There really isnít a lot of maintenance that needs to be done to your trumpet. Just make sure you donít slack off on the few things that do need doing (and donít let it get dented!)


Keeping your valves oiled is by far the single most important maintenance item for your trumpet. It should be done at least a couple of times per week, but more often if youíre playing a lot. Kind of like keeping up on oil changes for your carís engine.

When oiling your valves:

  • Be very careful when lifting the valve out of its casing Ė you only need to lift it about halfway.
  • Just a few drops of oil is enough Ė rotating the valve will spread the oil.
  • Be sure to line up the valve guide (youíll feel it click) so that the holes line up

Incidentally... I use a synthetic valve oil on my Yamaha. I tried using one of the regular valve oils (Al Cass), but my valves were becoming discolored very quickly and the valves were becoming tougher to use. So, after some research, I decided to try Hetman lightweight valve oil and I have been amazed at the difference. My valves no longer become discolored and I haven't had a bit of trouble with my valves in the years since! Just my 2 cents...


This is an often ignored aspect of trumpet care. While it doesnít need to be done as often as valve oiling, it should be done about once per month.

The trumpet has several slides, some of which are meant to move slowly and others that are meant to move quickly.

The slow moving slides, like your tuning slide, should have some type of grease applied (Vaseline works), such that it can be moved, but wonít accidently move while youíre playing.

The fast moving slides, like your third valve trigger (used to bring notes using the third valve in tune) should actually be oiled like your valves (just a drop), so they can be moved quickly on demand.


By flushing your trumpet I mean cleaning out the inside of it. Based on my own experience, this is something that certainly doesnít need to be done often, and I feel would be best handled at your local music shop.


I have read where polishing your trumpet can do more harm than good, in that it can damage the finish. So, I canít recommend that you polish your instrument. This is where taking good general care of your instrument is really important. If you feel you must try to polish your horn, please use the mildest polish you can find.

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