Tips on How to Care for Musical Instruments

Parents are often advised to encourage a child’s creativity and passion. Some children become interested in music and musical instruments at an early age, and parents are just happy to know they have a budding musician in the family.

Young music players should be trained to exercise due care in handling their instruments – it does not only teach them to become responsible, but it also shows their continued excitement to pursue their love for music.

Teach them early about instrument care, so their tool could serve them at a very long time.

Here are a few important tips to remember when maintaining musical instruments:

  • Place the instrument back in its case when not in use. The case would help prevent scratches or dents from harming the device. Regularly check on zippers, handles, hinges, and locks if they’re working properly.
  • Wipe off fingerprints and dust from the instrument before putting it back in its case.
  • Keep your instrument secure. Don’t leave it unattended, especially if it’s outside its case.
  • Never place anything on top of the instrument.
  • Observe room temperature in places where you leave or store your musical piece. Extreme temperatures can damage it. For example, leaving your instrument inside your car for a long period exposes it to too much heat or cold.
  • Allow your instrument to adjust to room temperatures, particularly in cases of extreme heat or cold.
  • Entrust the repair and maintenance of your instrument only to experts. Do not try to fix it on your own and end up damaging it further. There will often be trained musical instrument repair experts in your area or within your locality.
  • Ensure valuable instruments against theft or damages.

Different instruments require different care. Check out the list of instruments below to know the specific care your instruments require.

String Instruments

  • Avoid zippers or buttons, even jewelry, from getting in contact with your instrument or risk getting scratches on it.
  • Refrain from touching the varnished parts of the instrument.
  • Buy an instrument polish and apply once or twice a month to prevent residue build up. Never use any household cleaner as it could cause damage.
  • Wash your hands before replacing strings. Don’t replace them all at once, but replacements must be done at least once a year. If your strings often break, it’s probably time to bring it to an expert repairman for maintenance.
  • Use tuning pegs after every string replacement. A fine tuner should be sufficient to do minor adjustments.

Wind Instruments

  • Cases for wind instruments are designed to fit all its curves. When you put it back on its case, be sure to follow the right position. If you’re unable to close the case properly, check again.
  • Neck straps should not be stored with the instrument. Provide separate cases for them.
  • Never pick up your instrument by the keys, only by the bore. And be careful not to bend any keys.
  • Mouthpieces can be cleaned with warm soapy water. Lip plates should be sanitized if possible.
  • Wipe any moisture off before storing it. Moisture can cause cracks on the instrument.
  • Keys should be greased with manufacturer-recommended oils only. Ensure you only apply enough.

Brass Instruments

  • Do not force the instrument’s case to close if you struggle with it. It’s supposed to fit the case properly.
  • Keep your instrument dry before storing it.
  • Remove the mouthpiece after every use. Also, the mouthpiece needs to be cleaned with warm soap and water before keeping it.
  • Horn key valves should be oiled at least three times a week. After applying oil, work the valves to evenly spread the oil.
  • Never try to fix dents. Bring your instrument to a professional instrument technician. Manufacturers recommend annual maintenance.