Care of Your Trumpet
This simple maintenance routine will keep your trumpet playing and looking its best for many years.
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. (Take great care when handling the pistons as the slightest dent will cause them to stick in their casings.)
- 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 trumpet is made of soft brass and can be damaged easily. Amro, and maybe your band director, have a special tool to get stuck mouthpieces out quickly and easily without damaging your trumpet.)
When you finish playing
- Hold each water key open and blow the moisture out of your trumpet.
- Remove the mouthpiece and put it in its special compartment in the case (so it doesn't bounce around in the case and dent your trumpet).
- Wipe the fingerprints off your trumpet with your trumpet polish cloth. (Fingerprints contain acid that will cut through your trumpet's lacquer finish and allow your trumpet to tarnish. The special lacquer polish cloth contains just the right amount of polish to keep your trumpet's finish clean and bright. Don't use liquid brass polish as it will remove the clear lacquer finish.)
- Put your trumpet in its case and fasten the latches. (Most trumpet damage occurs when the trumpet is left out on a chair, a table, a bed, or on the floor. If you'd like to leave it out, use a trumpet stand.)
- Check for loose items in your case that could bounce into your trumpet and dent or scratch it.
- Don't store anything (music, towel, etc.) on top of your trumpet in its case as they would push on the slides and bend them.
- Clean your mouthpiece with a mouthpiece brush, dish soap, and warm water.
- Thoroughly clean your trumpet's finish with your trumpet polish cloth. (Liquid polish is not recommended as it can remove your trumpet'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 trumpet.
- Every few months wash out the insides of your trumpet to keep it sanitary and working smoothly. Disassemble your trumpet 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 trumpet 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 trumpet. Rinse thoroughly and dry off the parts. Apply a small amount of grease to the slides and put them back into your trumpet. The valve pistons are numbered and must be in the right casings for the trumpet 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 trumpet; 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 trumpet probably needs cleaning; if they stick down every time, there is probably a small dent the repair shop will need to remove.)
- Bring your trumpet 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.