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Musical Resources
  • Trumpet Care and Maintenance
  • Mary Brainerd
Trumpet Care and Maintenance

Care and Maintenance of a Trumpet
Weekly care and maintenance

Carefully remove the slides and wrap a polishing gauze around a cleaning rod so that the metallic part of the cleaning rod's tip is not exposed. Now proceed as follows:

  1. Remove the dirt from inside the middle and outer slides.
  2. Lubricate the slides that have triggers attached to them (the first and third slides) using tuning slide oil. Work each slide back and forth two or three times to work in the oil.
  3. Apply a small amount of slide grease to the slides that do not have triggers attached to them (the main slide and the second slide). Work each slide back and forth two or three times to work in the grease.
Remove the dirt from inside the middle and outer slides
 
Lubricate the slides that have triggers attached to them (the first and third slides) using tuning slide oil
 
Apply a small amount of slide grease to the slides that do not have triggers attached to them (the main slide and the second slide)

Apply slide grease to the main tuning slide and the second valve slide, and tuning slide oil to the first and third valve slide.
Oil is applied to allow smooth movement while playing, so that the first and third valve slides can be used to control pitch. If grease, such as that used on the main tuning slide and second valve slide, is applied to these components, it will be more difficult to achieve a smooth movement. On the other hand, because movement of the main tuning slide and second valve slide during play is undesirable, tuning slide oil is not used on these parts.
This is the reason grease and oil are used differently.

Make up a solution of brass soap, consisting of 10-15 parts warm water (30°C-40°C) to one part brass soap. Soak a mouthpiece brush in the brass soap solution and clean the mouthpiece by pushing the brush through the throat. Now use clean water to wash off the mouthpiece.

Make up a solution of brass soap

Twist a polishing gauze into a thin strand and use it to carefully clean the intricate parts of the instrument.

Use a tone-hole cleaner to remove dirt from the water-key hole.

Cleaning the water key hole

 

Care and Maintenance of a Trumpet
Monthly care and maintenance

  1. Wrap a polishing gauze around a cleaning rod so that the metallic part of the cleaning rod's tip is not exposed, and use it to wipe dirt from the inside of the valve casings.
  2. Wipe dirt off the pistons using a polishing gauze. Insert the pistons into the valve casings and apply two or three drops of valve oil to the valve casings.
Wrap a polishing gauze around a cleaning rod so that the metallic part of the cleaning rod's tip is not exposed, and use it to wipe dirt from the inside of the valve casings
 
Wipe dirt off the pistons using a polishing gauze. Insert the pistons into the valve casings and apply two or three drops of valve oil to the valve casings

Make up a solution of brass soap, consisting of 10-15 parts warm water (30°C-40°C) to one part brass soap.

  1. Soak a flexible cleaning brush in the brass soap solution and use it to wash the inside of the tube.
  2. After removing the dirt, use clean water to wash off the brass soap. Thoroughly dry the inside of the tube using a gauze and then apply oil or grease. After removing all moisture with gauze, apply oil and grease.
Soak a flexible cleaning brush in the brass soap solution and use it to wash the inside of the tube
 
After removing the dirt, use clean water to wash off the brass soap. Thoroughly dry the inside of the tube using a gauze and then apply oil or grease. 
After removing all moisture with gauze, apply oil and grease

After cleaning your instrument you should use one type of valve oil until the next time you clean the instrument. When changing valve oil types, washing away or wiping off any old oil from within the piston and the valve casing will allow the most to be made of the new oil’s properties. Depending on the oils, mixing oils together may cause stickiness and prevent the true benefits of the oil from being obtained.
This is also true for products from the same company. For example, Yamaha Valve Oil and Yamaha Valve Oil Light feature the same basic ingredients but differ in the small amounts of additives, etc. used. If possible, we recommend that you wipe off old oil and clean the instrument before using different oil.

Water key cork becomes soft due to water absorption with extended use. Left as-is, the cork will become damaged so that the key is unable to fulfil its role, so it’s best to replace it. You can purchase cork as a standalone product at musical instrument stores. Simply use quick-setting adhesive to attach cork to water keys.

  • Mary Brainerd

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