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General Brass Care Tips

  • You can wash the mouthpiece with warm, soapy water, making sure you dry the inside thoroughly. The mouthpiece should not have any dents in the end of the shank. If the mouthpiece gets stuck, do not attempt to remove it. Our Music Showcase repair department has a special tool for removing it.
  • Wipe down the exterior of all brass instruments with a non-treated cloth to remove fingerprints and residue.
  • Pitch is affected by temperature. Be sure to warm up your instrument before playing by blowing air through it.
  • It is recommended that all brass instruments be taken to a professional repair technician at least once a year for general maintenance and professional cleaning. Doing so may prevent costly repairs in the future. Regular maintenance and professional chemical cleaning will also help prefent and retard "red rot", a form of corrosion that eats through brass.
  • Broken solder joints should not be ignored. Have a qualified repair technician check out your instrument as soon as possible.
  • Never set anything on top of your brass instrument, whether inside or outside of its case; this includes sheet music! Damage occurs easily when items are placed on the instrument and the case is closed. Make sure your case is secure and all hinges, latches, and handles are securely fastened to the case.
  • Never leave a brass instrument in a hot car or in your trunk. Extreme temperatures can damage your horn.

Trumpet Maintenance

Oil your valves every time you play, or at least three times per week. Unsrew the top valve from the valve casing, and pull the valve out in a straight line. Do not twist. Apply valve oil, coating the entire valve. You may want to first wipe off the valve to remove debris before applying new oil. Do not oil your valves from the bottom caps.

Slide grease keeps slides airtight and maintains smooth movement. Vaseline should never be used because it is corrosive to brass.

Moving and greasing all slides and bottom caps once a month will help prevent slides and caps from sticking.

Valve casings and tuning slide receivers can be cleaned more thoroughly by using a trumpet cleaning rod. Insert a soft cotton cloth through the slot at the end of the cleaning rod. Wrap the cloth around the rod several times so no metal is showing. Work the cloth back and forth through the valve casings until the cloth comes out clean.

To clean the tuning slide receivers, take a clean cloth and insert into the slot of the cleaning rod. Be careful not to make the cloth too big or it will tear when you try to clean the receivers. Work the cloth back and forth in receivers several times until it comes out clean.

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