how to put your trombone together

  1. Before you open your case, be sure that it is right side up.
  2. When attaching the slide to the bell section, make sure you don’t move the bell section too close to the slide. Keep it at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Insert the mouthpiece into the slide with a gentle twist. DO NOT hit or pop the mouthpiece into the slide.
  4. Always leave the slide locked when you put your horn down or in the case.

when you have finished playing

  1. The moisture that accumulates inside the instrument is not “spit.” It is condensation from the player’s breath. Open the water key and blow air (don’t buzz) into the instrument. Empty the water key onto the floor, not on your chair or your neighbor’s shoe.
  2. If your mouthpiece gets stuck while playing, DO NOT attempt to remove it yourself or have anyone else yank it out for you. Forcibly removing a stuck mouthpiece can do serious damage to your instrument. The mouthpiece should be removed by your teacher or by the repair shop.

regular maintenance

  1. To keep instrument clean, don’t eat candy or chew gum before playing and never while playing.
  2. Do not let anyone else play your instrument. The trombone is a delicate instrument, which must be handled carefully. If you must set it down during class, put it on a flat surface.
  3. Clean your mouthpiece at least once a week by flushing it with warm (not hot) water. 
  4. Proper cleaning and lubricating of the main slide is essential to the playing of the trombone. Oil the main slide as needed. 
  5. Once a month, give your trombone a bath. Take the trombone completely apart. Soak all the parts in warm (not hot), mild, soapy water. Rinse all of the parts off in clean lukewarm water. Wipe the water off the outside of the horn. Don’t leave the instrument in the water too long or the finish may peel off. Put the trombone back together. When the instrument is dry, oil the main slide and grease the tuning slide.
  6. Always keep your trombone in its case when you are not playing it. Never put anything into your case that it was not designed to hold because the pressure from papers or music can damage the instrument.

supplies needed

  1. Trombone, in good working order
  2. Slide Oil
  3. Slide Grease

Trombone Care Sheet PDF

Want to Learn More About the Trombone?

Watch as a professional instructor demonstrates how to properly get started on your trombone. Click Here.