How to Care for a Trumpet, its Valves and Mouthpiece

Trumpets are one of the most popular brass instruments with school children just learning and professional musicians alike. It’s sound comes from the air pushed through the horn and the different combinations pressed on the instruments keys or valves. There are also various slides on a trumpet that can alter the notes or tone of the instrument.

With proper care, a good trumpet will have a long and useful life. Care must be taken to prevent dents and dings on the body, and wear and tear on the parts.

Case

If you don’t have a hard shell case for your trumpet, get one. This case protects your instrument from accidental dents that may affect the tone. The case also protects the trumpet from water and gives it a good cushy place to rest while it is not in use.

Valves

The valves must be kept properly oiled so they work correctly and to reduce wear. If the valves are not oiled well, they will wear down quickly. The oil also helps to flush any dirt or particles that may get inside the valve casing. A good rule of thumb is to oil the valves two or three times a week, but this will depend on how often you use the trumpet. If your instrument has been in storage, always oil it before you play it again.

Slides

You should grease the slides on your trumpet at least twice a month. This will stop them from sticking in place. Once they are stuck, they are hard to get moving again without professional attention. If you find they are stuck, take your trumpet to a professional to get them unstuck and resist trying to fix it yourself. You can cause damage that is beyond repair to your instrument.

The Body

As with any instrument, you should never leave your trumpet out of its case unattended. Many simply leave the instrument sitting on the bell and walk away. It is very easy for someone to walk past and knock it over.

Because of the natural of the metals used to make trumpets, it’s never a good idea to clean the trumpet with just anything. To ensure you are not going to do any damage to your trumpet, talk with a dealer or your trumpets manufacturer about how you should go about cleaning the body of the instrument.

In most cases, it is a good idea to use a soft cloth to gently wipe down the parts of the trumpet your handle to remove body oils from the surface. Don’t use any cleaner unless recommended by the manufacturer.

Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece should slide onto the instrument easily. If you are having trouble getting the piece removed when you are done playing, don’t force it. You can easily cause damage to the instrument. Instead, go to a dealer or repair shop to get it removed. They have a special tool for just this purpose. Some shops will not charge you for this service.

Wrap Up

The better you treat your instrument, the longer it will last. It’s always a good idea to care for your trumpet as suggested in the manual that comes with your instrument. Take your trumpet in to a repair service once a year to make sure its in good working order.

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