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
Vivian12/05/16101010Thanks for the promptness and thoroughness of .....
Rose11/17/16101010Thank you. So fortunate to have you .....
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 .....

Recent Answers from Herbert Smith

2017-01-20 How to get a scale and it's octaves:

Hello Mauve!    What you're asking about delves into the world of music theory, which can quickly get complex.  I'll be happy to answer your question, and I'll try to keep it as simple as possible, but

2016-12-05 piccolo headjoint size:

Hello again Vivian!    You have a couple options if the head will go on easily, but is just too loose.  If this is the case, the cheapest, easiest option is to simply get some teflon tape from any hardware

2016-12-04 piccolo headjoint size:

Hi there, Vivian!    There's no more difference between a European and an American piccolo headjoint than there is between a European flute headjoint and an American one.  There can be (and most often

2016-11-17 Piccolo questions:

Hello Rose!    First off, let me say that when it comes to choosing which fingering to use, almost anything is acceptable if you choose it for musical reasons.  However, the standard fingerings are standard

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.


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