If you already have, or are soon looking to get a Flugel Horn then it’s a good idea to take care of it. After all, instruments are an investment and maintenance is easier than a total overhaul to fix the damage of long term neglect.
So the starting point for this is the day to day management. Oil. Your valves and their casing are usually long lasting and should wear well over time. Nevertheless, it is important to make sure everything is well lubricated for a top playing experience. For a ‘how to’ guide here is a helpful video from our on-site technician.
It can be easy to go overboard with the oil in the hopes of it lasting longer or moving more freely. However, this often has the opposite effect clogging them up. Apply just enough to thinly cover the valve. To ensure it is evenly spread turn the valve a few times in its casing before tightening it up.
In some bands whether you have a Silver or Lacquer Instrument can be a pretty big deal, so you will want to preserve it.
Over time the finish of an instrument will diminish, it’s unavoidable. However, there is an easy way to slow this process down, near indefinitely. Avoid sweat. The sweat that accumulates on your hands while you play can wreak havoc on your instruments finish. The solution is simple, just give your Flugel a quick wipe over before you put it in your case, making sure it is completely dry. Bear in mind that, as the name suggests, the water valve can get rather soggy. As such they could also do with drying off before being safely stowed away in the case to avoid any nasties blooming. Using a Silver or Lacquer cloth can also help your instrument to look its best.
As you undoubtedly already know, brass instruments aren’t as sturdy as they look and can easily dent or get jammed with clumsy handling. Many new players make the mistake of putting their mouthpiece in a little too enthusiastically and get it stuck. If gentle persuasion doesn’t get it out avoid reaching for the pliers. Rather use a tool specifically for the job, such as the Bobcat Mouthpiece Extractor, or see a professional technician.
Also remember that any sudden changes in humidity and temperature will affect your instrument and are worth avoiding as much as reasonably possible. Extended exposure to Sunlight, Rain, Heaters and Air conditioners are less than ideal.
When you have the time
While the day to day maintenance is all very well and good there will come a time when it just won’t be enough. On occasion it is a good idea to treat you Flugel to a bath. To do so just dismantle the horn as much as possible and clean with warm-hot soapy water, (washing up liquid is surprisingly good.) To really clear out whatever nasties have built up inside you instrument and mouthpiece try using some maintenance brushes. It is also worth giving your mouthpiece a quick clean out after any illnesses.
Once you have done this, dry everything as best you can and leave it for an hour or so. This allows the air to dry any hidden crevices you can’t really get to. After this add a small amount of grease to the slides, oil your valves, reassemble and you are ready to go.
Alternatively, you can always come and bring your instrument for our Technician to look over. For a prices estimate and any other information please call us on 01283 535333.
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