew gum, eat candy or drink a soft drink before playing the flute. The sugars from these foods will destroy the sensitive pads.

12 Q: Is there such a thing as a left handed flute?

A: None of the major makers sells a left handed flute. The reason is when you play in an orchestra or band all the flutes must face the same way or you will have a flute in your face. So there is no disadvantage in being left handed

13 Q: What are curved headjoints? How do they affect playing and sound? Do they look different?

A: Curved headjoints are exactly what they sound like. The headjoint on a flute had been curved around in a U-shape instead of being straight. They are especially useful for very young players who cannot easily reach all the keys on a normal flute. These headjoints do not affect the sound at all, they sound the same as a straight headjoint, they just make it easier to reach the keys,, which is why some alto flutes and all bass flutes have them. it would be next to impossible to reach the keys with out them!

14 Q: Why Choose the Curved Flute?

A:For younger students, a curved head joint option offers an easier reach to the lip plates while maintaining a comfortable position.


15 Q: I'm thinking of learning to play the flute. Is it very difficult to learn, Will it take a long time to learn to play well?

A: Learning to play the flute is like learning to play any other instrument. How long it takes to learn and how easy it is depends on you. It depends on your musical ability and whether you're a fast or slow learner. We think that the flute is one of the easier instruments to learn, oboe and french horn being the hardest. (but don't let that discourage you from learning them if you want to) Learning to play the flute is a whole different ballgame from learning to play it well. To play, all you really have to do is learn how to blow properly, how to hold you fingers and learn which keys to press. Unless you have a lot of talent or are a really fast learner, learning to do anything well takes a lot of time. If you truly enjoy playing, then you will play a lot and practice a lot and the more you pratice, the better you'll get and the less time it will take you to learn to play well. The flute is a very fun instrument to play and We would encourage anyone to try.

16 Q: I am considering learning to play the flute and want to buy a good flute that will last. Would it be too hard to play with an open hole model?

A: Learning how to play on an open hole is like learning how to ride a 10-speed bike with out training wheels! One should always start out on a student flute and student flutes are not open-hole. The purpose of open-hole flutes are to get a better sound for those that are more advanced. When you are just learning how to play, you should be more concerned with learning how to play the notes than the sound. First of all, you have to put your fingers on the keys a certain way and with an open-hole, your fingers have to be perfectly alligned over the holes so there are no leaks and if you learn wrong, then you'll have to re-learn the right way and that's not fun.Besides that, open-holes are usually more expensive, another good reason for waiting to buy a better flute. Our advice, start out on a student model closed-hole flute and you'll be much better off.

17 Q: Is the flute difficult to learn?

A: Most anyone, with practice, can learn to play the flute: the instrument described as being most closely related to the human voice. It is important to learn proper breathing techniques and breath support at the onset of playing so that a proper embouchure (lip formation) can be developed. Most teachers suggest that only the flute headjoint be used at first when attempting to make initial sounds