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Brass Care

 

Trumpets:

When constantly using the instrument you will find that at least two or three times per week the valves should be oiled with a high grade valve oil. In addition, the following procedure should be followed at least once a month to keep foreign particles and residue from collecting in the instrument.

 

  • Remove pistons, valve caps and all slides.
  • The instrument can be washed in a tub of warm water with a small amount of dishwashing detergent. Do not use hot water. A spring "snake" type trumpet cleaning brush can be used to clean the slides and tubing, and a larger valve casing brush can be used to clean the valve casings.
  • Clean pistons with water and a lint free cloth.
  • Lubricate slides with tuning slide grease.
  • Apply valve oil to valves.
  • When reassembling the instrument, be sure to insert the valves very carefully to avoid scratches or dents in the pistons and casings. Valves are numbered, so ensure they are inserted in the correct position.

 

  

 

Trombones:

Trombones can be cleaned with a cleaning rod, cheesecloth and luke warm water. Hot water can damage lacquer finishes. For cleaning the slide, the following procedures are recommended.

  • Fill the assembled slide with luke warm water and slush the slide by moving it up and down.
  • After doing this a few times, turn the assembled slide upside down, empty the water, then repeat the process.
  • Disassemble the inner and outer slides and insert the cleaning rod with cheesecloth through both inner slides.
  • Clean the outer slide by slipping a 30cm by 30cm square piece of cheesecloth through the eye of the cleaning rod, spray the cloth with water and insert into outer slide.
  • Apply a small amount of slide oil or cream to the inner slide.
  • Replace the outer slide onto the inner slide. If slide cream was used, spray the inner slide with water.

The frequency of changing the lubricant will be determined by the amount of playing one does. Before applying the lubricant, be certain that the inner slide is clean.

For cleaning the bell, the following procedures are recommended:

  • Remove the tuning slide carefully, then run luke warm water through it while pushing the
  • flexible cleaning snake through at the same time. Remove the snake and rinse once again.
  • Push the snake through the receiver and repeat the process as above.
  • Run luke warm water through the bell. To dry this section, send a piece of cheesecloth or similar material from the tuning slide opening of the bell completely through the bell section.
  • Grease the tuning slide with tuning slide grease and replace the slide carefully.
  • When a trombone is not in use, it is essential to put it in the case, as even the slightest dent in the slide will make it difficult or impossible to play.

General Brass:

Clean mouthpiece cup, back bore and stem with warm water and a mouthpiece brush. Accumulations or dirt in the mouthpiece back bore will affect the response and tone quality of the instrument. Do not attempt to remove a jammed mouthpiece with pliers or a vice. Use a mouthpiece puller or take the instrument to a service technician for removal.

Plated instruments:
Any high quality silver polish may be used on instruments with bright silver plating. It is also recommended that you carry a soft flannel cloth to wipe off all fingerprints and perspiration each time you finish playing the instrument.

Lacquered instruments:
When your instrument becomes soiled, rub lightly with a damp cloth. Do not use detergents or polish unless clearly marked "for lacquered finishes only". Wipe the instrument with a soft flannel cloth to remove fingerprints and perspiration each time after playing, and you will add substantially to the lacquer life.

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