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Hello fellow brass players,
I am new to the list, and this is one of my first postings, so please make
allowances for any errors.
I've been involved with music most of my life, playing mainly woodwinds, and
only recently have decided to attempt playing brass. As an adult beginner
there are many things I don't know, and, having a full time job, my time for
practice or lessons is limited. Basically, (although I intend to change this
soon) I am presently teaching myself from books. There are many topics which,
no doubt, are second nature and "obvious" to the experienced brass players on
this list, but which are not known to me. I would appreciate your assistance
in answering my questions, even if they seem rather obvious to you.
Specifically: I would like to know what the correct procedure is, for
cleaning and maintaining a cornet or trumpet. As a former oboist/current
flutist I'm accustomed to drawing a swab down the bore of the oboe (or using
a cleaning rod for the flute) -- and I do not know what brass players do, vis
a vis cleaning.
Right now, my procedure is:
1. Open case, take out cornet (or trumpet), open each valve, remove piston,
oil piston, replace it in valve casing (carefully),
2. Play the instrument for anywhere from half an hour to two hours,
3. Drain "spit" valves,
4. Wipe instrument off with appropriate silver or lacquer cleaning cloth
5. Take pistons out, oil them again, (oil first and third valve triggers on
6. Put instrument away.
Now, I have heard that some people clean out the tubing, and I do this about
every third playing session. Here's how: I carefully hold the horn under a
tap of running lukewarm water, run water into the bell and into the lead
pipe. I run it into the opened valve casings, too. I rarely remove the
crooks. I have used a trumpet leadpipe swab once (and was shocked at how much
junk was in there!) I do not use a "snake" on either my trumpet or my cornet.
Also from time to time I use a mouthpiece brush on the mouthpiece; and
occasionally, I draw a soft cloth through the valve casings, using an old
flute cleaning rod.
I'm sorry this post is a little long, but I *love* my cornet and trumpet, and
want them to last a long time. Here's what is bothering me: first, I don't
know if I'm adequately cleaning them, especially all the tubing (as opposed
to the valves). Second, I never use a "snake" and I worry about accumulations
of -- whatever -- in the tubing... also about corrosion inside the tubing
from the washings... Third, I do nothing to clean the pistons, except
occasionally rinsing them... In other words, I don't know if I'm cleaning and
maintaining the horns properly.
I would very much appreciate any advice, of any length, from the members of
this list, as to their own cleaning/maintenance regimens. Thank you for any
advice you may send in reply!
P.S., thanks to all those on the brass list who responded to my query
regarding Getzen brand and mouthpiece types... your answers were eagerly read
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