Minor Music
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Instrument Maintenance

picAll new band parents are at least a little leary when it comes to caring for that newest addition to the family. Luckily everything you need to know (regardless of how or how often you play) to keep your instrument in proper playing condition is right here.

First, keep the instrument in its case when it’s not being played. Do not put anything else (pencils, sheet music) in the case unless there is room dedicated to this purpose. If you’re not sure, check with your music teacher.

Woodwinds need to be swabbed out after each use. Routine maintenance may also include oiling and blotting the keys, and (for clarinets) greasing the joint corks. Reeds need to be stored in a reed case. You should always have two extra reeds available. If you notice the keys are feeling loose or don’t work, let your teacher know. Do not attempt any repair work yourself.

Brass instruments require daily cleaning as well. Wipe the instrument down with a clean dry cloth after each use. Valves and slides will need to be oiled periodically (check with your teacher for a specific schedule).

Stringed instruments (including your piano) need to be wiped clean of dust and fingerprints.

Lastly, dedicate a safe place to store your cased instrument when you’re not practicing. Avoid high-traffic areas, extreme temperatures and places where it can be knocked around.

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