The Best Accessories for Yamaha Brass Instruments

25th August 2021

If you’ve invested in a quality Yamaha Trumpet, Cornet or Trombone, it’s a sensible idea to keep it well maintained. Choosing and using the best accessories for your Yamaha instrument will help maintain its finish, keep it playing better and support a stronger resale value.

In this blog we’ll take a look at the best accessories for your Yamaha brass instrument…

Cleaning the Outside

All brass instruments are generally finished in a clear lacquer (over polished brass) or silver plate. When we play, we leave residue and moisture on the outside of the instrument from our fingers which slowly eats away at these finishes. As such we recommend daily and weekly cleaning routines to keep your finish clean, shiny and long-lasting.

For daily wiping over we recommend using a microfibre cloth, this will do a good job of removing moisture and stains from the outside of your instrument. However, we would also recommend that once a week you give the instrument a more thorough polish with either a specific lacquer cloth or silver cloth – depending on the finish of your instrument. These cloths do a deeper clean, but as such you don’t want to overuse them to wear down the finish prematurely.

Cleaning the Inside

Each time you play your instrument you expel aerosols through the tubing. For general health and maintenance reasons it is important to clean the inside of your brass instrument regularly. We have created a  Trumpet & Cornet care guide as well as a Trombone care guide to walk you through this process.

In terms of the accessories you need to keep the instrument clean, it varies depending on the type of brass instrument so we’ve split this info into Trumpet/Cornet and Trombone below.

Trumpets and Cornets have long general tubing, removable slides and obviously the 3 valves. Each section needs its own care routine. For cleaning the inside of the long tubing sections, we recommend a double ended flexible brush. These go through the main tubing sections and remove any debris and dirt. For cleaning the valve casing (with valves removed) we recommend a valve casing brush.

Trombones require a variety of cleaning brushes. For the general inner tubing we suggest a flexible brush. For daily cleaning of the inside of the slide you can attach a lint-free gauze to a long cleaning rod and gently swab out the moisture.

Mutes for Tone or Silence!

All brass instruments have a range of mutes that fit inside the bell. They vary based on their design which affects the sound and purpose. For example, there are practice mutes which are exclusively designed to reduce the sound output, this could be helpful if you need to keep the noise down when practicing. The most effective one of these is the Yamaha Silent Brass system for Trumpet/Cornet or Trombone. This system uses an electronic pick-up mic inside the mute so you can hear the sound normally via headphones, yet it reduces the ambient sound in the room drastically.

Other mutes are available to offer particular tones and effects for musical purposes. For example, composers will mark on the score that Trumpets should use a straight mute in certain passages of the piece because of how it alters the tone and timbre of the instrument for musical effect.

On the Trombone these mutes are bigger but work in the same way. Popular Trombone mutes include the Straight mute, Cup mute and plunger mute.

Keep it Lubricated

All brass instruments have numerous moving parts that require ongoing cleaning and lubrication. We’ve covered the cleaning kit above, so now let’s take a look at the lubricating oils and greases you need.

For Trumpet/Cornet the main areas you need to work on are the moveable tuning slides (main, 1st, 2nd and 3rd) and the valves. The tuning slides need regular cleaning and re-application of tuning slide grease. The valves also need re-lubricating and cleaning regularly. In terms of valve oil many players have their own preferences based on past experiences, but we tend to recommend based on the brand and age/level of the instrument you use.

For example Yamaha offer a range of valve oil including Light, Regular and Vintage. The light oil is the thinnest and is perfect for professional instruments with close tolerance valves. The regular is a good all-round oil and the Vintage is designed for older (or sometimes cheaper) instruments where there is more space between the valves and the valve casing wall.

On Trombone the main playing slide requires routine cleaning and lubrication. The most popular slide lubrication we sell is the Slide-o-mix Rapid Comfort which is a pre-mixed lubricating solution which can be quickly applied to keep the slide running smoothly. Some players like to keep a small spray bottle close to hand for quick squirts of water. This can be useful to help lubricate older cream on the slide.

The Trombone also has a main tuning slide which needs to be cleaned and routinely lubricated. A general tuning slide grease can take care of this tube.

If you have any questions about Brass Instrument accessories, please do contact us for assistance.