Problems with blowing - Help needed!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Charmed, May 7, 2006.

  1. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I bought a new Sov Horn 3 1/2 years ago. When I first got it it seemed fine, recently though, it feels like I'm trying to blow up a balloon when I'm playing! :eek: I regularly run soapy water and clear water through it, it occasionally has a soak in the bath, and I clean the piping with a 'thingy bob' (can't remember what you call them). But it still feels like there is something partially blocking.

    Anyone any ideas on how to solve this problem before I end up throwing it through the window? (Joke)

    Even considering buying a new one, but seems a bit much after only 3 years or so!
  2. Di

    Di Active Member

    Maybe a daft question, but have you checked all the corks on the water keys are in place?

    A few weeks ago at band I had a similar problem. One minute I was blowing away fine, the next, I could hardly get a note out of it. It felt so much effort I thought I was going crackers until I realised that one of the corks had cracked up and dropped out.

    And if you think there might be a blockage, try getting a long piece of something like pvc cable, something that won't scratch, and push in front bottom of the main slide until it comes out though the bell. Keep doing this in a circular fashion (don't pull backwards and push again, if there is something in there, you'll just keep dragging it back).

    We had to do this a few years back with Vic's horn. While she was playing it at school, someone threw a rubber at her. The other girl said she thought it had gone in the horn, but Vic tipped it up and nothing came out. They spent ages searching the classroom for it but never found it. So I did all that I said for ages and eventually the rubber (about an inch across, star shaped) popped out.
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Tenor horns get a lot of cack in the leadpipe, because it's so short. I've seen one that looked like an advert for clogged arteries!
    Tip from KMJ recordings, which I've used and it really works - soak it in lukewarm water with either half a tube of Steradent or half a dozen tablespons of baking soda, this will gently dissolve any cacky deposits. Don't forget to rinse thoroughly, though.
  4. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Nice to know I have my uses :biggrin:

    Is the resistance present when you play open, or is it worse with valves depressed?
  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I don't believe it is the horn at all - I think that after all the holidays you have had recently you have forgotten how to do it! ;)

    Try taking the instrument apart, bit by bit and blowing through it. That might help identify where the blockage is. Alternatively, take the valves out and try one of those long trombone cleaning brushes on the bendy handle- you probably know what I mean! Push it through the instrument and see what happens!

    Lost any pegs or anything out of your case recently? ;) :biggrin:
  6. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Thanks for the responses so far.

    Dave - Tut, tut, jealousy! Re your sensible ;) suggestion, I have took the instrument apart and cleaned through the pipes with the long, bendy brush. Not much change I'm afraid.

    Keith - the problem is there with open valves as well as depressed valves, although admittedly worse when depressed.

    Di - all corks appear fine.

    Andy - now that's something I haven't tried before, but before I do, bearing in mind I'm playing at the Spring Festival this weekend, is it something I should try after the contest or will it be okay before?

    Cheers again everyone. :)
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Most definitely wait until after the weekend ;)
  8. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Definitely! If it does clean some cack out it'll alter the tuning and intonation, not what you want just before an important engagement.
    I'd wait for a free week, then do it and have a rehearsal or two to get used to the new tuning, mine usually goes very slightly flatter when it's had a good clean, as well as being a bit easier to blow!
  9. A guy in our band used Steradent once and it really messed the plating up. I would avoid using that - it attacks metal.
  10. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    We've had a similar discussion in this thread - but there's a claim in there that it does the plating good :eek: .

    FWIW, I'd still advocate using bicarb - it'll do the job just as well on it's own and is cheaper. Even so, avoid prolonged contact, diclaimer disclaimer etc :D
  11. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Oops, oops, and oops again!

    Better go get it out of the bicarb bath I put it in this morning before I went to work. :eek:
  12. Di

    Di Active Member

    And the outcome?
  13. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member


    Still Gold :biggrin:

    Not much c**p in the bath, but a lot of gooey stuff on valves! Cleaned them off, rinsed horn out. Maybe a little easier to blow, bur perhaps will be able to tell more after rehearsal tonight. But keep it a secret what I've done! :redface:
  14. Di

    Di Active Member

    I think I might try that with Vic's after the weekend. How much bicarb do you put in?
  15. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    About half a tub :biggrin: in the bath which covered the bell.
  16. Di

    Di Active Member

    And it really doesn't attack the plating like sterident/milton and you put the valves in too?

    *scared* :redface:
  17. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Use Steredants...... like DaveR suggested! They reeeeeeeeeeeeeallly work! Thats all I've ever used to clean my cornet..... and my mum her horn.... and my brother his baritone! You just have to remember to really clean all the pipes after, it mainly just loosens the gunk and then its easier to get out.... also remember to rinse the instruement through with cold water.... steredant flavour cornet doesn't taste nice! :tongue:

    ooooh and my cornet is beautiful and shiney.... has never effected my silver plating whatsoever!


    Ooooh and it only needs soaking for half an hour... ish on each side

    and I've just volunteered myself to clean my cornet and mums horn tonight now :p
    Last edited: May 8, 2006
  18. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    Thought i couldn't hear anything on Sunday, i think u need some personal tuition on how to blow at the weekend, but don't tell Tim!!!
    PS: Really enjoying playing with u all again and am really lookin forward to the Weekend.
  19. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    Aagh, you're not supposed to know what I've done! Don't tell! :eek:
  20. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Read the other thread - I quoted its aqueous solubility (I think) ;)

Share This Page