An Easy Guide to Caring for Your Instrument


With the beginning of a new year and new classes there are many who take band or orchestra, completely unaware of how to take care of their new instrument.

Never fear! In our Music Department we’ve put together some simple brochures on how to care for brass, woodwind, and string instruments. Here’s the highlights:

For Every Instrument:

  • Do not leave in extreme hot or cold (cars, windows, etc.). Temperature extremes may cause the instrument to crack.

For All String Instruments:

  • Wash your hands before you play! Every day with a lint-free cloth, de-gunk your fingerboard. That black stuff is oxidized finger oil, and it slows you down. Washing your hands helps prevent this!
  • Always loosen the bow when putting it away in the case.
  • Never touch the hair of the bow. The oils in your skin will prevent rosin from sticking to the bow hair.
  • Only tighten the bow enough to fit a pencil between the hair and stick of the bow. They bow should still have a “bow” to it.
  • Clean rosin dust off the strings and belly of your instrument daily using a soft cloth.
  • Do not leave your instrument on the floor or in other vulnerable areas where it may be stepped or sat on.
  • Fingerboard tape is the only acceptable adhesive. It is used on the fingerboard and on the stick of the bow, never on the finish of the instrument. Stickers leave behind a messy residue when removed.

For Wind AND Brass Instruments:

  • Do not use silver polish or jewelry polish on the instrument. Silver polish is an abrasive, which is somewhat like sandpaper. You will wear through the silver plating. Treated cleaning cloths are available.
  • Wipe fingerprints off of finish regularly. Especially silver-plated instruments. Polish flutes every 1-3 months.

For All Wind Instruments:

  • Do not play right after eating. Be sure your mouth is clean. Any food, sugar, or other residue will ruin the pads on your instrument.
  • Never play with gum in your mouth. It can end up either inside the instrument or you may swallow it on inhaling.
  • Swab out the inside of your instrument every time you finish playing to prevent residue build up. Moisture left on the instrument may trigger rust in the springs and screws.
  • Grease corks often–cork will tear if this is not done. Wipe excess grease off instrument.

For All Brass Instruments

  • Do not play right after eating. Be sure your mouth is clean. Any food, sugar, or other residue will ruin the valves on your instrument.
  • Never play with gum in your mouth. It can end up either inside the instrument or you may swallow it on inhaling.
  • Clean the inside of the mouthpiece every time you finish playing to prevent residue buildup.
  • Chemical clean about every 1-2 years to remove buildup and maintain finish.
  • Oil valves about 2 times a week. Grease the slides about once a month.

There are other maintenance tips we can give you, but these are just the basics to get you through. For any other questions you might have, feel free to stop by our music department and we can answer them. 🙂

Advertisements

What do you think? Leave a comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s