Important Tips for Care of your Instrument
Always wipe the instrument clean to remove fingerprints and any water after playing. On brass you can use a glass cleaner or Pledge polish. Never use any type of brass cleaner unless there is no lacquer on it. For silver finishes always use a silver cloth to remove tarnish. Flutes ,do not use a liquid silver cleaner because it gets into the keys and on the pads. Brasswinds, clean around the spit valve to avoid corrosion.
It is very important to have a good case for your instrument. The case protects the instrument and keeps it from being dented or the keys from getting out of adjustment or bent. Keep the inside of the case clean. Old candy wrappers, paper or old reeds can get into parts of the instrument. The case should not allow the instrument to move around inside it. If it can move around it will get bent or the keys will get knocked out of alignment.
Never drop your case with the instrument inside. The shock alone can cause damage to the instrument.
Do not store your music book in the case unless there is plenty of room for it. If it presses down on the keys, they will get out of alignment.
Woodwinds: Never let your instrument get wet. If it does get wet try to dry it immediately. Pads that have become soaked with water will come out. What is worse than that, the screws and springs will rust possibly making it impossible to take the instrument apart for repair. Oil the screws and springs after drying the instrument.
Always handle you instrument carefully: Don’t sling the instrument around and always hold it securely.
Corrosion and dents are the two most common types of damage.
Always take your instrument to a qualified repair shop for repairs. Do not attempt or let anyone else attempt to make repairs. Instruments are very easily ruined due to bad attempts at repair. Brass or metal parts cannot be glued together, they must be soldered. There is not a glue that you can buy that will work on the plastic in a clarinet. If you use glue on a crack or broken joint it cannot be repaired properly and must be replaced. If something gets bent or dented do not try to fix it yourself. Remember without proper tools and training, someone could do more harm than good.
Your instrument will last a lifetime if you care for it properly. Many professional musicians play instruments that are 30-100 years old.