Instrument Care and Maintenance

Flute / Piccolo Care 

Assembly
 
For a step by step assembly process with pictures click on the following website: http://www.zacharymusic.com/Zachary_Music/FLcarePics.htm
 
Daily Care

1. When removing your flute from its case never pick it up by its keys. Remove it by the ends where there are no keys.

2. Put the flute together with a slow back-and-forth twisting motion, never push or pull the flute when assembling or disassembling.This can cause the instrument to become bent at the joints.

3. Each time you put the flute together, a small amount of debris will build-up on the tenons (this is normal), making it difficult to assemble. Always wipe the tenons (joints) with a soft cloth before assembling.

4. The use of lubricants on the tenons is not recommended - this can cause damage over time.

5. After you are finished playing, use a cleaning rod with an absorbent cloth to swab out the inside of all parts to remove moisture.  Carefully wipe off the outside of the flute to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands. Do not polish the headjoint on the flute, as it will leave black residue on your mouth after playing!

6. Always store your flute in its case when not in use. This helps prevent damage and aids in keeping the instrument from tarnishing. Do not place anything in the case that can press on the flute, this can bend keys. Never set your instrument on a stand as it may collapse!

Monthly Care

Check all screws and pivots to see if they are coming loose. If they are, take your flute to a repair shop to have them adjusted. It is not suggested that you try and adjust them yourself because they can be over tightened or damaged. If you have trouble playing a key, a spring may also be out of place. Come see Ms. Nederhiser if you notice a problem.

Yearly Care
It is recommended that you have your instrument checked and adjusted, if needed, by a repair shop. The shop may find adjustments or worn pads that are effecting the optimal performance of your instrument.
 
 
Clarinet Care
 
Assembly
 
For a step by step assembly process with pictures click on the following website:
 
Daily Care

1. When removing your clarinet from its case never pick it up by the keys. Remove it by the ends where there are no keys. Since the keys are made of soft metal, they can be easily bent if improperly handled when assembling.

2. When putting your clarinet together, first apply a small amount of cork grease to the tenon corks.

3.Put the clarinet together with a slow back-and-forth twisting motion, never push or pull the clarinet when assembling or disassembling as this can damage the tenon or tear the cork. When assembling the two middle joints, wrap your left fingers on the upper joint around the Larger Ring Key (the one furthest from you on the upper joint). If you depress the large ring key on the Upper Joint, the bridge key will lift, thus avoiding damage when assembling the two middle joints.   

4. When tightening the screws on the ligature, the device that holds the reed on the mouthpiece, take care not to over tighten them this can cause the screw to break.

5. After you are finished playing, pull a cleaning swab through all parts of the clarinet to remove moisture. Carefully wipe off the outside of the instrument and keys to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands. Always take care in removing the reed, making sure to store it in a reed guard/case.

6. Always store your clarinet in its case when not in use. This helps prevent damage and aids in keeping the instrument clean. Do not place anything in the case that can press on the clarinet as this can bend keys. Never set your instrument on a stand or upright on the floor as it may collapse!

Monthly Care

Check all screws and pivots to see if they are coming loose. If they are, take your clarinet to a repair shop to have them adjusted. It is not suggested that you try and adjust them yourself because they can be over tightened or damaged.

Yearly Care

It is recommended that you have your instrument checked and adjusted, if needed, by a repair shop. The shop may find adjustments or worn pads that are effecting the optimal performance of your instrument. 

Saxophone Care

Assembly
 
For a step by step assembly process with pictures click on the following website:
http://www.zacharymusic.com/Zachary_Music/AScarePics.htm
 
 
Daily Care

1. When removing your saxophone from its case never pick it up by the keys. Remove it by picking it up by the bell.

2. When assembling your saxophone be sure to wipe the neck joint and inside of the receiver with a soft cloth. This will make it easier to assemble.

3. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the mouthpiece cork to help the mouthpiece move into position.

4. When tightening the screws on the ligature, the device that holds the reed on the mouthpiece, take care not to over tighten them this can cause the screw to break.

5. After you are finished playing, pull a cleaning swab through the saxophone to remove moisture. Carefully wipe off the outside of the instrument and keys to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands. Always make sure to put the end plug on your instrument to keep the octave pin from bending!

6. Always store your saxophone in its case when not in use, this helps prevent damage and aids in keeping the instrument clean. Do not place books or folders in the case as this can bend keys. Always take care in removing the reed, making sure to store it in a reed guard/case.

Monthly Care

Check all screws and pivots to see if they are coming loose. If the are, take your saxophone to a repair shop to have them adjusted. It is not suggested that you try and adjust them yourself because they can be over tightened or damaged.

Yearly Care

It is recommended that you have your instrument checked and adjusted, if needed, by a repair shop. The shop may find adjustments or worn pads that are effecting the optimal performance of your instrument.

