It’s August, It’s hot, and it’s back to school time. Welcome new school year and with the new school year, new students that are exposed to musical instruments. Just like it is important for you to have an instrument for class, the challenge lies in the habits you develop. No one likes broken pencils during a test or a power outage during homework. Perfect Practice makes perfect. With this in mind, the more you do something, the better you will be at it; Consistency. This can be applied to daily life specially a musicians in the form of habits; Playing habits, study habits and cleaning habits. The question that is often ignored is how do I ensure that my instrument is in good conditions thru out the school year?
Here are some tips to help you extend the life and playability of your instrument. Weather it’s a rental instrument, your own or the schools; these are good habits that help you be a better musician.
- Clean it out!!
Cleaning your instrument with a snake (for Brass) or a Swab (for Woodwinds) after every time you play helps your instrument sound better. As well as it helps to prevent any bacteria growing and possible illness. . For string instruments use a rag to wipe any excess rosin on the body and don’t touch the hair on the bow with your bare hands. It helps to extend the use of the instrument by not bringing it in for unnecessary repairs due to neglect.
- Brush your mouthpiece
Brushing your mouthpiece once a week helps to clean out any food that might have been blown into the mouthpiece during the week. Warm water and dish soap works well and brushing every corner and opening to clear anything inside.
- Keep it Dry
Keep you instrument dry by clearing out accumulated liquid on the keys or slides. Open any sprung shut key and blow it away from you to clear out any liquid from the pads. Use a dehumidifier to absorb any liquid left in small quantities to help prevent rotten pads and sticky keys. Empty and shake out any slide to clear out any liquid inside. Blow on you lead pipe and hold water key open to clear out last specs left.
- Drink Water before you play
Drinking water is not just good for you but for your instrument as well. Helps prevent weird smells and situations in your horn and case. As well as a weird taste on your mouthpiece.
If you are practicing these tips keep it up. If you have not, it’s never too late to begin and show you care. If you are wondering about tools to help you maintain your instrument, how they look or how to use them, we have the answer. Contact us to schedule a consultation and get the help, tools, peace of mind you need. At any point if your instrument is not playing or functioning like the first time you got it. Do not hesitate and come see our technicians at the Shop. We hope to see you enjoy music and have a better year than last year with more knowledge and less frustration.