Once you’ve begun playing with the instrument of your choice, you’ll notice wear and tear on your equipment. This is an entirely normal event and with a few simple steps can be prevented or averted entirely. For ease of reading, we’ll look at both woodwinds and brass, and the common things that can afflict them and cause you problems.
Woodwind instruments encompass a range of different instruments; these include but are not limited to: clarinet, flute, bassoon, and saxophone. Care for woodwinds and string instruments are quite similar in their up-keep. For these instruments, you’ll have to watch out for extremes of both temperatures, as they can warp the wood, cause your pads to fall off, or your strings to lose their desired tightness. This can easily be prevented by keeping your instrument in a relatively constant environment, and you should never leave it outside or in your car. Make sure not to let moisture from saliva or dampness stay on your instrument for extended periods of time, as this can cause a breakdown in the wood. To prevent this, always clean your instruments after use. It’s also important to learn the correct way to assemble and handle your instruments when you purchase them to help prevent damage.
Brass instruments include: Trumpet, trombone, tuba, and French horn, as well as a few others. Unlike woodwinds, because they’re metal, brass instruments are inherently more durable. However, that does not mean that they are invulnerable to wear and tear. Just like with woodwinds, you have to make sure to consistently clean out the saliva and spit from the mouthpieces and body to prevent build up. It’s also important to keep your valves oiled to prevent scratching and rust, which can lead to permanent damage. Lastly, just as with the woodwinds, it’s important not to let the environment or temperatures damage the instrument.
For all instruments, if you handle them with the care and attention that they deserve, then they should last for years!
Written by Amadeus Nunaley