Hello, my name is Faith and I'm 17 years old. I'm a junior in high school, and I've been playing the flute since I was in fourth grade. With that being said, I still own my fourth grade flute. The instrument is old, I believe it was used when I first got it, and has minor issues. The main things that I see wrong with it are that the pads need to be changed, the e flat key is broken (stuck down), and the instrument itself is very discolored from years of use. Being that I'm only 17 and working 8 hours a week for minimum wage, I don't have the money to fix the instrument. However, no one wants to buy an old, discolored, broken flute. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do with it? Thank you.
Re: Ideas and Suggestions 16:09 on Monday, June 12, 2017
What make of a flute is it? If it is an Armstrong you may be able to get a few bucks for it on Ebay. If it is something like a Bundy save it and show it to your grandchildren one day in the far future. By a few bucks I meant about $35 or so for a flute that needs repair. It will have far more value to you in about 20 years as a keep sake from your school years. Someday in the future you can get it repaired and you will dearly love that old flute.
Re: Ideas and Suggestions 14:01 on Thursday, September 7, 2017
Hello, my name is Chris and I'm 50 years old. I'm no longer in high school, and I've been playing the flute since I was in fourth grade.
I still play the same flute, an Armstrong. When my daughter began playing (sixth grade) I got her a cheapy used Armstrong and it had a few issues. She wouldn't take good enough care of mine so I took it from her. After she stuck with it a few years i finally got her a nice Jupiter. The biggest thing I found to consider was the aperture. Some are more round and some are more oval. If you replace your flute make sure you get an aperture you can play on.
Hopefully you can get yours repaired for not much money, new ones are not cheap. If you have a local music store you may find some used ones, but you may run into quality issues again.
Re: Ideas and Suggestions 10:57 on Thursday, September 14, 2017
As background, I've been professionally repairing instruments for over 25 years.
The low Eb key staying down sounds like a simple spring replacement, which would be part of any complete repad job. Typically, if done through a store, you should expect that for around $200-300 your instrument would be completely disassembled, dipped, polished keys and body, dents raised, end joint fit, new pads, new head cork and key/trill corks as needed, and adjusted so it is like new again.
If it is an Armstrong, Gemeinhardt, Yamaha (or perhaps Buffet/Emerson/etc.) that wasn't made in China/Taiwan/etc., then it is probably worth having the work done since it will far exceed anything on the market today.
I'm not a big fan of Bundy or Artley, but sure, they are also okay and might be worth 'overhauling'. My main qualifier is to at least make sure the tone holes are 'rolled', that is, have a turned lip, not just sliced off flat. (Bundy tends to be plain, Bundy II will be rolled)
Sometimes the finish on a Flute will look horrible, but that is often just tarnish or clouding over that will polish out. The main concern is loss of plating, but even that can be polished bright, just might be a different color than the other keys, etc.