Caring for Your Brass Instrument

The following information is to help you look after your instrument. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further advice. If any damage occurs to your instrument please DO NOT attempt ‘D.I.Y.’ as instrument repair is a highly skilled job and you could easily worsen the situation.

1. Do not eat or drink directly before practise and make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling your instrument.

2. After use, always carefully wipe over the instrument with a soft cloth or duster. This helps to prevent corrosion of the lacquer/silver plating and preserves the appearance of the instrument.

3. If your instrument becomes tarnished in appearance you may wish to polish it. Please purchase suitable cleaning materials for use on brass instruments. We sell specially impregnated ‘lacquer’ or ‘silver’ cloths, which are simple to use and will restore the brightness of your instrument.

4. To avoid the valves becoming sluggish, you will need to clean and lubricate them fairly frequently, using the valve oil supplied with your instrument. It is important to remove only one valve at a time and first wipe off any residual dirt and/or oil from the valve with a lint-free cloth (for example, cotton/poplin shirting material). Then apply a few drops of valve oil onto the cleaned valve before relocating the valve into its original position in the valve casing. Follow this procedure for each valve and then try blowing the instrument to check that the valves have been correctly replaced. On most trumpets and cornets you can check the valve alignment in the casing by simply turning the finger button at the very top of the valve. When you hear it click, the button will stop turning and the valve is then in the correct position.

5. To clean the main tuning slide and valve slides use the slide oil supplied with your instrument. Once again, it is important to remove only one slide at a time, remembering to depress the corresponding valve hen withdrawing or replacing a vale slide. First wipe off any residual dirt and/or oil with a piece of kitchen roll slightly dampened with paraffin. Then wipe it dry with kitchen roll before lubricating it with a few drops of oil, spreads evenly over the slide. After this has been done, push the slide all the way in and wipe off any excess that squeezes out at the joint. N.B. Apply the slide oil sparingly.

6. The instrument will benefit from an occasional wash through with lukewarm water. Your teacher may explain how to do this or alternatively contact us for advice.

7. Always remove the mouthpiece immediately after playing to prevent it from becoming jammed in the instrument. If this ever occurs, do not attempt to remove it by force as you could cause serious damage. Contact us as son as possible and when calling in the shop please remember to bring the case with you!

8. The mouthpiece should be regularly cleaned through with a mouthpiece cleaning brush to keep the internal bore free of obstructions.

9. Do not leave your instrument lying on the floor after or during practice. It is better to pack the instrument away in a case or use an instrument stand to avoid accidental damage.

10. Never cram anything else into the case, like music, as this could cause pressure and result in damage to the mechanism of your instrument.

11. Do not store your instrument against a source of heat such as a radiator or direct sunlight for example. Do not leave your instrument in a car overnight or anywhere else cold or damp.

12. As a general rule, have your instrument serviced by a technician once a year.

13. Enjoy your playing!

REMEMBER – if you need further advice, we are only a phone call away! 0161 445 4466

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