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  • Ron Godoy

Common issue when tuning a pan flute

A common issue when tuning the pan flute is that the plastic cork can flip if you push too hard or from a single side of the cork. In this brief article, I will give you some recommendations on how to hold the tuning stick and what to do if a cork flips.

  1. Hold the tuning stick with your middle, index, and thumb fingers. The position is similar to holding a pencil.

2. Insert the tuning stick inside the hole of the pipe you want to tune. Rest your ring finger on the base of the pan flute using it as a support to modulate the strength with which you push the tuning stick. You must push the cork very softly. If you push the cork too hard, it is very likely to flip.

3. When a cork flips, it stops covering the pipe fully and it lets the air go through the bottom of the pipe; therefore, the pipe will not produce any sound. This does not mean that the pan flute is broken. You only need to take the cork out and insert it again correctly.

To determine if a pipe has a flipped cork, hold the pan flute against a light source. If the cork is flipped, the pipe will look like this:

The base would look like this:

The corks are made of plastic and they do not deform. If this happens to your pan flute, you only need to push the cork out of the pipe from the base; therefore, you need to push it from the upper part of the flute. Then, you can insert the cork again like shown in this video:

Next, you need to push the cork from the base of your pan flute to the desired position.

Hold then pan flute against a light source again and make sure that it is completely covered by the cork.

I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions, please contact me at

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