In today's blog, we'll be reviewing the 5 most important reasons to clean and maintain your instrument.
Even with the best personal hygiene habits, some scientists estimate that we have around 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of our skin! Additionally, the human mouth contains even more than that! Since all musical instruments involve your hands, mouth, or both, it's vitally important that we keep them clean after each use. Leaving an instrument in the case after playing it without cleaning it creates a breeding ground for germs and mold or mildew to set in. In other words, you'll be exposing yourself to thousands (probably more) of germs every time you play your instrument. Yikes! However, there's hope. Following a proper cleaning protocol for your instrument will help prevent new bacteria from growing and living inside your instrument. You can also do a deep sanitization of your instrument periodically.
In addition to health and safety benefits, another great reason to keep your instrument clean is that it improves your tone quality. Because a musical instrument is a precision piece of equipment, cleaning and maintenance should be part of your regular routine. Each time you play your instrument, moisture, and/or dirt particles start building up both inside and on the surface of your instrument. This buildup can actually change the sound and tone of your instrument. That's why it's so important to clean it each time you use it.
Another reason it's important to regularly clean and maintain your instrument is that regular maintenance can help prevent costly repairs. If you allow dirt, moisture, and other debris to accumulate in your instrument, it can destroy the pads, finish, rust the springs, and corrode strings and other metal parts. These problems are not cheap to fix and can lead to serious issues down the line. You may think you don't have time to clean your instrument each time you play, but you'll actually be missing out on much more playing time while your instrument is in the shop.
Instrument maintenance also aids in the functionality and playability of your instrument. When debris, grease, oil, and other particles build up, your instrument simply won't work properly. Valves become sticky and sluggish, springs and screws get clogged, pads stick and make unwanted sounds, and instruments can even go out of tune. Essentially, maintaining your instrument will actually help you sound better and play complex passages with more ease and efficiency. Your instrument should enhance your skills and talents, not hinder them.
Music, for most people, isn't just a hobby you pick up and then quit after a few months. Those of us who fall in love with it are musicians for life. That's why instrument maintenance is so important to the longevity of your instrument. You've invested time, money, hard work, sweat, and tears into your practice. You don't want to waste all those efforts! Whether you're just a beginner or someone who's been playing their entire life, your instrument is vital to your journey as a musician.
Ready to learn more about instrument maintenance? Follow the links below to your instrument for tips on care and cleaning, as well as an instructional video on care and maintenance. Happy cleaning!
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