The top 10 ways to take care of your instrument

Did you know that there are things that you can do that will prevent damage to your instrument? Often times we just take for granted these things and think that nothing will happen. Well, we know accidents do happen and here are the top 10 ways to prevent damage before it is done.

  • 10. Make sure you are very careful when removing the instrument from it's case.
    Sometimes we tend to get in a hurry. Allow plenty of time to safely assemble your instrument. When you get in a hurry, you can bend and twist keys (and tubes in the case of brass instruments) and put a lot of pressure on the joints. This can damage your instrument and sometimes prevent it from playing all together.
  • 9. Letting someone else handle your instrument can be devastating. You have a lot more to lose than they do. Most people do not think about taking care of other people's things as they would their own. The best thing to do is try to keep the instrument out of other people's hands.
  • 8. Storing the instrument is one aspect of taking care of an instrument that most players overlook. Once it is out of sight it is relatively out of mind. Make sure to store the instrument in it's case and preferably in a room that is as close to room temperature as possible. If it is too hot or cold, wood can crack and oils can dissipate or become sluggish.
  • 7. One way to prevent damage to your instrument is to keep it out of moist weather. If it is raining, your instrument can sustain major damage through swelling which will cause it to crack. This is most common with woodwind instruments. Brass instruments can mold and mildew if moisture is left unabsorbed.
  • 6. swabbing out the bore of the instrument can significantly increase it's life. When you are done playing for the day, make sure to swab out the inside of the instrument using an absorbent cloth.
  • 5. The next item in the list is not as much to do with the actual instrument as the mouthpiece. On woodwinds, a lot of money is spent to keep reeds replaced. The best way to avoid damaging the reed is to make sure and remove it from the mouthpiece after you have finished practice or performance. Reeds should be stored in a reed box and should be held flat as they dry. You will save many hundreds of dollars over the life of your instrument by taking care of your reeds.
  • 4. Over-oiling can actually damage your instrument. If you oil the bore of your clarinet too much the oil can be absorbed into the pads and foul them out very quickly. In the case of brass instruments, too much oil can cause the case to be damaged which can be very expensive to replace.
  • 3. Latching the case properly is very important. Take care to make sure the latches are secure or you will get a big surprise when you lift the case quickly to transport it to one area or another.
  • 2. Neglect is one of the biggest problems with regards to preventing damage to your instrument. Over time your instrument needs to be serviced and adjusted. Undoubtedly there is never a really great time to leave an instrument in a repair shop to have normal adjustments made but it is very necessary. You should set aside ample time to leave your instrument in the shop for at least a week. In most cases it reasonably takes this amount of time to complete repairs on any instrument. If repairs are done too much quicker than this things can be overlooked by your repair technician. Try to give them plenty of time to make sure your instrument is going to play as well as it can.
  • 1. The best way to prevent damage to your instrument is to make sure that if it is not in your hands that it is in the case. Do not leave it sitting in a chair, on the bed, on a stand or anywhere else that it can be bumped or sat on by someone. The most significant damage can be done is by taking impact on a hard tile floor, wood floor, or taking a tumble. Having someone accidentally sit on your woodwind or small brass instrument can completely destroy your instrument.

  • If you follow the guidelines above, you can increase the life of your instrument by many times. If you have any questions about other methods of taking care of your instrument you can email us using the form below. Let our technicians at Old World Music and Gifts take care of all of your repair needs.

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    Email address:

    Old World Music and Gifts, Tyler, Tx.