To keep your instrument in good condition, you need to take care of it correctly. We have put together this brief guide of hints and tips to help you.
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- Ensure no food, sweets or sugary drinks are consumed just before or during play as this can clog up the instrument
- Check that the valves still have a sufficient amount of oil on them
- Wipe the instrument down after play with a cloth. Sweat can cause issues to lacquer if this is not cleaned sufficiently
- Check the instrument over. If something looks out of place, ask your teacher to have a look at it.
- Take the valve out of it’s casing
- Wash this down with warm soapy water. Make sure any residue is removed
- Give the internal casing a wipe down with a damp cloth and a cleaning brush
- Make sure both the valve and the casing are dry
- Put a few drops of valve oil on the bottom section of the valve, spinning this to make sure the whole surface has a thin layer of oil
- Replace the valve and repeat with the other two (we suggest to do one valve at a time to avoid any confusion)
- If, when you blow the instrument, there is no sound coming out, you may need to twist the valves into another position
- Give the mouthpiece a wash with warm soapy water using a cleaning brush
- The instrument will need bathing to clean the inside. Fill your bath with warm water and washing liquid (not a great deal needed) so the instrument is partially submerged
- Take the valves, mouthpiece, valve caps and tuning slides off the instrument and leave them to soak in the bath for about 20 minutes (SEE MAIN IMAGE AT THE TOP OF THIS ARTICLE)
- Take a cleaning brush and clean the valve casing, valves and mouthpiece thoroughly.
- Rinse the instrument thoroughly, making sure that there are no suds left
- Dry as much as you can. Leave the inside to dry naturally
- Once dry, oil up the valves (as above), grease the slides and put the instrument back together
- Please note, some manufacturers engrave the valve number onto the valve as they will not work correctly if put back into the incorrect hole.