Brass – Caring for your Instrument

Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone, Tuba

Never drop or bang your instrument against anything. All brass instruments will dent fairly easily so be careful.

Oil your valves every couple of days or if one begins to get stuck. Remove valves from casings one by one, ensuring that you know where each valve came from. (There are numbers on the side of each valve and on each casing. Valve 1 is closest to the mouthpiece). Apply valve oil to each valve and replace in the casing.

Always ensure that you have a drink of water before you play your instrument. Otherwise you will end up with food stuck in your instrument which will effect your playing and could damage the instrument.

The slides on your instrument should move easily. To maintain this, remove the slides every couple of weeks, and apply a small amount of Vaseline or slide grease to the slide and then a couple of drops of valve oil. Replace the slide and then wipe away any excess grease.

For Trombone Main Slide: Apply slide cream to the inner section of the slide. A spray bottle of water is then used to spray water on the slide to improve the movement of the slide.

Ensure that the mouthpiece is kept clean at all times, especially after illness. Submerge the mouthpiece in warm water and use a cotton bud to clean the inside barrel.

If a slide or mouthpiece become stuck, DO NOT use force. Bring the instrument to me and I will attempt to fix it. I have a mouthpiece puller to remove stuck mouthpieces. If I am unsuccessful, I can arrange for it to be sent to a music shop to be removed professionally.
Most instruments should come with a cleaning cloth (if not they can be obtained cheaply from a music store). Use this cloth to polish the instrument and keep clean.

Instrument Cases are designed to hold the weight of the instrument only. Discourage your child from sitting on their case.
If at any time the instrument will not blow, DO NOT PANIC. Bring the instrument to me and I will more than likely be able to fix it. A slide or valve may have been replaced incorrectly and can be easily fixed.

BATHING YOUR INSTRUMENT: Your instrument must be thoroughly washed out once a term. Remove all parts of the instrument (remembering where everything goes) and submerge in lukewarm (never hot) water. Let it soak for no longer than 20mins. Remove and rinse with cold water. Dry thoroughly. Replace all parts in the same positions. If you have problems with this please contact me. Bathing of the instrument is best left to the parents or at least it should be done with parental supervision.
All cleaning products, valve oil and slide grease can be purchased from all good Music Stores.

Trombones: Pour lukewarm water into the outer slide and insert into the inner slide. Then “slush pump”. Move the slide in and out slowly with water inside, then remove and dry thoroughly. Use cleaning rod and a soft lint-free cloth to clean slide.

Matt Dalziel

Key Music Australia - Managing Director