Caring for your Woodwind Instrument

Taking proper care of your Woodwind instrument is a must in order to ensure years of enjoyable play. Here are a few easy steps to keep your instrument in its best playing condition at all times.

  1. Keep your instrument safe
    • Cases keep instruments safe from drops and other accidental damage
    • Instrument stands allow for a safe resting place during practice time
    • Do not keep excess items in your case. Any items stored in your case need to be secured in an interior compartment. Loose items can rattle around in the case causing damage your instrument.
    • Never store books in your case. The case is designed to securely hold your instrument alone. Books placed on top of your instrument and closed in the case can cause an array of problems due to excess stress on the instrument.
    • Avoid extreme temperatures: Very hot or cold temperatures can affect the functionality of your instrument.
  2. Keep your instrument dry
    • Use a swab after you play to remove moisture that has built up inside of your instrument. Moisture left in your instrument can cause corrosion. Also damp pads can swell causing leaks in your instrument. Do not keep swabs or anything else that retains moisture inside of your instrument.
    • If the exterior of the instrument gets wet be sure to dry it off with a towel. DO NOT close it in the case until you are sure it is dry. Wet environments allow for the growth of mold and mildew.
  3. Keep your instrument clean
    • Remove finger prints and dirt from your instrument regularly. Use a soft polishing cloth to remove fingerprints and dirt from the exterior of your instrument. Be sure to use a polishing cloth for the specific finish of your instrument, lacquer, silver and nickel are the most common.
    • Have your instrument professionally cleaned annually. Professional cleaning services are available at our repair shop. The use of professional cleaning equipment allows us to easily and safely remove build-up from the interior of your instrument.
  4. Properly assemble and disassemble your instrument
    • Use a small amount of cork grease on any cork tenons (Clarinet) and neck corks (Saxophone) to help parts easily slide together.
    • Avoid twisting keys while you are assembling or disassembling your instrument. Bent keys cause leaks and will affect how your instrument plays.
    • DO NOT force your instrument together. Forcing your instrument together can cause damage to your instrument and/or cause tenons to become stuck. If your instrument can not easily be put together have the repair shop properly check your tenons to ensure proper fit.
  5. Know when to have your instrument serviced
    • It is recommend to have your instrument serviced twice a year. Keeping a set maintenance routine can help avoid larger more costly repairs.
    • If your instrument experiences any trauma. Bumps and drops can cause serious harm to your instrument, even if it is not visibly evident.
    • If your instrument is not operating properly, such as:
      • If pads become sticky or torn
      • If corks become torn or missing
      • If tenons fit too tightly or loosely
      • Your instrument sounds or feels “stuffy”.
      • Parts become damaged or are missing

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