BRASS PLAYERS: Give your horn a bath!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by farnellnewton, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I'm not knocking on you, but you sound like my Mother - and she's 65. I visit my parents on a regular basis each week, and have a meal with them. My Mom is always asking me - "son, did you wash your hands??"
    I mean it was just funny that I was thinking about that. LOL
    of course a clean horn is a happy horn, and it never really does hurt it, in my opinion.
     
  2. Heelum

    Heelum Pianissimo User

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    Ewanmains is 100% correct. I don't believe that we're having to go through this cleaning thing again and again. If you don't clean your horn on the inside, thing will GROW in it and it's very easy to transfer whatever IS growing back into you lungs.
     
  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    I tell my fellow trumpet players to clean their horn when I can smell them!:-(

    Regards, Stuart.
     
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    My Mum is 90 and still asks us to wash our hands so you have at least 25 years to go. ROFL

    Ewans description is concise and correct. :thumbsup:

    I once sat beside a trumpeter who was sounding a bit wooly - I turned to discover her scraping food out of her mouthpiece with a knitting needle - and in the middle of a gig - she no longer gets an invitation to play. :thumbdown::-(:-P
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    As a musician and physician, perhaps I can provide incentive to cleaning horns to all the musicians out there. This is my edited summary of a recent article published in Chest, September 2010:

    A 35-year-old male professional trombone player sought care for a chronic, nonproductive cough that had not remitted for approximately 15 year. There were periods when his cough was more severe and associated with shortness of breath and low-grade fever. Amazingly his physical examination and a chest radiograph, and pulmonary function tests were all normal. His CT scan showed evidence of expiratory air trapping, consistent with a diagnosis of HP. Symptoms improved significantly when he did not play his trombone for 2 weeks and that the periods of more severe symptoms had been when he was playing more than usual.

    His musical instrument was examined and showed innumerable whitish plaques suggesting bacterial colonies. A smear of the biofilm revealed fungal elements, and the Ziehl-Neelsen smear revealed > 100 acid-fast bacilli per oil immersion field (×1,000). Cultures revealed large numbers of Mycobacterium chelonae/abscessus group, Fusarium sp (a mold), and scant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Escherichia coli. After the patient began immersing his instrument regularly in 91% isopropyl alcohol, his cough resolved completely over several weeks. He has been symptom free for approximately 20 months, except when he neglected to clean his instrument for more than a month.

    Instruments of seven additional brass musicians were sampled. Mycobacteria (bacteria in the tuberculosis family) were identified. All seven musicians had at least one instrument contaminated with either mycobacterial or fungal species previously associated with HP.
    The characteristic symptoms, the improvement when he was not playing and after the trombone was cleaned, and the temporary worsening when he neglected to clean the trombone all support a causal link.

    Because HP from exposure to aerosols containing mycobacteria or fungi is not an unusual, idiosyncratic reaction, our findings suggest that many brass musicians are at risk for HP from contaminated instruments, and standard cleaning methods may not be adequate to prevent this complication. Regular cleaning with 91% isopropyl alcohol appears to be effective.

    Use this information as you see best fits your needs, but if you notice regular coughing related to your playing activity, this physician recommends monthly cleaning as my published colleagues summarize.

    Yours truly, the jazz doctor.
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Kingtrumpet wrote: I took it [his trumpet] apart the other day - and other than some green slime in the leadpipe down to the first slide -- it was relatively clean. I always brush my teeth before I play. and since I play at night, it has always been a few hours since I ate anything anyhow -- and definitely no sugar drinks. and lots of oil -- and I don't know if that helps or not --- but clean is good for the horn. Then to ewanmains (see his quote below) her writes: but you sound like my Mother - and she's 65. I visit my parents on a regular basis each week, and have a meal with them. My Mom is always asking me - "son, did you wash your hands??"

    Larry Tscharner wrote: But I never eat or drink anything before or while I play and almost always brush my teeth and rinse well with water before I start. Its not that Im against cleaning more often, its just that every individual needs to decide how often is right for them. If I were eating a ham sandwich during a performance then I would probably clean a lot more often!

    SteveRicks wrote: …brushing your teeth beforehand can greatly cut down on what enters the horn. Some of the worse items to have just eaten are rice, nuts, corn. Rinsing the mouth several times before playing is important.

    Tobylou8 wrote: I've never gotten the kind of crud he [zachary brass] shows in the video from any of my horns. Maybe it's my body chemistry.

    I think ewanmains has it right when he wrote: It's simple hygiene guys. Once a year isn't going to cut it & you're opening yourself up to all sorts of nasties. Remember - this is your own health/wellbeing your messing about with here. Nothing worse than being an ill trumpet player on a gig.

    I agree with ewanmains and people, I, the jazz doctor, am diagnosing "denial" to all the rest, which are not organisms you get from ‘de Nile, but from your horns. You cannot prevent mycobacterium (TB family), fungus, atypical bacteria (Legionella – do you remember the news about that one), from finding its way into a moist environment. These organisms are in the air we breath (not only in ham sandwiches or on our hands that mum is always asking us to wash). And they like to live in, moist places like air conditioner ducts (Legionella) and let me think, ah, ah, ah, OH yes… trumpet tubing, no matter how much or how little green slime is found inside. And oil is a carbon polymer. Bacterial love carbon polymers; they feast on it for breakfast, lunch and dinner which on a bacterial growth time scale is every microsecond. No matter if you with hold eating/drinking before the gig or brush your teeth, use bottles of mouthwash before you play, or even chomp down on a clove of garlic, AND no matter how clean you tubes look to you, there is going to be BACTERIA and FUNGUS in your horn. [Vampires may avoid those who “clean with garlic however”]. So my advice as stated in my previous contribution is to clean your horn regularly.
     
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    I didn't mean to imply I don't clean my instruments, I do. I swab after every use, leadpipe and tuning slide. I have just never gotten anything remotely as disgusting out of my horns as the poster shows in his video. Thinking about it makes me a little queasy. :stars::stars:
     
  8. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

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    Tobylou8 does clean his horns. He duct tapes them to the top of his Ford Pinto and drives through the car wash...twice. :bleah:

    That's my method...
     
  9. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

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    Seriously, my horns get a monthly bath, brushing, and light waxing. I clean my mouthpiece, swab my leadpipe and main tuning slide after each session. I want it to be like new when I finish. Very important to thoroughly clean your horn after any sort of illness!!!
     
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Actually it's a Bobcat, it's just as explosive lesser known cousin!:-P
     

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