A Couple Helpful Suggestions On Cleaning Your Trumpet

We have already posted several entries on how to clean your trumpet (see below) and why you need to regularly clean your instrument but this post adds to these suggestions.

Recently I have found a couple new suggestions for improving your health as well as improving your instrument’s performance.

  1. When flushing clean water through you valve slides during cleaning, be sure to open the water keys if they are present. Deposits collect in the water key area and as the “snake” passes through the tubing, it forces debris into the channel where the condensation exits, making the water key area even more contaminated. Clean the inside of the tubing and depress the water key as you run clean water through the slide.
  2. The new Microfiber cloths are great for wiping down the outside of your horn after getting its bath. This material is absorbent and soft which makes it perfect for drying as well as taking off blemishes on the surface of your instrument. A quick once over is all you need and hard polishing is not necessary.
  3. If your slides are a little stiff to move while playing, your slide grease might be the problem. Recently I have been using Yamaha Slide Cream for trombone slides and have found it to work wonders on stiff slides. I would not recommend using it on slides that are working easily for they may have a tendency to fall out. This cream is very soft and works best on stiff slides.
  4. From time to time the bottom caps on our valves seem to stick and a pair of pliers is not the solution. This morning I had that happen and brought back from my garage a small, adjustable woodworkers clamp to solve the problem. The advantage of this device is that the contact points on the clamp are covered with soft, gripping inserts which protects the instrument. Be sure not to over tighten the clamp for if you bend the cap or worse yet the valve casing, you have ruined your instrument. Gradually tighten the clamp as you turn the cap.

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Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.