Do instruments need servicing?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TooLoud, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. TooLoud

    TooLoud New Member

    I've read some things that say instruments should be serviced yearly, but I can't understand why. If an instrument is reasonably well maintained then I can't imagine it would need servicing for a good few years.

    I have a trombone that is almost 20 years old, has never had anything go wrong, has never been serviced and it still plays as well as some brand new ones. The corks and felts may fail at some point, but I can just replace them when that happens. Should I get it serviced? Do others get their instruments serviced?
     
  2. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I reckon that a so called servicing job is possibly only for those who are too idle to do normal maintenance. Keep all slides free to move and grease them regularly, replace water key corks as required, replace valve cushion felts to stop them clanking, give it a good wash out regularly and use good quality valve oils. Do that yourself and save the cost of a pro doing it as that is about all a pro would do unless there were dents to remove, joints to check and re-solder, and make sure valves are not so badly worn that they pass too much air.
     
  3. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I suppose that it depends on having the necesarry skills, tools and the correct bits and bobs to do those little jobs, doing them wrong will damage the instrument and would possibly lose more in the value of the instrument that the cost of the service, but I would agree that learning the basics of the maintenance of your instrument would be a good thing and should go alongside learning the notes.
     
  4. agent006

    agent006 Member

    Personally I'd not shy away from doing a full "service" on my valved instruments (proper wash, strip and regrease slides, new felts, springs, guides, key pads and springs). On the other hand we have people in the band who can only remove one valve at a time for fear of putting them back in the wrong order. Those are the people who need their instrument maintaining by a professional, which is done for free if they've got a band owned instrument.

    Talking of trombones, have your slide professionally aligned and straightened, then come back and say instruments don't need professional servicing. I've got two trombones of roughly the same age as yours and I thought they were in top shape until I took them to Rath and had them "serviced" (I'd smashed the bell on one, so had both given the works as it's a log trip there). Honestly, it's a night and day difference. It's pretty much the only routine job on a brass instrument that needs specific skills over just knowledge of the process.
     

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