You are the music while the music lasts.
T.S. Eliot

Woodwind Instruments:

Use a soft, lint free cloth after playing to reduce the effect of dust on the mechanism and acids and oils from the hands on the plating. Clear the instrument of moisture after every playing session – excess moisture on pads is the greatest contributor to seating problems. Always take the instrument apart after playing and replace in the case. Never leave it together overnight. Try to avoid sudden changes of temperature, for example, don’t blow warm air down the instrument immediately after coming indoors from a cold street. It is best to leave the case open for a few minutes before starting to blow. Don’t play a new instrument for too long at a time. After 30 minutes or so, dry it out thoroughly and leave it apart for another 30 minutes. If the joints become tight to assemble or take apart, don’t play the instrument until the tenons have been freed by a repairer. Don’t store the instrument in extreme temperatures, such as near a radiator or in a cold cloakroom. Apply a light dressing of wood oil to the bore regularly as directed by an experienced teacher.

Brass Instruments:

The two most important factors to remember in caring for your brass instrument are cleanliness and regular lubrication.

Flush out the instrument at least once a month with a mild soapy solution using lukewarm water. Then rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly. Don’t use hot water – it may damage the lacquer. A flexible cleaning brush should be used to clean out slides and tubing, but make sure this is renewed at least twice a year to avoid breakage inside the instrument. Use a valve case cleaning brush to clean out the valve casings (do not use a standard flexible brush). Use a lint-free cloth, such as cheesecloth, as a swab. This may also be used to wipe the pistons which should be very carefully removed and care taken to replace them in the correct sequence. Use only a quality tuning slide grease when lubricating slides and a minimum amount of valve oil on the pistons. Use of inferior lubricants can affect the performance of your instrument. When you have finished playing, loosen the valve caps by half a turn. This avoids the trapped moisture causing corrosion in the screw threads. Make sure that mouthpieces are cleaned thoroughly with warm water and a mouthpiece brush. Deposits in a mouthpiece or mouthpipe can be detrimental in the response of your instrument. Care should be taken when polishing lacquered and silver plated instruments. Harsh abrasives must be avoided at all times and only the correct cleaning cloths are recommended. Try to keep your instrument in an atmosphere of even temperature and humidity, do not leave it in sunlight or near a radiator, even in the case!

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Music Central, Inc.

1003 Skyline Drive Hopkinsville, KY 42240-5067