Fast Slides

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rikrdo, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. rikrdo

    rikrdo New Friend

    Mar 9, 2004
    Sunny So Cal
    Hello everybody.

    What is the BEST way to get and keep your slides as fast as possible ?

    I have always had problems with this and am looking for help on how to make them lightning fast and maintain that speed.

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    What do you use on them?

    I find that when they are clean Slide-O-Mix (something the trombone world does very well!) is superb on them.
  3. rikrdo

    rikrdo New Friend

    Mar 9, 2004
    Sunny So Cal
    Thanks..Ill look up that product.

    I usually bathe the horn and add a coat of slide grease followed by valve oil. Thats the way I was taught. Ive never had much luck with that technique though...slides have always given me trouble.

    After (or B4) you bathe the horn do you use any abrasive on the slides??
    ie: Scotch brite pad, toothpaste, brasso ???
  4. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Don't know much about Brasso, but the rest of that may be a bit extreme, as you are actually removing metal by doing that. Too far and you'll create a leak. I just use dish soap and a snake, then wipe them down with a polishing cloth.

    To lube them, I use SpaceFiller TS on the main slide and 2nd valve slide, then valve oil on 1st and 3rd. I've been doing that for years and am very satisfied with my slide speed (the 3rd slide actually falls open if held vertically when pressing the 3rd valve).
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Please don't be offended by this question: do you use them frequently and at a subconscious level? I have observed SO MANY players, good ones, that hardly use the first slide ever and the third slide only to a minimum and when I pick up their horns to play, the slides are stiff compared to how I like them.

    Sometimes the best answer to your question is: by using them!

    Obviously, if you're taking time to even ask this question that means you care and are probably using your slides on a full time basis. It's amazing how many adults I've taught who just don't ever use the first slide. And it's not as though they finger the 1-2 combinations with the third valve, either.

    Of all things, I've been using a touch of a vitamin E oil I have! Well, my horn won't have any trouble with acne, I guess...

  6. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I use anhydrous lanolin (wool fat) on the main tuning and 2nd slides and Hetmans slide oil on the 1st and 3rd.

    I never have a problem and they're as smooth as the face that uses Manny's vitamin E oil (???!!!) I'm a 3rd valve kind of guy on the high A...but even so, my 1st valve slide is primed and ready.


  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    My favorite slide grease is the Schilke slide grease with Lanolin, although it takes a bit of time to break down on the first and third slides and it can be a bit sluggish for a day or two, even when cut a bit with valve oil. Rikrdo, what trumpet are you playing? Some trumpets come with tighter slides - I had a Yahama that had tight slides, but the slides on every Bach I have owned have all been very smooth and fast.

    Manny, your comment about adult players who hardly use their slides doesn't really surprise me. It wasn't until I had been playing in a brass quintet for a bit that I started using mine subconsiously and all the time. If I didn't, the intonation and resonance variances stuck out like a sore thumb!
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Is it just possible that your slides are slightly out of alignment? It doesn't take very much of a knock or bump to torque a 3rd slide. Have you tried inserting only one of the tubes at a time to see if each "side" moves properly or one side has more resistance than another? Are they just difficult to get moving but once you've extended about 1/4" or so do then then move freely?

    Are the slide tubes (male ends) bright and shiny?... or kinda gungy looking? Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

    Patrick, I agree with you on the Schilke grease; when you grease the slides do you also add just a drop of valve oil as well? That'll make them much easier to use for the first day after a greasing.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Yeah, I always cut the slide grease on the first and third slides with a couple of drops of valve oil, otherwise, it just drives me nuts how sluggish and slow they are.

    Also, nice comment about the alignment of the slides - you are absolutely correct when you say that it's important for BOTH slides to move freely and that alignment issues can really mess things up.

    As a side note, I would tend to think that a good repair tech could make your slides as smooth as glass and fast too, and then it wouldn't matter so much which slide grease you used.
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    The BEST way is to take your instrument to a professional brass technician and have the slides realigned and resurfaced and use the lubricant they tell you to use.

    Qualified brass technicians will be certified by NAPBIRT, see

    Do not attempt to repair sticky slides yourself - without proper training you can easily make things worse.


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