Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bath Time

If you play a brass instrument, you know that from time to time you need to give your horn a bath. I'm notoriously lame about getting my horn a good cleaning when it needs one. From the mid 90's through the late 00's I was fortunate that my friend Andy had access to the cleaning equipment at Stu's Music. The routine went something like this:

a) I'd determine that my horn was in need of a cleaning

b) I'd wait an additional 6-12 months

c) Then I'd beg Andy to bring my horn to Stu's for a chemical cleaning, or in more recent years, a sonic cleaning.

And that way I'd end up with a clean horn every two or three years. However, a year and a half ago, we packed up and moved away from Westminster, MD, to our new-old home in Fallsington, PA. Sadly, Andy didn't come with me.

I contacted Dillon Music, whose shop has a very good reputation. They charge a hundred bucks for a chem cleaning. While that doesn't sound too unreasonable:

a) I've been spoiled all these years with the free cleanings that I feel a sense of righteous indignation at the thought of having to pay someone to clean my horn, and

b) I couldn't really justify it because it wouldn't even save me time. Dillon's is an hour away from here. Round trips to drop it off and pick it up would suck 4 hours away from my life. Not to mention perhaps a week without my horn.

So today, with a little help from my boys, who obligingly couldn't have been more fascinated at my completed dissected euph, I rolled up my sleeves and gave my horn a bath for the first time in a long time.

A little dishsoap, a snake, a bottle brush, some rags, some Simichrome polish. It came out great. The valves are flying and the euph is much easier to play. And now I feel kind of stupid for not doing it myself all those years.

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