If you’re someone who likes to play musical instruments, your instrument must be something you genuinely love and cherish. And as you should know, instruments are vulnerable to damages just like any personal item. Also, they are costly and delicate. This is why you should take proper care of them to always be in top playing condition.
Doing proper care for your instruments will not only ensure they are in the best shape, but it will lengthen your instrument’s lifespan, too. Besides, adequate instrument care will also teach you responsibility and ensure you stay excited and motivated to continue on your musical path. So, here’s a general list of tips for your instruments!
- General Musical Instrument Care
- You may want to show off your instruments and display them at your house. Sure, it does add an appeal to the whole space. However, doing so puts it at risk of being damaged by curious guests. That’s why the best tip is to keep them in their casing.
- Next, it’s essential to clean your instruments after a few uses. If you don’t clean them, dirt and other debris will accumulate and cause it to produce unpleasant sounds when you play it. Cleaning them is very simple – just wipe it with a wet piece of cloth.
- Then, it’s also important to keep room temperature in check. Typically, they should be kept in a dry place. If it gets too hot, consider humidifying your home because the high temperature might cause the wooden parts to be brittle. And if it gets too cold, warm your house to prevent the wooden parts of your instrument from swelling and warping.
That is all for the general care of any instruments, let’s now head to ways on how you can take care of your wind, brass, and string instruments!
- For Woodwind Instruments
- Use a clean cloth to wipe down any joints or connections, as well as periodically swabbing out the interior. For the mouthpiece, you may wash it with cold water with dish soap. And never bath or clean it with hot water.
- To ensure that the inside of your instruments is dry, you may use a thick silk swab. This is to wipe the moisture building up inside your instrument.
- The reed or thin strip of material of your woodwind instrument should be stored in a reed holder and not in the mouthpiece. And to ensure they are always in the best condition, you may use a reed guard.
- For Brass Instruments
- When cleaning them, carefully dismantle the parts and wash them in warm water. Then, dry it with a soft cloth. You can also air-dry the part but make sure they aren’t under direct sunlight.
- Regularly oil horn key valves – at least three times a week. Do it by placing a drop or two to bearings and rotors. Work the valve a couple of times to ensure oil is spread evenly. Also, make sure that the oil you’re using won’t be harmful to your instrument and won’t leave a sticky feeling on the surface.
- If you don’t use your instrument often, it’s essential to know that bare brass tends to stick when left unmoved for an extended time. Take time to move all possible parts at least every couple of weeks.
- For String Instruments
- Since most string instruments are made out of wood, it requires a fresh coat of varnish and wood polish occasionally. Use an instrument polish every two to four weeks to keep rosin from building up on your instrument.
- For the strings themselves, you can replace them every 12 months. Take note that you should not replace all strings at once, replace them gradually so you maintain the tension on the strings. And remember to keep your hands clean before replacing the strings since they can pick up a lot of dry skin and oil from your hands.
- If you use bows for your instruments such as the violin and cello, take care of them too! They are very fragile and it may shatter if not used with care. Also, avoid touching them with your hands, as finger oils can keep rosin from sticking.
Musical instruments can get really expensive, so taking care of them now could become an investment for the future. If you’re new to doing these things, don’t worry about it. It’ll soon become a habit and will surely keep your instruments in their best condition all the time. And when big problems or damages occur, it’s best to get them checked to a professional. Remember that your instruments need enough love and care, too!