Coke and the flute

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Kraken
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Coke and the flute

Post by Kraken » Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:46 am

Salud!

I really like Coca-cola (OK, I admit I'm addicted to it) and I really like practicing the flute (OK, I admit I'm addicted to it, too).

Could there be any problem with my instrument if I drink Coke while practicing?

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat » Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:46 am

If you must drink coke then I would suggest doing it before you play and then brushing your teeth afterward. If you drink while playing you will be coating the inside of the instrument with a LOT of sugar and this will start to corrode your pads.

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Kraken
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Post by Kraken » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:42 am

Salud!

Ok, thanks a lot. I don't have to, so there will be no problem. Water is healthier, anyway.

Chel
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Post by Chel » Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:29 pm

I am wondering if we should avoid using Listerine before playing the FL.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:50 am

Unless the player spits while playing, food or drink consumption before playing should really be irrelevant. Typically, the water that drains out of a flute while playing is simply condensation caused by warm breath coming into contact with the cooler metal of the flute.

Any player that spits into their flute while playing, really needs to re-examine their playing technique. :shock:

However, sneezing/coughing into (or onto) your flute is not recommended. Sneezes and coughs are frequently accompanied by all sorts of yucky stuff from the mouth and sinuses :shock: :shock: :shock:
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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Kraken
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Post by Kraken » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:46 am

Salud!

Thank you, pied_piper. I'll be careful, just in case.

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atoriphile
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Post by atoriphile » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:46 pm

pied_piper, I respectfully disagree.

Especially in the low register, a large percentage of your breath goes into the flute. Your moist breath carries whatever is floating around in your mouth along with it down the tube. When this moist breath condenses, whatever it carried from your mouth will then be on the tube (or worse, on the pads).

If you must play after drinking soda (or eating for that matter) and can't brush your teeth, I would suggest drinking (and rinsing your mouth out with) some water to wash away at least some of the sticky residue.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:37 pm

Atoriophile, I figured that my comments would generate a bit of controversy. But, controversy can be good. It gets everyone's mind thinking.

I can understand that many flutists will be very protective of their flutes - and rightfully so. I wouldn't eat a powdered doughnut and then start playing because the powdered sugar dust could easily blow into the flute. When it comes to drinking sugary liquids (like soft drinks) though, I don't think there's much risk of harming the flute or pads. I'm not suggesting that anyone should play with a soft drink at their side and alternate sips between breaths. I'd be more worried about spilling it on my flute than having adverse effects to the flute from drinking it.

Brushing or rinsing after eating or drinking is good hygiene, and everyone should try to do so after meals. I do so, but it's more for the benefit of my teeth than my flute.

Anyway, I certainly respect anyone's opinion to do as they see fit to take good care of their flute.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:24 pm

Pied-piper --

I, too, must respectfully disagree with you on this. Recently, I had a medical test to measure sugar concentration in my stomach and esophagus. The process began with me drinking a very sugary liquid. Several minutes later, I then had to blow (not spit) into a clear tube which was then sealed off. That vapor was then analyzed to see how much sugar was still left in my breath. Obviously, then, sugar does indeed travel through air/breath from the esophagus and stomach. It follows that consuming sugary substances, then blowing into a flute, will also carry some degree of sugar into the tube, pads, etc., and cause potential mischief.

Just an FYI.

SK

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woof
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vapor

Post by woof » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:36 pm

I am with pied piper on this one. Unless something has a vapor point lower than 98.6 F it should not be in any significant concentration in the water vapor that comes from your lungs. This is basic distillation 101. Volatiles that give food flavor (oils) might make it - e.g. the compounds that give onions their flavor and smell- they have sulfur in them and I wonder if that may be far worse than sugar. Also anything in your esophagus and stomack is not going to make it to your breath without going through the liver, the heart and then into the lungs (breath does not come from the stomack- unless you belch). In other words it will be processed before it gets to your lungs and into your flute. It is possible to cough hard enough and/or force air through the throat fast enough to atomize some of the water particles into the breath stream but that does not make for good intonation on a flute. Good hygiene is always a great thing and a good cleansing glass of water before playing a good idea. Alcohol certainly does make it into the air stream, as would flavorings like menthol, wintergreen- things like that. SideKicker I think the test you were describing actually measure certain gases in parts per billion or trillion as an indication of potential diabetes after sugar consumption? Not sure exactly on that one.

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:01 pm

Woof, I understand what you are saying about nothing being blown with enough force to be forced from the esophagus or the stomache into the instrument. What I was talking about was the residue that sticky, sugary coke products leave on the lining of your mouth, tongue, and teeth. If this wasn't an issue than sugary drinks and foods wouldn't rot your teeth without brushing. We DO force air into the intrument at a high enough velocity to send some of that residue with the air into the flute. Even if you don't agree everyone should be on the safe side and brush anyway before playing. Besides....if you don't brush having damaged pads won't matter.....I don't think it's physically possible to play the flute without any teeth. If you come across a toothless flutist who can prove me wrong please let me know......and get it on youtube!!!! :wink:

Flutterfly
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Post by Flutterfly » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:33 am

musical_Kat wrote: If you come across a toothless flutist who can prove me wrong please let me know......and get it on youtube!!!! :wink:
Well, this little 7 year old was missing her two front teeth at the time of this performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9qvzCc31Ec

Not quite the same thing though.

:lol:

melodydad
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Post by melodydad » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:45 am

Well, when I first started to play the flute, one evening I was sipping a nice dry white wine, and playing, and sipping, and playing - very nice too . . . until I then got a sticky pad which took me weeks to sort out. Never again - I almost always brush my teeth beofre practice - and I no longer drink and jive!!
Sankyo CF201, Trevor James 'Privilege', Chinese Dizi . . . oh, and a Theremin!

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