Alan Ward, Master Flute and Clarinet Technician

Alan Ward is a certified master flute and clarinet repair technician based in Berkeley. Renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and ability to produce pristine work, Alan holds certifications from Muramatsu and Straubinger. He is available for new clients and is connecting other technicians worldwide through an instrument repair discord.

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Alan is a skilled flute and clarinet repair technician with over a decade of experience.

He is open to new clients and actively connects technicians worldwide through his instrument repair Discord community. With over a decade of experience, Alan's career began in Texas with Ed Flemming at Fleming Instrument Repair. In 2015, he moved to Hawaii to work with Gary Harra, where he refined his skills for five years. In 2020, Alan made the move to California and earned his Muramatsu certification while studying with Paul Rabinov. In addition to his repair work, Alan has a background in music performance on the clarinet, inspired by his father, a retired music educator.

He has a deep passion for music technology and sound engineering, which he explores alongside his avid interest in photography. Alan's innovative spirit extends to producing modular synth music under the names “Slow Drip DMT” and “Polychromatic.” Currently, Alan is focused on fostering a community for repair technicians through a Discord channel and monthly digital meetups. His commitment to excellence and community-building makes him a standout in the field of instrument repair.

Follow my repair journey


🔧✨ Journey of Flute Restoration: COA, Dent Removal, and Shimming ✨🔧 In this video, I take you through the meticulous process of restoring a 15/85 Brannen Flute and a 9k gold Mancke Headjoint. First, we dive into the detailed Clean, Oil, and Adjust (COA) process. Watch as I carefully remove the pin from the trill keys, clean, and apply new oil to the rod and hinge tube. Next, I tackle the dent removal on a stunning Mancke headjoint. MANCKE has been producing superior handmade headjoints since 1986, and their legacy of excellence shines through in every piece. Finally, explore the intricate art of shimming. This process requires time, experience, and patience, with constant removal and reassembly of keys to ensure perfect pad sealing. The precision needed is immense, and I’m excited to showcase it accurately for the first time. Stay tuned till the end for a play test to see the results!

♬ original sound - Flute Tech 🪈
@clarinetwizard Hey everyone! Today, I’m diving into a special project: restoring a beautiful Buffet Crampon E-11 clarinet from the historic German factory. 🛠️🎶 This instrument is not just any clarinet—it’s a piece of musical history. Let me take you on a journey through time as I bring this beauty back to life. 🌟 No brand is more iconic in the clarinet world than Buffet. From beginners to professionals, almost every clarinet player has played on a Buffet clarinet at some point. One of the most beloved models is the Buffet E11. Known for being the first model made from Grenadilla wood, the E11 was a favorite for its easy transition from plastic student models and its noticeably improved tone. 📜 A Blast from the Past: The original Buffet E11 was made in West Germany with nickel-plated keys, later transitioning to silver-plated keys. Most people remember this model for its excellent craftsmanship and quality sound. 🔄 A Tale of Evolution: Since 2008, there have been 4 different versions of the E11 Bb clarinet, which has led to a lot of confusion and misinformation. I’m here to clear things up! 🇩🇪 The German Classic: The German-made E11, produced by Schreiber-Keilwerth, featured silver-plated keys and was marked “Made in Germany.” This model was beloved for its rich tone and durability. 🇫🇷 Bonjour E11 France: In 2009, production moved to France after Buffet acquired the old Leblanc factory. The E11 France had silver-plated keys and a slightly different design, marking a new era for the E11. 💡 Nickel-Plated Surprise: In 2010, Buffet released the E11N with nickel-plated keys, offering a more affordable option. 🌍 Buffet’s Big Move: In 2010, Buffet purchased Schreiber-Keilwerth out of insolvency, bringing all clarinet production back under Buffet’s control. This move aimed to maintain high-quality standards across all their instruments. 🔄 Back to German Roots: Post-acquisition, Buffet brought back the German-made E11 with some updates, like nickel-plated keys. This model replaced the E11 France, much to the delight of clarinet enthusiasts. 🇨🇳 Modern Makeover: The latest generation of E11 clarinets are now partially made in China, with wood bodies crafted in Germany and keywork, assembly, and padding done in China. Despite this change, the quality remains top-notch. Now, here I am, working on this E-11, a testament to centuries of dedication and innovation. Watch as I meticulously restore it, bringing back its original glory and ensuring it plays as beautifully as it did when it first left the factory. Enjoy the video and see the transformation unfold right before your eyes! Trust me, you won’t want to miss this. ✨🔧 #ClarinetRestoration #BuffetCrampon #MusicHistory #InstrumentRepair #BringingItBack ♬ Nice and Easy - Louis Adrien

Get in touch

Alan is availible for new clients and private training remotely.