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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Manny Laureano, Jan 2, 2006.
Just don't clean it or snake it out the night before an audition or important performance!
Serious question, J:
Why not not? I do it all the time. I want to go into a show with the cleanest horn I can. They play better when they're good and clean. I mean, everything's better. Are you just kidding around? Sorry if you were and I took you seriously.
My recent Beethoven Seventh incident aside , I don't mind cleaning the horn before a big show, but I don't like to change the corks before a big show or audition. I find new corks make the horn more resistant and have to be broken in...Hence, my Schagrel's old corks on the vents being worn out and obstructing the tuning slide.
OK, I see what I just wrote...I'm changing all my corks right now......BYE!
My German chemist brother-in-law suggested the following for a gentle chemical cleaning: Fill the insrument with warm water and a knife-tip of powdered vitamin C (the real reason for BERPS is to close off the leadpipe) and let it soak, then rinse. Do the same with baking soda to kill the acid and rinse. Do this after a mechanicalcleaning and for sure the cooties won't be in your horn.
Speaking just for myself: I've had several instances where I gave the horn a complete bath etc. and, upon putting it back together, had problems with a valve within the first day or two. Giving it a second cleaning and "triple rinse" solves the problem right away (there can be little bits of "intersting things" that find their way into a valve). I'd rather have that happen a few days ahead of a concert than IN the concert! I suppose if I had a horn-flush kit and could give it a really good, high pressure rinse, most of that problem could be alleviated but until I redesign/renovate the kitchen or one of the bathrooms that isn't going to happen. Besides... if I happen to notice a flakey cork or loose screw (as I've seen happen when someone's water key flew apart during adjudication) it gives me the opportunity to make repairs in advance rather than panicking "two hours before".
If you clean your horn all the time, then there is no problem the night before. I'm talking about people who haven't cleaned their horn in a long time and have gotten comfortable with the extra resistance the all the junk inside has created. If the resistance changes too much (by snaking out your leadpipe and or mouthpiece), you will feel like you are playing a small trombone compared to what it felt like before. Most players would have to re-adjust to the new response and now "much more open feel" of the horn. Not something I want to do the morning of an audition after I've spent weeks developing my sound, getting balanced with my instrument.
As, you said: Clean your horn often, so you can get your best sound, response, and intonation all the time! Definitely one variable of playing that we can ALWAYS be in control of.
Here's one way to clean your trumpet
Not my way of cleaning, of course.
I just give mine a good warm-water bath, snake it, clean each piston and polish....major production.
I'd like to make a third testimony for brasssaver.com They have the best set of brushes I've seen as well. I always hated listening to that metal coil get pulled through the horn. The Brass Saver brushes are on a durable plastic ribbon that I've been using for about four years.
I try to clean my leadpipe everyday. It's only way that I'll know the trumpet will be the same horn from day to day. I had a friend who once cleaned his horn for the first time in years and found a couple holes. Turns out he had some essential CRUD built up that was holding the thing together.
The rule of thumb I give to my students: when you can't remember the last time you cleaned your horn it's time to do it again.
Michael McLaughlin (who suddenly can't remember the last time he cleaned his horn. Oh, well, I know what I'll be doing tonight.....)
"I can't help it if I'm lucky" Bob Dylan (happy 65th to Hibbings most famous son).
Am I dragging up an old topic (quiet day at the office, sorry )? One word of caution about those kits with the foam balls at the end (Reka?): I had one of those stuck in my leadpipe once. Not fun. So if you play a smaller bore Conn: beware!
I have a few rules I go by:
1) I rinse my mouth before I play
2) I don't eat if I am going to be playing again, unless I rinse my mouth again. So this includes the cookies someone brought to rehearsal that everyone is eating during the break.
3) When I come home and am done playing for the day I rinse out the leadpipe and main tuning slide by gently putting a plastic funnel in or against the receiver and running water through. And I also rinse my mouthpiece out with water when I am done. The mouthpiece at least still needs to be brushed every couple of months, but otherwise stays perfectly clean.