Trumpet Mouthpiece Removal – Beware!28th January 2019
This is a common issue we see in the workshop. Trumpet, or indeed any Brass mouthpieces, get stuck in the instrument due to dirt and moisture. Getting stuck is inconvenient but not terminal. There are a couple of removal tools (more on that later) and any good Repairer can do it within moments. However, what’s not a good idea is to try removing it yourself…with brute force!
This is a cautionary tale of what can go wrong and a video showing how we have to fix the aftermath…
What Can Go Wrong
Join Ana in our workshop as she demonstrates the work required in this instance to put the Trumpet back together. Here, the owner had rather forcefully attempted a mouthpiece removal and ended up with 3 joints of the Trumpet breaking. This is a Yamaha model which are very well made and so the force must have been fairly strong!
What Should You Do?
Firstly, prevention is a primary aim here. Keeping your mouthpiece and receiver area clean and clear of debris will help. Perhaps use something like the HW Brass Savers (£16.55) to clean through the lead pipe, or a simple FlexiBrush (£4.95) is also good. Also wipe clean the end of your mouthpiece each time after playing.
Usually you’ll notice it getting gradually tighter and you may even have a couple of ‘close shaves’ before it does get properly stuck. If those early warning signs happen, make sure you clean everything down and see us if you’re unsure.
Let’s say the mouthpiece does get stuck, for whatever reason (sometimes it’s dirty, sometimes they get knocked at School etc), the best thing is to bring it to our workshop. Our Brass Repair Team are based here in our Maidenhead store. They can remove mouthpieces in minutes, whilst you wait, without ripping the Trumpet apart!
If you’re not local you may want to source an established and reputable Repair Tech, perhaps ask your Teacher for advice. You could also use our courier service to send/return your instrument but it’s more likely you’ll find a safe local alternative.
Mouthpiece Removal Tools
There are also some mouthpiece removing tools on the market which do the job if you know how to use them safely. We would say this is overkill perhaps for an individual to own, but would be sensible to have in a Music Service/School situation.
Our top picks would be:
The Bobcat Mouthpiece Puller (£49.70) (pic below) is a safe and easy to use tool. It asserts even pressure around the underside of the rim and against the lip of the receiver to ease them apart.
Alternatively, the Ferrees Mouthpiece Puller (£134.30) (pic below) is able to be used on all sizes of Brass Instruments. It uses a corkscrew style design and ultimately does the same thing of asserting upwards pressure to remove the mouthpiece.