Maintaining your musical instrument is the ultimate job for a musician. But without proper knowledge, you can’t do anything. It might cause some damage or anything else. So better to learn first and act according to it. Maintaining trombone is not an easy task. It requires so many detailing and focuses. Because without proper care you can’t play your trombone the way you want. Here we list down a few basic tips about how to take care and maintenance of a Trombone.
1. Daily Care and Maintenance of a Trombone
How to prepare the slide
- The inner part of the slide should first be cleaned off any dirt. A slide cream is then applied on the end sections of the slide which are slightly thicker. Slide grease is not advised for use on this part.
- A water spray bottle is used to effectively moisten the slide after application of the slide cream. Just blow away the slide oil if it’s what you used. Using water free of any chlorine such as mineral water is recommended, but you can also use regular tap water in the water spray bottle.
- The inner slide can be inserted into the outer slide. The two sections are then slid back and forth many times so that the cream can spread evenly.
If the slide slugs when the trombone being played, you should moisten it with the water spray bottle. When performing using a trombone and such a case happens, a small water spray bottle present in your pocket could provide so much help!
How to Grease the Rotary Valve (Bass and Tenor bass Trombones)
On bass and tenor bass trombones, rotor oil could be applied to the rotary valve via the slide receiver.
When Should The Slide Oil And Slide Cream Be Use?
Both of these lubricants do allow smoother movement of the slide. Personal preference is what determines whether to use slide oil or slide cream. Your instrument’s condition, as well as the amount of oil or cream, applied to it changes how it feels while playing, so it recommended that you to discover the amount you are most comfortable with. For instance, Yamaha slide oil has an anti-rust agent that prevents the interior part of the slide from rusting.
How Much Slide Cream Should one Apply?
It is recommended that one ought to apply enough cream such that the slide can still be visible under it.
Note: If the slide slows down 10 -15 minutes during play, you should have a professional check the slide at the shop.
The slide oil cannot be able to lubricate the slide if it happens to be dirty. Before you apply the slide oil, ensure to clean thoroughly any moisture or dirt from the outer part of the inner slide and the inner part of the outer slide. Avoid applying any unreasonable force on the slides when cleaning.
Cleaning the slide
- In order to remove all moisture from the inner part of the slide, open the water key.
- On the cleaning rod, wrap a polishing gauze around it so that the metal remains unexposed. You will then clean inside the outer slide and inner slide. Ensure there is no gauze left inside the tube after removing the cleaning rod. Grip both the gauze and cleaning rod to pull it out from the instrument while holding the slide brace.
How to Maintain The Exterior Part
On a trombone’s main slide, F attachment and the silver parts are well finished with the same kind of lacquer as all other parts. The colors are quite different due to the fact that the materials are also different. The finishing on all the surfaces is the same. To maintain the outer part of the Trombone, you can either polish it with any lacquer polish or gently wipe it with a polishing cloth.
To wipe off dirt from an instrument which is nickel-plated, you need to use a metal polish such as a polishing agent. This will restore the metal to its good condition.
Is the Paint Peeling Off? This Is What You Need To Do
If the paint is peeling, it will be easy to notice copper rust which is green-colored on the metal surfaces that are bare. The copper rust can be removed by polishing the instrument using a metal polish, and if the rust happens to form on a part of the instrument that is touched often when playing, the instrument should then be repainted at the shop.
2. Weekly Care and Maintenance of a Trombone
How to Clean the tuning slide
- A polishing gauze is wrapped around the cleaning rod to ensure that the metal isn’t exposed. The cleaning rod is inserted it to remove dirt from the inner part of the outer and inner tuning slide. After removing the cleaning rod, also ensure no gauze left inside the tube.
- Clean dirt from the inner tuning slide surface using some gauze, then apply small amounts of slide grease. The grease is used on tuning slides only but not on the slide. Now slide the tuning slides several times back and forth so that the grease can distribute evenly. If a hard stick grease was used, there will be no much stretching, and the film could be uneven. In this case, it may easily dry out. If you feel worried about this, spread a soft type slide grease using a finger over the entire surface.
- If the tuning slide’s movement becomes sluggish, there could rust, dirt, or scratches on the inner tuning slide surface and outer tuning slide. The tuning slide could also be twisted. If you use polishing gauze to thoroughly clean the tuning surfaces, after even applying slide grease, and the movement still slows down, have the trombone inspected and repaired by a professional at the shop.
Image Credit:- Yamaha.com
Note: Do not use Valve oil on the tuning slide, as it is meant for pistons.
How to Maintain the Rotary Valve
- Rotor oil is applied to the rotary valve via the slide receiver end.
- The valve cap of the rotary is removed and a little spindle oil is applied to the center of that rotary valve as well as the entire area that supports its shaft.
- You also need to apply a little amount of spindle oil to the shaft that rotates the rotor and its receiver. After applying the oil, close up the valve cap and so that the oil distributed evenly, move the lever for a few times.
- Now apply some lever oil to the mechanism that supports the lever.
Note: At the time when you are inserting the bottle tip, don’t make it contact directly on the outer tuning slide on the inner part. This is observed so as to prevent oil from mixing with dirt or grease on the inner part of the slide.
Since the tip of the oil bottle is metallic, you need to be very careful so that it doesn’t make contact directly with the rotor.
Other Ways of Care and Maintenance of a Trombone
How to Clean the Mouthpiece
Prepare a water solution using brass soap. Then mix 1 part brass soap with 10-15 parts warm water with a temperature of 30°C – 40°C.
The mouthpiece brush is soaked in the solution, then used to clean the throat of the mouthpiece. You can now do a thorough rinsing of the mouthpiece throat with clean water.
Cleaning the small parts
Using a piece of twisted gauze into a string clean all the small parts of your trombone.
Cleaning the water keyhole
Use a tone hole cleaner to clean the water keyhole if it is dirty.
3. Monthly Care and Maintenance of a Trombone
Cleaning Inside Part Of The Trombone
- Prepare a water solution using brass soap. Then mix 1 part brass soap with 10-15 parts warm water at a temperature of 30°C – 40°C.
- Apply this solution to a flexible brush cleaner and clean the inside part of the instrument using it.
- After you have cleaned, rinse the brass soap out using water. Now use some gauze to dry it completely, apply some slide oil, and finally apply a small amount of slide grease onto the tuning slide.