Stuck On A High Note: What Not To Do To Unstick Your Trumpet Valves

15 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Want to experience a moment of frustration that will leave you singing the blues? Try operating a trumpet that has a stuck valve, and you'll be frustrated faster than an uptempo jazz piece. While you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands and try to unstick the valve yourself, you could end up doing serious damage to your trumpet. There are two remedies that are often suggested by well-meaning amateurs when it comes to unsticking your valves, so it is time to learn why these suggestions do not give the results you want.

Using Water-Repelling Lubricant Oil

There are several well-known lubricating oils at the store that can be used to repel water and moisture away from movable parts, but they were never meant to be used as a full-time lubricant. Therefore, these types of oils are a definite no-go when it comes to unsticking trumpet valves.

Water-repelling sprays may get rid of any moisture that is lurking within your trumpet valve, but it will leave behind a sticky residue. Additionally, these oils become dust magnets that will attract microscopic fibers floating in the air. These fibers can get trapped in the valve mechanism and will cause the valves to stick again in the future. Finally, you really don't want to be inhaling the smell of this type of oil while playing your trumpet.

If a proper trumpet valve oil does not work to unstick your valves, take it to a reputable trumpet repairer.

Using Brute Force

Brute force to tug the trumpet valve free is another bad idea when it comes to unsticking trumpet valves. While it may seem like a good idea to pull hard on the valve or to push a stick up into the valve to try to force it free, the valve columns can be easily damaged.

You face two possible bad outcomes when it comes to using brute force. You could either pull so hard you damage the solder that was used to seal the valve edges together, or you could cause small dents to occur in the valve slide. While these dents may not look like much to you, they can be enough to completely change the way your trumpet plays in the future.

If your trumpet valve is stickier that a yummy tub of honey, head on over to your closest trumpet specialist to get the situation resolved. They have the right tools for the job and you won't be paying out extra money to fix the damage you made while trying to fix the problem yourself.

For more information, contact The Music Place or a similar company.