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Leaks & Seal

Seal & Leaks

The Challenge
You practice for years, often thousands of hours, spending a lot of money on instruments and equipment to achieve a desired sound. The only thing you work with as a woodwind player is air!

The Problem
The air of a woodwind is like the gas for cars. We cannot see and often cannot feel the air. We underestimate its influence. But it is the air that makes us audible. Every leak reduces our effectiveness and is like an additional tone hole that has an incalculable influence on our sound and intonation.
If we fill a car with gas, we can drive a certain distance until the tank is empty. Everything seems to be fine. But one day, a mechanic tells us that the car has a hole in the gas pipe and loses a lot of fuel every time we drives. After the necessary repairs can we drive twice as far. Air works the same way

The Effect
An instrument that seals perfectly:
1. speaks easier
2. Responds faster
3. produces more overtones
4. Project better
5. Tunes more reliable
6. Makes you much more efficient in practicing.


Instruments can leak many places

How do I check the seal?
Most woodwind instruments can still be played even if they are leaking. They just don't perform well. Even brand-new instruments are often ineffective and faulty. The best way to determine the condition is to measure the seal with an air flow or density meter.

Flute density meter
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Alternative Method
This method is not as reliable as the density meter test, but it is a quick test to get a first impression. Try to create a vacuum yourself on the individual body parts by closing all finger holes with one hand. Do not press the keys forcibly. Hold the keys with only light finger pressure. Close the end hole of the hole with the other hand or a plug and create a vacuum by sucking on the other side of the hole. It should feel as tight as a bottle. Your fingertips should be sucked into the instrument and remain there. If you feel the suction at your fingertips disappear when you stop sucking, the instrument has a sealing problem.
If you are unsure of the condition of your instrument, have it checked. A leaky instrument is expensive in the long run. You waste a lot of time, judge many reeds as bad and reduce your fun. more information

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