BRASS CARE

Trumpet Care (And Other Valve Instruments)

Daily Care

1. Valves on brass instruments need to be lubricated on a regular basis. To do this: (a) Unscrew the valve cap and pull the valve out about half way. (b) Apply a drop of valve oil to the wide part of the valve. Push the valve back into position making sure that it is lined up correctly. (Note): The valve has a guide that keeps it in place. To check for correct alignment gently try to turn the valve. If it doesn't turn it is lined up. If it turns keep turning the valve till you hear a slight "click" and the valve stops turning.

2. Occasionally a mouthpiece will become stuck in the horn. If this happens don't try force to remove it - this can cause major damage to the instrument. Take it to Ms. Nederhiser or music store to have it removed. There is a special tool used to remove the mouthpiece that will not damage the instrument.

3. After you are finished playing make sure you remove any excess moisture from the inside of the horn by opening the water keys and blowing through the instrument. Carefully wipe off the outside of the instrument to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands.

4. Always store your trumpet in its case when not in use. This helps prevent damage and aids in keeping the instrument clean. Do not place books or folders in the case as this can bend slides and cause valve problems. Make sure that your mouthpiece is properly stored in its holder or in a case, so it will not dent the instrument.

Monthly Care

1. Check all slides to see that they move freely and lubricate them with slide grease if needed.

2. The inside of your instrument needs to be cleaned regularly. This may not be needed every month but should be done at least every 3 months. See the section below on Brass Cleaning for more information.

Yearly Care

If you clean your instrument on a regular basis you may not need any additional yearly care, however, repair shops have the ability to chemically clean your instrument which is a more thorough cleaning than can be done at home.

Trombone Care

Assembly
 
For a step by step assembly process with pictures click on the following website
 
Daily Care

1. Great care is needed when handling your trombone. The smallest bump or dent in the slide can cause problems with its proper movement. Due to the precision needed in adjustment of the slide, repairs are time consuming and costly so...Be Careful!

2. The slide needs to be lubricated on a regular basis. Apply a small amount of slide oil or cream to the boot area of the slide as needed. The boot is at the very end of the slide, so be careful not to allow the slide to slip off the trombone.

3. Occasionally a mouthpiece will become stuck in the trombone. If this happens don't try force to remove it - this can cause major damage to the instrument. Take it to Ms. Nederhiser or a repair shop where they use a special tool to remove the mouthpiece.

4. After you are finished playing make sure you remove any excess moisture from the inside of the trombone by opening the water key and blowing through the instrument. Carefully wipe off the outside of the trombone to remove oils or perspiration caused by your hands.

5. Always store your trombone in its case when not in use, this helps prevent damage and aids in keeping the instrument clean. Do not place books or folders in the case, this can bend slides and cause problems. Also, make sure that your mouthpiece is properly stored in its holder or in a case. If loose, it will dent the instrument.

Monthly Care

1. Check the tuning slide to see that it moves freely and lubricate it with slide grease if needed.

2. The inside of your trombone needs to be cleaned regularly. This may not be needed every month but should be done at least every 3 months. See the section below on Brass Cleaning for more information.

Yearly Care

If you clean your instrument on a regular basis you may not need any additional yearly care, however, repair shops have the ability to chemically clean your instrument which is a more thorough cleaning than can be done at home. 

Brass Cleaning

Brass instruments need to be cleaned internally on a regular basis. The following is a description of that process. Please note that rotor instruments such as French Horns, Rotor Tubas, and Rotor Trombones should not be cleaned at home, they have special requirements and should only be cleaned by a qualified repair shop.

To clean your instrument you must take it apart completely. You will also need some cleaning brushes (available at music stores), valve oil, slide grease, and some liquid dish soap. You will also need a place to clean the instrument. Unless you have a large sink, the bath tub is probably the best place.

1. Carefully remove all slides, valves and valve bottom caps. Extreme care should be taken with trombone slides as they are very delicate, especially when they are apart! If any of the slides are stuck take your instrument to a repair shop to have them removed. They can be damaged if not removed properly.

2. Place all the parts, except for the valves, in warm, not hot, water containing some liquid dish soap. Let the instrument parts soak in the water for about 10 minutes.

3. While the instrument soaks, take the valves and run warm water over them and brush out all openings in the valves with the valve brush. Be careful to not get the felt on the valves wet. Shake off any extra water and set valves aside to dry.

4.Next brush out all tubes with the "snake" and the valve casings with the valve brush. Be sure to clean any debris from inside the valve bottom caps.

5. Use clean water to rinse out the instrument and then set it on a dry, soft surface to dry thoroughly. It is important that the inside of your instrument is completely dry before you proceed.

6. Apply a small amount of slide grease to each slide and reassemble. Be sure not to put slide grease on the main trombone slide. Use slide cream or slide oil on this slide.

7. Install the valve bottom caps. Put a drop of valve oil on each valve and install them in their proper location. Valves are numbered and must be in the correct location to operate properly.

8. You are finished. Enjoy playing your newly cleaned instrument!
 
Information adapted from  http://www.musiccenters.com/care.html
Comments