It's almost like getting a new horn!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chrisakaneelix, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. chrisakaneelix

    chrisakaneelix New Friend

    Nov 12, 2006
    Ok, so I'm one of the worst when it comes to the regular periodic cleaning of my horns. I just keep putting it off. I mean, if the inside of the bell doesn't look like a Chia Pet, then what's the big deal, right?

    ::insert flaming replies here::

    Got around to giving my primary Strad a nice bath today - amazing what a bigger sounding, easier blowing, (and somewhat lighter I might add...?), horn it is now. And I ended up with some more stuff to put in my compost pile - it's already green, too!

    Happy Holidays, all!

  2. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Yes, that green stuff (spooge) is interesting. I wonder what a lab analysis of a piece of it would show? I try to remember to clean my horns often enough to avoid the stuff, but I do sometimes get a "sample" of it.:D
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The idea of something crawling around in my trumpet...............
    It is also interesting to note where this stuff collects - not evenly through the horn but wherever there is a surface imperfection (solder joint), where the airflow has turbulence or a low pressure node in the pipe. Once the colony has gotten something to hang on to, the rest of the family comes to visit. The green is from the brass, but the rotting mass is alive. Normal brass gets eaten away after a while (red rot), red brass, copper and sterling silver hold up better - which only means that your horn doesn't suffer as much because of your own laziness.
    A regular bath is a great idea! It keeps the resale value of your horn higher!

    Woodwind players have a chamois that they run through the instument. The oboe one works very well for trumpet leadpipes and tuning slides!
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  4. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    I got broke of that quickly when I was a young budding student. One of my peers was a seroiusly gross Mother... and would never; I mean never clean any part of his horn.

    He'd put it on his face and have that "Green Goo" all over the place. He would even place his lips on the Mouthpiece once it became Chia mouthpiece. Gross! :shock:

    Cured me; on average eveyone of my horns gets a bath about ever two months or so. In between I buff the heck out of them with a silver polish cloth.
  5. John P

    John P Piano User

    Jun 16, 2006
    Camp Hill, PA
    Up until seventh grade, I didn't even know that a trumpet required cleaning. Not that I played it enough to really get it dirty...But after two years of playing it in band, there was some seriously nasty stuff in there. One day, I went to play into the horn and, to my surprise, I could barely move any air through it. I took the horn to my lesson teacher and asked if it was broken. He took the tuning slide out and looked down the leadpipe. He then showed it to me. I couldn't believe what I saw. There was so much gunk built up that the opening in the leadpipe was about as wide as the throat on my mouthpiece! My teacher took it to the bathroom and ran a snake through it. He nicknamed the green mass that came out of the leadpipe "a dead rat."

    Ever since then, I've been sure to keep any horn I own squeaky clean. It makes a huge difference in every aspect of playing.
  6. chrisakaneelix

    chrisakaneelix New Friend

    Nov 12, 2006
    I guess I normally average every 5-6 months on the bath thing. Usually have a chem-clean every 12-16 months. Costs a bit, but it totally purges the system. I think this is the first bath on this horn since a chem-clean early in the year, though, so the garden definitely had time to grow... And my main horn to boot! I was surprised there wasn't more crud in it than there was, especially considering how much coffee and wine I usually have during a gig (yes both - uppers and downers together baby!).
  7. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 29, 2005
    Columbus, Oh-hi-uh
    Ive had to clean out a few horns that hadnt been cleaned in at least a decade at work - that was some seriously scary stuff!!
  8. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    There was this one time that I was subbing in for a big band gig, right. Well...there was this girl in the trumpet section that was not too bad to look at if you know what I mean. I was playing through some stuff when all of a sudden my horn started making gross sounds. Not quite the "watery" sounds that come with having to open the water key. It was more of a flapping sound. Nothing was coming out of my water key and I was getting frustrated so I blew as hard as I could into the horn (without buzzing of course) and out shot the largest piece of spooge you would ever have seen. It went everywhere. All over the floor, my trumpet stand and my new shoes. Funny enough though, the horn played much more open after that.

    I guess the girl thought it was hilarious. It could have been worse.

  9. JetJaguar

    JetJaguar New Friend

    Nov 22, 2006
    You people are really grossing me out. In university I had a friend with a student horn who was in the marching band just to go to the parties. I took off the main tuning slide and looked, and there was maybe a pin point of light.

    I took it home and bathed it for him, and when I gave it back, he said it was awesome, like a new horn.
  10. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    My rule of thumb-when I can't remember the last time I cleaned my horn, it's time to clean it again.

    Michael McLaughlin

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