The Maintenance of Brass instruments is quite different from Strings and
Woodwind. Outlined below are 3 primary things involved with their care.
Washing - It is advisable to clean your instrument internally on a fairly
regular basis. Run a warm bath with a little washing-up liquid to soak the
instrument in (this excludes any rotor instruments such as French Horn, Rotor
Tubas and Rotor Trombones, as the internal mechanisms require special attention
that should be dealt with via a qualified instrument repairer). Leave for
approximately 10 minutes in the water having removed any valves before immersing
the main body. Then run the instrument over with warm water to rinse off any
Cleaning - Brush out all tubes with a "snake" (long wired cleaning brush).
There is also a brush used for the valves and a brush for the mouthpieces (these
should all be available from a music shop). NB. If you have given the instrument
a bath prior to cleaning valves and tubes, make sure that the instrument has
completely dried out before re-assembling.
Lubrication - Trumpets: Unscrew the valve cap and either completely remove
( if bathing first)or lift halfway. Apply valve oil to wide part of valve and
push valve back into position. All valves have a guide to hold them properly in
place. If you are unsure as to whether the valve is correctly in place, gently
turn the valve. A soft click will be heard once in place and the valve will no
longer want to move. Placing fingers on the top of each valve cap, push up and
down till the action is smooth. A drop of valve oil is also need for the valve
bottom caps before replacing them. N.B All valves are numbered so that they are
fitted into the correct location without mistakes!
Trombones: Apply a small amount of Slide grease to the slides and
re-assemble. For the main Slide use either Slide Cream of oil.
Common Accidents - Be careful not over force when inserting the
mouthpiece. It can easily get stuck, though most music establishments have the
appropriate apparatus to remove them and will not charge for the service. Do not
lean on the bell of the instrument when applying the mouthpiece or just resting
from playing. It is an expensive mistake and though it can be repaired, it is
When cleaning, take care when removing any slides, valves and valve bottom
caps. Any dents made in the bell of the instrument are much easier to restore
than if the slides themselves get dented. If in doubt or if the slides and
valves do not move with gentle pressure, bring it in to a qualified instrument
repairer rather than risk further damaging the instrument.
One other topic to consider is
instrument repairs, evaluate who you would trust with your
Yamaha clarinet. It is always best to choose a reputable company.
The safest place for an instrument that is not being played is in its
Instruments with water keys need to have them opened and blown into,
either when play has finished or during prolonged playing time. This removes the
excess moisture from inside the instrument. Use a cloth to then wipe away any
oils or perspiration from the hands.