The various components of a trumpet must work together in order to function and play properly. However, it’s not uncommon for problems to arise. Experiencing different problems with the trumpet and its various components is a normal part of owning the instrument. But don’t worry, many of the issues can quickly be fixed by a qualified repair technician.
This is not fixed to trumpets only, stuck mouthpieces are also common in trombones, saxophone, and in any other brass instrument that is played through a mouthpiece. Since mouthpiece goes from narrow to wide, it’s common to get stuck over time. Most amateur trumpet players assume they can fix the problem with a pair of pliers or vice grips, but this is exactly the wrong method. Trumpet brass is soft and thus, it bends easily, so don’t try to fix it on your own. Trumpet repairs must be done only through technicians who have special tools to fix the problem easily.
A trumpet that is used frequently can suffer from leaking valves. The air leaks out between the valve and casing and this can affect the sound. You can opt for heavier valve oil to reduce air leakage. If it still doesn’t work, take the trumpet to a repairer or consider full replacement.
After playing for several days, the valves of the trumpet are bound to stick. Sticking valves make it more difficult to play. In such a case use good quality of valve oil to release the cramps. Keep them lubricated as much as possible. Consider to oil the valves at least once a week.
Broken joints from soldering
This repair work is done with a gas torch. This problem occurs when a trumpet is twisted or dropped. The repairing is done by heating the joints until they’re hot enough to melt the solder. The repair technician adds a new soldering across the whole joint to make the trumpet functional again.
A Stuffy Sound
If you notice a clogged or stuffy sound coming from your instrument, don’t be worried, it’s a common problem that’s related to the trumpet’s valves. The problem can arise from valves whose corks, felts, or spacers may have worn down. If these areas are fine, then the water key must’ve broken or leaking. Stuffy sound can also arise from air leakage and make sure a foreign object isn’t stuck in the trumpet.
These are some of the common issues faced by a trumpet player. Be sure, not to fix the problems on your own as it can worsen them. Consider to call a professional trumpet repairer.
Most accidents with woodwind instruments happen when they are not encased in between usage periods. Keys can bend out of place and flutes can be really annoying with a banana-like shape.
The safest place
It is recommended, when not in use, to keep the instrument inside the instrument box, as it is the safest place. Equally, damages can be best avoided if not accidentally dropped. It is better to keep them in hard cases rather than gig bags.
Handling the instrument
When playing an instrument, make sure that the position of the hands is applying minimal pressure on the keys. Especially with saxophones, the principal danger occurs with the crook which is the top joint. On the contrary, clarinets have keys that need to be matched from one joint to the next, increasing the risk of damage. All these can be avoided if you are careful enough and learn to handle the instrument properly. If you are in doubt, bring the instrument to a recognised repairer who is expert in brass and woodwind repairs.
Greasing the instrument
Make sure that you grease all the cork joints regularly to avoid any difficulty of playing and therefore, putting unnecessary pressure on the instrument. Some people apply Vaseline as a substitute to woodwind corks, but petroleum jelly is not exactly made to grease and therefore attracts dust, causing more complications to the instrument.
It is true that metal joints on saxophones and flutes need to be greased. But, if the instrument is purchased from a reputed company, there should be no need for lubrication.
Play in clean mouth
A major mistake done by most of the players is, playing the instrument without properly washing the mouth or immediately after having some food. Remember, do not hurry to play immediately after having something. This not only damages the instrument but can also make you feel pukey. It is recommended to play any woodwind instrument only after an hour of having something. This is because, when you blow on something (sometimes with pressure), the esophagus and stomach take pressure and tend to work in an opposite manner. It means that instead of containing the food in stomach, they have a tendency to lift the same upwards. This can cause regurgitation. And when it comes to the instrument, the pads are at maximum risk which may sometimes need to be replaced.
It is recommended to take the woodwind and brass instruments to a qualified repairer at least once in a year for servicing and to keep the instrument in good condition.
Violin is the smallest of all stringed instruments. It produces real soft and melodious sound with a relaxing tone. However, violins can produce violent sound when played in groups, creating an arpeggio.
Whatever be the tune, stringed instrument repair is an important part of a violin’s life. Keeping this in mind, violin players often make a mistake when they consider doing repair works on their own. This could lead to catastrophic end of the instrument.
If the repairing works are minor, you can fix them on your own. But major repairing works must be done only through professionals. So how will you determine which repairing works must be dealt through the experts?
Fingerboards are prone to receive damage at notes that are played several times. They are most likely, D on A string (third finger on first position). The damage cause the string to become loose, thus creating a fuzzy sound. Smoothing the fingerboard is a task that must be done through professionals. If treated improperly, the shape and the curve can be irretrievably altered.
Fitting new bridge
The bridge of the violin controls the tone. Thus, fixing a new bridge is something that must be done properly to provide top quality sound. Do not ever try to fix a new bridge on your own as it may change the entire tune of the violin. Consider fixing it through an expert professional who has the knowledge of repairing the bridge.
Moving and setting the sound post
Professionals repair, cut and set the sound posts properly. Doing this is very easy for them as they are experts. It is generally a difficult and risky task for an individual as the entire violin can get damaged in the process of doing so. The best time to check the sound posts is when a new bridge is fitted on the violin.
Violin repairs in your hand
Changing the strings
Replacing a string is a work that every violinist should know and do. It is illogical to think that whenever you need to change the strings you must go to the professionals. Violin strings must be replaced one at a time. This is to keep the bridge in position and to maintain the constant tension on the sound post and neck.
Straightening the bridge
While replacing the strings make sure you check the straightness of the bridge. Some violinists loosen all the strings to check the bridge, but experts do not recommend it.
These were some major and minor violin repairs. Always remember, whatever stringed instrument you are using, repair works must be done only by professionals.