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Trumpet Lesson - Learn how to clean your trumpet with this instructional video.
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Okay, in this video we’re going to talk about how to clean your trumpet. There have been many questions in a lot of odd things going out there. So is a very simple procedure that I’m just going to tell you about. Basically, I’d tell everybody that cleaning your trumpet is basically like cleaning a dirty dish. I mean the trumpet is made out of metal. The water is not going to hurt it. Its -- really not going to rust unless you would leave it in it for probably weeks at a time. So simply damping it in water is not going to hurt it.
What I have here is I have a plastic tube or container, plastic container that is a little bit bigger than the size of my trumpet. So trumpet will actually fit inside there. I bought this because it’s a little easier and it takes less water. You can also use your bathtub. If you use a bathtub, please make sure you’ll put a towel at the bottom of the bathtub so that you don’t scratch your trumpet up. Either way it doesn’t matter but I’m going to use the tub here, it’s a little easier.
Alright, you fill up your tub, maybe to about a third of the way full. It doesn’t have to be way up here. And you're going to fill up your tub with warm water. Cold water is not going to be enough to really clean it and boiling hot water can actually take some of the paint of if you have a brass or a lacquer instrument. If you have a silver trumpet, its okay but all you need to remember is just warm water. Again, just like your doing you're doing your dishes. Alright, what you're going to use, here is actually what I use, I use Dawn dishwashing liquid. You can use any liquid, any soap, it doesn’t matter. I use dawn because to me it seems like it actually breaks the grease down because you're actually cleaning the grease out of your trumpet and saliva and everything else.
So what you do is you get the water there, warm water, put a little bit of this in there. Get it nice and sudsy, get it going there, okay. Then, you just drop your trumpet on in. Just let sit there and let it soak. Let it soak for, who knows, 15-20 minutes, it doesn’t matter, if you have the time. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can go right ahead and you clean it.
Now, cleaning it, once it is soaked and here’s a couple of things that you may want to -- you're going to actually have to purchase, I have a couple of different brands. Here’s a particular kit that I have that you can buy that I personally like a lot. It’s used to clean the trumpet and has a whole bunch of things. It’s got a long tube and I’m going to show you how it works. It actually goes to your trumpet. They also have something here for the valves. You can go inside the valves and clean them.
There’s another brand here and I actually have this one here. And this is the same principle. It’s inside the tubing but these are little sponge balls and they go in through all the pipes and everything. So that’s also good cleaning. Here is probably the most universal, the most -- one that you will find when you go in to music stores. The slang term is a snake because it actually wiggles like a snake. It’s made out off a movable metal and it has brushes on each side. This is also a snake, it just has a little plastic coring to protect your trumpet or horn a little bit better.
Anyway, you're going to use one of these. It doesn’t matter which one. Your horn is in there. It’s resting. It’s soaking. What you're going to do is then you just simply -- I dismantle it, you start taking it all apart. You got your tuning slide. You get all your other slides. Everything comes out. Everything should come off. All these tubes, I’m not going to take my whole trumpet apart but I’m just giving you an idea. Your valves come out. Now, when you take your valves out make sure you put them back in. they are labeled, each of them. This is labeled number one, meaning valve one, the closes to you. So when you put it back together, make sure you put valve one in the first slot. Anyway, you're going to take all your valves out. You can take the second and the third, you're going to take them all out. You're going to also take apart the bottom, alright, everything, this comes apart, just set it in there.
And all you're going to simply do then -- here we go, we get the snake -- you’re going to simply put it back into the water. You're going to take this snake and you're going to run it through all the tubing, okay. Run it through the top of the trumpet and what's going to happen is, it’s just going to come out at the end of it, and there it is. So, here is the end of it. And you pull it all through and it cleans everything really well. Now, you go ahead and you do that through all your tubes. You run that snake through this way all the way up to here. Through this way, you're going to clean your trumpet all the way. When you get to here, that’s where I like to use this other cleaning kit because you can simply just put this in and it comes through the other end and you can clean it that way. If you don’t have this particular kit, I suggest, just take your little finger and just kind of rub it in there as best that you can. I don’t know if I would actually use a cleaning snake inside the valves because it could scratch it up. It won’t hurt it but it’s possible to scratch it up.
And then of course when you're done, you're going to take the snake and you're going to run it through the bell. So any place you have the opportunity, you're going to run it and its not -- it might occasionally get a little stuck, a little jammed but just give it a wiggle and it goes all the way through. And what's going to happen is, this has already come all the way up through here and if -- I don’t know if you can see on the camera but it’s actually right up there. So we’ve actually cleaned this tubing all the way up to here. So you can see, that’s all it is, just a matter of cleaning everything up.
Once it’s all done, you just take it out. I always rinse the trumpet. Rinse it with nice warm water to get al the suds, the soap, everything out of it and basically just put it back together. You're gong to oil your valves when you put it back together and you're going to grease your slides, just like we covered in the other video.
Now, one of the other questions is a lot of people ask me, how often do you have to give your trumpet a bath? And that really depends on how much you play it. If you practice and play it an awful lot, you should probably give your trumpet -- clean it probably twice a year. I think that would be a good idea. If you’d really don’t played as much as you should, if you maybe only play it -- maybe, you know, 30 minutes a week, you're not a big player, you're just an occasion player, once a year will work. It kind of depends on how much you use it. And then now, I think it’s about it. Alright, let’s move on.
Also, after cleaning your trumpet you have to make sure that you clean your mouthpiece. It’s just as important. And it’s a very simple thing. It’s probably the easiest thing to clean. Again, you're going to have to purchase one of this from a music store. This is just the basic trumpet cleaner. And all you got to do is -- you're going to hold your mouthpiece underneath some warm water. I don’t have it on here right now but let’s pretend we’re at a sink. You turn the sink on. Warm water is gushing through, going through here. Simply take this, and it just go all the way through. Its not going to come out of the top, just a little but is but not all of it. Kind of twist it around and then go in the opposite way being careful that you don’t scratch the inside of the mouthpiece. This particular one has a rubber tip on it, some of them do not. If you do not have a rubber tip, please be careful because if you don’t have a rubber tip, you're going to scratch the inside of your cup. So that’s all, it go on, go a couple of times, in and out, get it nice and clean. And then you damp your mouthpiece.
Now, let’ talk just a second, please make sure -- the reason why we’re cleaning your trumpet is because it’ getting dirty because you're practicing a lot. There is another problem, please make sure you do not eat anything or drink any type of soda as you're practicing or playing your trumpet because if you do, your horn is going to get dirty. You’ve got to clean it off more. Plus, there’s a lot of sugar in soda. So, if you have to actually drink something as you're practicing or playing, please just do water and never no eating. Alright, we’re going to move on.