These are my recommendations for someone trying to undertake an emergency repair by him or herself. Please read this before going on to what I consider fast, quick, and dirty repair options.
- Stop and take a deep breath.
- If you are not in a calm, rational state of mind, then do not attempt to undertake an emergency repair. Either repeat Step 1 until you are in a relatively calm state or find someone else to help you.
- Remember these basic rules of repair:
- Never force anything.
- Remember or write down the order of the steps you take for any repair. To reassemble parts or to undo a repair you will need to reverse the steps you have just undertaken.
- You will need proper tools, an appropriate location to work on your instrument, good lighting, and sufficient time.
- Patience, a small streak of stubbornness, determination, and more patience.
- You will not be able to fix everything every time. You need to know when to make do with the instrument, when to quit, and when to keep trying.
- Never force anything. (This rule should sound familiar, otherwise go back and reread the first part of the article.)
- Ask yourself: How well do I understand my instrument and how it works? Although many people are able to rise to an occasion, an emergency is not necessarily the best time to begin learning about your flute. Ideally you are reading this article before an emergency and are examining your instrument, seeing how the interrelated parts work, noticing how your keys feel when working properly, and know how your pads look when they are sealing well.
- Figure out what is happening. Diagnosing a problem is about fifty percent of the work of repair. In some instances diagnosis is more difficult than the actual repair. And many problems resemble one another but require different fixes. Particularly if you do not have a lot of equipment at hand to aid in diagnosis, you may have to undertake different fixes, evaluate whether or not they’ve helped, and then undo them and then attempt another fix until the problem is resolved. This requires patience and the ability to evaluate what a problem is and whether or not you have resolved it with a fix. Or if the fix has created another problem and or not resolved the original problem, then you will need to undo the fix and try something else.
So now that you have:
- thoughtfully read through this article,
- determined that you are up for repair,
- are able to hold yourself responsible for whatever happens to your instrument, and
- cannot make do with the current state of your instrument or do not have a repairperson to call, then
Please proceed to my fast, quick, and dirty repair options.