Now Here Is A Great Idea!

tubOne of my very good friends is Jen Houck and when she sent me this picture of her new trumpet bathtub, I ask her to share her experience with our readers.

Please give it up for a great trumpet player and good friend Jen Houck

“I have been following Bruce’s Trumpet Blog posts for quite a while now and have really learned a lot of very useful information here. I am an “older” come-back trumpet player always on the lookout for ideas to make my life a bit easier. Recently he posted a video on how to correctly clean your trumpet. It may seem pretty basic but we all need reminding to go back to the basics now and again and cleaning your horn is one of the most basic chores that can really make a difference in your sound and intonation so if you haven’t cleaned your horn in a long time here’s one more reminder and a little trick that may make this chore a bit easier.

We aren’t all lucky enough to have a sink large enough to hold a full-size trumpet so we are forced to get down on our knees and use the bathtub. This isn’t as easy for the over 50 crowd and I have struggled with it since picking up my horn a few years ago after a 30 year break.

I was trying to figure out a way to transform a long tote into a tub that I could sit on top of my kitchen counter and was struggling with a way to add a drain in the bottom when my husband came up with the idea of using a baby bath tub. I went to the stores around us and all I found were these tubs with angled bottoms because as we well know, people now days can’t be trusted to give their baby a bath in a tub where the kid actually goes down in water. I then searched online and found some great flat bottom tubs but most were way too short for my “baby” Bach.

Tub 2I finally found one that fit the requirements perfectly. It had a flat bottom – was deep enough to cover everything and had a drain in the bottom. The price was ridiculous plus shipping. Who spends $70 on a baby bathtub? I continued to use my storage tote until one day I was at our local Goodwill Store and found the greatest baby tub ever. It is the Summer Soothing Spa & Shower.

Tub 3This great little tub has a battery operated water pump that swirls the water in a perfect whirlpool action. The little water jet outlet is perfect to hold your slides right up to for a good rinse out. The first time I cleaned my horn in this I just sat it down in the swirling water and was surprised at the slime that started floating out of my horn with virtually no scrubbing with any cleaning rods or wires. I let it sit in the whirlpool for a bit then finished up with my normal cleaning routine. The pump also has a reservoir for water and a little shower sprayer for rinsing so you don’t have to stay at the sink with the tub if that isn’t convenient. It runs on batteries and the whirlpool unit can also be set down into a regular tub if you prefer to get down on the floor. I love that I don’t have to lay down towels to protect from dings on a hard tub or sink because it is a hard plastic material that won’t damage your horn. You can find this tub online or on eBay but I have seen quite a few at the Goodwill and even at garage sales if you are cost conscious. I paid $8.00 for mine and it is worth much, much more. Whatever method you choose to clean your “baby” just don’t neglect this important chore and make it part of your regular routine”

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.

4 thoughts on “Now Here Is A Great Idea!

  1. Paul Zito

    What type mouthpiece would you recommend for a 78 year old guy whose air power and chops “ain’t” what they used to be.

    • Bruce Chidester

      I’m hurt!

      Due to the fact that I am 73, I consider your comment to be insulting!

      But…… I do understand your question and concern.

      From my own experience, I have two thoughts on this matter.

      1. Switch to a cornet.
      90% of all the recordings I make for our “sister” site are recorded with my Bach ML (medium large) cornet. I find this horn to be very forgiving when it comes to the “bloody” stuff (difficult music). It seems that putting more resistance at the end (the instrument rather than the mouthpiece) is a better way to make life easier for us aging hackers (experienced trumpet enthusiasts).

      2. There is no #2.

  2. Gordon

    I have to agree. At 47 and with some dental challenges which mean I have had periods of not being able to do daily practice I find the cornet much more forgiving.

    • Bruce Chidester

      Thank you for your comments and the very best to you and yours from the Branson trumpet Ensemble.


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