To get the most out of your instrument you need to look after it. To help you keep your cornet at its best we have put together a brief care guide. Some things in this guide you may need to do each time you play whereas some you will only need to do every few months, however each step is important for keeping your instrument in its best condition.
EACH TIME YOU PLAY
Food and Drink
Whilst it may be tempting, especially if you're feeling peckish during practice, try not to eat food or consume sugary drinks before you play. Anything in your mouth can end up in your cornet and can cause it to clog up. If you're thirsty during practise try to just drink water.
Keep It Oiled
Before playing check that the cornet valves are well oiled. If not, you need to apply a few drops of valve oil to the valves. If you don't regularly oil the valves they will become sticky.
Remove Moisture from Slides
After playing you want to carefully remove each slide from the cornet and clear it of any moisture. When removing the slides ensure you are holding down the correlating valve and gently pull the slide out, you can then remove any moisture. After doing that you can remove moisture from the body of the cornet using the water key. To do this press down the water key and blow air through the cornet.
Wipe It Down
After playing, take some time to wipe clean your cornet using a clean cloth. Dirt, oil, and sweat from your hands can cause damage to the lacquer over time, so cleaning your cornet after use will help to avoid that. Cornets with a silver finish may darken over time due to oxidisation. If you wish to avoid this use a silver cloth or silver polish to keep it looking its best.
Keep It Safe
Avoid leaving your cornet lying around anywhere it can get knocked over or bumped as this could cause damage that may end up being costly to repair. When you are not playing your cornet get into the habit of putting it safely back in its case.
EVERY FEW WEEKS
Clean the Mouthpiece
Wipe down your mouthpiece after playing and then every few weeks clean the mouthpiece in warm soapy water using a mouthpiece cleaning brush to scrub the inside. Once clean, make sure to thoroughly rinse off the soapy water.
Clean the Valves
Every few weeks you will need to clean the valves. One at a time (to avoid mixing them up) take them out of the casing and clean them using a polishing cloth or warm soapy water. Clean both the valves and the casing but make sure to avoid getting the springs and felt pads wet as this will damage them. Once clean, allow them to air dry and then apply a few drops of valve oil before replacing the valve in its casing. Make sure to put the valve back in the correct position and press up and down to allow the oil to evenly coat the whole valve.
Grease the Slides
The slides will also need cleaning and re-greasing every few weeks. To do this remove them from the body of the cornet (as above). Using a cloth, clean the slides of any dirt. Once clean apply slide oil to the first and third valve slides and slide grease to the second valve and main tuning slide.
EVERY NOW AND THEN
Every few months you will need to clean the inside of your cornet. To do this mix a solution of warm water with a small amount of mild dish soap in a basin. Remove the valves, slides, and the mouthpiece from the body of the cornet. Place the cornet and the slides in the water mixture for a couple of minutes and then using cornet cleaning brushes and cloths clean the cornet, the inside tube, and the slides.
Once clean, rinse the soap from the cornet using clean water. Gently dry the cornet then leave it on a towel to finish air drying. Also take this opportunity to clean the valves and mouthpiece too. Once clean oil and grease the valves and slides as above and then re-assemble the cornet.
OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO
Don't Force It
If you ever have any problems removing your valves, slides, or mouthpiece from the cornet do not force them as you could damage the instrument. Instead take your cornet to a professional and they can remove them for you.
Get It Fixed
If you have damaged your cornet, take it to professional as soon as possible to have it repaired. Don't be tempted to try and fix any damage yourself as you may cause more damage further down the line. If ever you are concerned that your cornet is damaged or not playing properly rather than guess or use home remedies take it to a professional to be inspected.
Get It Insured
For peace of mind in the long term we recommend getting your cornet insured against any damage, theft or loss that could occur.
- Do not eat or drink before use
- Wipe down the cornet after playing
- Oil the valves regularly
- Store securely in the case when not in use
- Keep it clean
- If in doubt take it to a professional
- Insure your cornet
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