Sometimes you can be so busy thinking about competitions or drill choreography that the care and keeping up of your brass instrument completely falls by the wayside. Dirty, poorly maintained instruments can affect pitch, volume and quality of sound, and that can be the biggest faux pas of all when you get to an important competition. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on top of instrument maintenance:
Clean often and thoroughly
Whether you're using a tool like the Quick Horn Rinse, or doing it the old-fashioned way in the bathtub, your brass instrument requires regular cleaning. Dust, dirt, saliva and a lot of other gross things can accumulate within and all over your instrument and alter your sound. Typically, you should be cleaning out the interior of your instrument at least once a month. Other cleaning routines, like wiping down the exterior surface, can and should be done a bit more frequently.
Improper storage of your brass instrument can lead to a lot of unsuspected damage. For instance, any weight on top of the instrument, even sheet music, can cause significant harm. It's important to store your instrument securely in its case without using it as a prop for more equipment or tossing it into a closet.
Be wary of temperatures
Whether we're talking about the temperature of the water you clean it in or the temperature of your storage facility, you should be aware of how warm and cool temperatures influence the tuning of your instrument. You'll want to avoid exposing your instrument to any extreme temperatures, like in the trunk of a car outside on a summer day or a blistering winter one, to prevent this kind of damage.
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