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Baritone Horn Care

Baritone Horn Care Menu

Care of your Baritone or Euphonium

This simple maintenance routine will keep your baritone or euphonium playing and looking its best for many years.

  Baritone anatomy

Before you play

  • Oil your valves.  Unscrew the cap on the 1st valve, pull the piston out half way, and put a few drops of valve oil on the wide part of the piston.  Lower the piston back into place and turn it until you hear a click and the piston won't turn further; then screw the cap back on.  Follow the same procedure with the 2nd and 3rd valves.
  • Place the mouthpiece into the mouthpiece receiver and gently twist it in.   (If your mouthpiece becomes stuck, don't use force or tools to try to get it out as your instrument is made of  brass, a soft metal, and damages easily.  Amro, and maybe your band director, have a special tool to get stuck mouthpieces out quickly and easily.)

When you finish playing

  • Hold each water key open and blow the moisture out of your instrument.
  • Remove the mouthpiece and put it in its special compartment (so it doesn't bounce around in the case and dent your instrument).
  • Wipe the fingerprints off your instrument with your polish cloth.  (Fingerprints contain acid and will cause your instrument to tarnish and lose its shine.)
  • Put your instrument in its case and fasten the latches.  (Most instrument damage occurs when it's left out on a chair, a table, a bed, or on the floor.)
  • Check for loose items in your case that could bounce into your instrument and dent or scratch it. 
  • Don't store anything (music, towel, etc.) on top of your instrument in its case that might push on the slides and bend them.

Periodically

  • Clean your mouthpiece with a mouthpiece brush, dish soap, and warm water.
  • Thoroughly clean your horn's finish with your polish cloth.  (Liquid polish is not recommended as it can remove your instrument's finish.)
  • Apply a little grease to the slides.  Pull them out one-at-a-time, wipe them clean with a soft cloth, rub a small amount of slide grease on them, and carefully insert them back into your instrument.
  • Every few months wash out the insides of your instrument to keep it sanitary and working smoothly.  Disassemble your instrument in a large sink or bathtub of warm water and mild dish soap.  (Be very careful with the disassembled parts as the smallest dent will prevent them from fitting back in your instrument and moving properly.  A soft towel on the counter and at the bottom of the sink or tub will cushion any falls.)  Use your valve and tube brushes to gently scrub the insides of your instrument.  Rinse thoroughly and dry off the parts.  Apply a small amount of grease to the slides and put them back into your instrument.  The valve pistons are numbered and must be in the right casings for the instrument to play; the valve closest to you when you play is #1.  Apply a few drops of valve oil to each piston, turn it in its casing until you hear the valve guide click into place, and then screw down the valve cap.  Test play your instrument; if some of the notes won't play, either the pistons are in the wrong casings or the valve guides didn't click into place.  (If your pistons stick down sometimes, your instrument probably needs cleaning; if they stick down every time, there is probably a small dent the repair shop will need to remove.)
  • Bring your instrument to the Amro repair shop at least once a year and any time you feel it's not playing its best.  We'll inspect and test it free of charge, usually while you wait.  And if you have Amro’s Maintenance & Replacement plan, any adjustments and repair it needs are free.