Custom Work

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There are 2 basic problem areas for most flutists with hand difficulties. The sharp wrist angulation (and reach) on the left hand and the reach/extension to the footjoint rollers on the right. These can be caused by many things. 

Cocking the LEFT wrist sharply coupled with the awkward reach on an inline & open holed flute causes problems for people with small hands and/or have suffered an injury – related or unrelated to their playing. Key modification can relieve stress by moving the far key touches closer and curved towards the hand. I consult with clients to learn the history and symptoms before determining the best course. Using a special chart to measure the best position to create the most comfortable & practical solution whether moving one or two keys or the whole set.

This adaptation is an example of making a closer and easier reach without moving the keys further away from the flute body.

Reaching the low rollers can be difficult for an injured flutist, and someone with small hands. They inevitably end up rotating their wrist, stretching uncomfortably between the open holes to compromise speed and mobility.

This angled roller design has been 100% effective for everyone who has had it adapted to their flute. It not only reduces the reach by bringing the entire cluster closer but the angle of the rollers creates a more natural slide between C#-D# and both the rollers.

Tap this link for HANDS ON!  A Flutist’s Performance Injury Newsletter I published through the 1990s.

Footjoint Conversion ~        $550.00
Left Hand Conversion ~      $  90.00 per key
Custom modification ~        $  50.00 per hour or quoted by the job.


Over the years I’ve made many odd flutes and offbeat keys with strange fingerings to accommodate injury, misfortune or restricted ability. It is devastating to a musician to lose any part of their ability and I see it as a challenge to find an alternate way for them to get back into playing. Here are 2 recent examples.

This flutist lost complete use of his left arm from a stroke. It was a big design challenge. Any versions of this that I’d seen in the past always seem clunky, over complicated and difficult to hold.

Since the player would have to relearn every fingering anyway, there was no reason to keep the ‘traditional’ key set up. I streamlined the flute by eliminating the trill keys, only going down to a D footjoint, moved the G keys around for the right thumb to operate and put the “thumb keys” (B and Bb) on the mainline where the C# button normally resided.

A slip in the tub and broken right hand little finger caused this flutist to lose complete use of that finger forever. This meant no way to get down below a D and no way to even play a D# on a standard flute.

By building a new footjoint, rather than adapt the current footjoint, I was able to design it specifically to be run from the left hand with half the trouble or expense of an adaptation. That meant putting all the key cups on one line and making it an “open D#” flute. Because it is open D# each key on the left hand cluster can successively hold down the one above. One G# lever operates from the right hand index finger in place of the Bb shake lever. The second, in front of the G cup, is for the two fingerings that can’t be done from the right hand.
This is a sampler of the specialty work I do. You can contact me with any flute related hand problem issues you have. Perhaps I can help.


We have a complete service department for repairs and restoration of all makes and models of flutes. I’ve worked on everything from Louis Lot & Badger flutes on up through to Gemeinhardts, Yamahas and Brannen, Haynes and Powells. Meredith is renowned for her meticulous padding and overhauls and I can repair and rebuild any metal mechanism. We’re the shop you bring your flute to because the other guy couldn’t get it done.

Overhaul ~                        $ 950.00
Clean, Oil & Adjust (COA) ~   $ 250.00
Individual pads ~                 $  50.00 per hour
Custom repairs & restorations ~ $  50.00 per hour