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How to provide the chin turning gray and black after playing a silver-head flute?

My flute is silver-plated, so was the old one, and I guess that's the reason why my chin becomes grey or even black every time I play, even not very long!.. And it goes like this for years! I have also noticed that it doesn't depend on temperature, or season, this problem is the same wheteher it's hot or cold... Can this be because of my skin type? If anyone had a problem like this,  please tell me how to provide this, I get so nervious ''fighting'' with that black points every day!,,

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I wouldn't think the nail polish itself would damage anything but removing it could leave scratches. The other solutions should work fine too!

Ok... I don't know how could I feel with a lip plate patch on my flute, I have to try! Where can I find one?
You can get it on line. Here's a link to one site:

The search term you want is " lip plate patch." The only ones I have found are made by Yamaha. It works on my Miyazawa. They are kind of a soft nylon and stick onto the lip plate.

It would be interesting to hear it you get them and if they help.

Thank you very much Janet, I'll try one!

I think it is related to the acid in your system.  However, I find if I wear a lot of makeup, it seems to be worse.  They have removeable stickers that you can put on your lip plate if it really bothers you that much.  I have had students that the metal has actually given them a rash, so I tell them to put clear fingernail polish over the lip plate and that seems to do the trick.  When I was a freshman in college, I knew a girl that would put a postage stamp over her lip plate. 

Those are just a few things that I have picked up over the years.



Well, I think I've finally solved my grey-chin problem: since I bought a flute with gold lip plate the problem didn't occurred anymore!

That's great news :-D

It's such an obvious solution really. Very very few people react to gold at all, which is why gold jewellery is so popular.
Mechanically, different metals were notoriously difficult to solder together. Gold solder is good on gold, but not so good on silver. Silver solder is good on silver, but not so good on gold. So I think you'll need to be extra vigilant in handling your new head joint, when cleaning it or putting it down, that sort of thing, when it's possible that you might knock it.
It's possible that recent innovation has found a way round that problem, but if it has I haven't heard about it.

Oh, thank you for the tip! I didn't know of this problem! I'll be very careful!

I don't know, I'm a bit skeptical about changing headjoint, I think a flute should remain with the headjoint that was built for it...but that's for my personal opinion!

I know that changing the headjoint is very common and I've a lot of friends that changed their flute's headjoint, I'm just saying that I wouldn't do it.

Hi Valeria,

I know this post is about grey lips, but the comment you made about not changing the headjoint doesn't make sense to me!  I am not trying to argue with anyone, but I would like for you to consider these things:

-flute makers make headjoints that would work for the average person.  They do not vary the blow hole, lip plate, riser or any of the other options you can get with a hand made headjoint. 

I personally bought in 1990 (dating myself here) a Drilinger Headjoint as a present to myself when I graduated from college with a degree in flute performance.  My teacher, Linda Lucas, and I went to a hotel room and met Sandy Drilinger.  He had box after box of different headjoints.  He looked at my lip, listened to me play, and then made suggestions.  I tried many different headjoints and finally setteled on one.  It has been one of the best purchases I have ever made. 

You can check out his website at http://www.drelinger.com/.  I have never regretted getting this headjoint.  I have tried to go back to the headjoint that came with my Haynes and I can really tell the difference. 

If you ever get an opportunity, go to a flute fair, a flute convention or a high end flute store that sells various head joints go for it!   Now they have wooden head joints and so many more options than they had when I was buying mine!  You will see that it is an enhancement to your flute.

I recently sent my Haynes to Powell for an overhaul (Haynes would take 3 months, Powell took one - was cheaper and supplied a loaner.  It was a no-brainer).  I was proud as a mother of her child when the person in charge of repairs told me that she played my flute and made the comment that my flute/headjoint combination gave my flute a really big sound.  RIGHT!  It does!

Best wishes to you!


I'm aware of the advantages that a different headjoint can bring to sound, and I'm glad you found a headjoint perfect to your way of playing! I'm just worried about some things: should the change of headjoint cause intonation instability? And should the balance of the flute change, becoming heavier (on the headjoint or on the foot)? I hope explained clearly the concept, because it's not so easy for me to say it in English! :)


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