A key to good horn
playing is a well maintained horn. If your valves are slow or sticky,
then you won't be able to play up to your potential. If slides don't
move, you can't make quick tuning adjustments during a performance.
eat food or drink any type of sugary liquid, such as soda, juice, or even
sports drinks right before playing.
If you do eat or
drink something, make sure that you brush your teeth. This will remove
anything left over in your mouth. If you follow this guideline, you
will encounter fewer problems with your horn.
your horn regularly.
save you money in the long run, because you won't have to get your horn
chemically cleaned but every several years.
You should oil your valves with
some sort of valve
oil or rotor oil once a week. If you are unsure of what brand to
buy, Al Cass is always a good choice. You can never use too much
oil. There is such a thing as wasting oil, but never using too much.
You should oil under the valve caps and oil
the bearing next to the valve stops with a thicker oil. Key
oil works well. I have also been told that sewing machine also works well.
Oil the valve springs to prevent them from
becoming sticky and slow with valve oil.
At least once a month, run some warm, soapy
water through the valves. Try to use either the garden hose or put
the horn directly under the tap. Nothing is really going to be removed
by simply pouring water into the valve slides. After rinsing out the
valves with clean water,
be sure to re-oil the valves. Doing this once a month, helps prevent lime
deposits from forming in the horn.
Plain and simple, wash out the tubing with
plenty of warm, soapy water at least once a month. As with the valves,
try to use the garden hose or put the horn directly under the tap.
This will help remove the grime.
After doing so, re-rinse making sure all the
soap has been rinsed out.
a soapy residue could be left inside.
You should, ideally, have your horn chemically
cleaned once a year. This is especially so if you tend to play your
horn after eating or drinking anything sugary. However, if you brush
your teeth before you play, and you maintain your horn well, you may not need to chemically clean horn more
than once every few years.
Wipe your valves clean with a rag.
Grease the valves with some sort of lubricant.
Any standard slide grease will work. I like to use the slide grease
that comes in a Chapstick-type container. I feel that it is easier to apply.
(I'm not saying use Chapstick!)
From time to time, it may be necessary to
clean the slides. For that purpose, Brasso works well.
I have also been told that carburetor cleaner works really well. However,
these are chemicals, and they can remove some of the brass off of the
slides. I would not suggest using any harsh chemical like mentioned above
on your horn very often. If you are unsure at all, do not use them!
If your slides are really dirty, I would suggest getting your horn chemically
cleaned by a professional.
If you would like some additional
Matlick of the University of Oklahoma has
written a terrific article!
Also, Johnny Paul of Johnny Paul's
Music Shop wrote a great
article on the subject.