Flute/Expert Profile

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I can answer questions about almost any flute-related topic.

I have trained professionally as a flute repair tech and music educator, and have a broad range of experiences as a performer. I also have experience with a huge array of flutes with any imaginable material or specification, and can comment on the quality of various instruments, as well as guide people through the flute-buying process. I'm willing and able to discuss various flute gadgets (Valgon rings, Foster extensions, etc.) as well.

I'm very familiar with piccolo, alto, and other harmony flutes (including those in unusual keys, such as Eb flute, Db piccolo, G treble, Ab alto piccolo, Flute D'amore, Contrabass, etc.).

I am also glad to offer advice on how to approach difficulties within pieces of music, offer teaching tips to those who give lessons, or answer just about any other flute-related query you can throw at me!

Please note, however, that I am not an appraisal service, and will not provide estimates of value. Please do not ask me about the value of your flute. I also must decline to date instruments based on their serial numbers.

Experience in the area

I'm a professional repair tech with years of experience, and a veteran high school band director. I've maintained a successful studio for private flute lessons for many years, and have performed professionally in just about any imaginable venue.


I have bachelor's degrees in music education and performance from highly regarded universities, and have trained with one of the best flute techs/flute makers in the US.

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Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Richard Kuhlenschmidt10/04/16101010Quick and through answer. Thank you.
Phyllis11/23/15101010Herbert, Thank you so much for the .....
Jean10/23/15101010Herbert's response to my questions about the .....
Deirdre04/09/15101010Many Thanks Herbert for your prompt and .....
Andrew02/20/15101010Thank you! Your response was most helpful .....

Recent Answers from Herbert Smith

2016-10-04 Used Flute:

Hello Richard,    Yes, you're correct that there are two keys missing from this instrument.  I can't tell what make of flute this is from the pictures, but it's extremely unlikely to be of any value.

2016-02-22 Ab alto piccolo:

Hello again, Janice!    Yes, it is lower than the piccolo, but higher than the Eb soprano flute.  It has a very different sound than the Eb (at once both more focused and sweeter), but it sounds like your

2016-02-22 Ab alto piccolo:

Hi Janice!    The Ab alto piccolo is pitched a minor sixth above the standard C flute and a major third below the C piccolo.  Its placement in this part of the range, combined with its design give it tonal

2015-12-21 Flute Key Plugs:

Hello Imogen!    Congratulations on the new instrument!  Mateki makes some great (albeit lesser known flutes).    To your question, though, flute plugs are not brand specific, so you do not need to find

2015-12-14 Christmas upgrade on daughter's flute:

Hello Tabitha!    I think it's wonderful that you'd like to get your daughter a new flute for Christmas.  However, I don't think the ones you've been looking at so far are good candidates.    The Buescher


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