Repair Posts

Quick Tips on Trumpet Care

Daily care and maintenance of your instrument is very important to how well your instrument performs. Watch this quick video below for a few, quick tips on caring for your trumpet.

Scrubbing Bubbles

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Below is an excerpt from an article we wrote when we first installed the ultrasonic cleaners in the shop.

Wow 1997! A whole brand new year and a whole brand new piece of equipment in the repair shop. A scrubbing bubbles machine! Technically known as an ultrasonic cleaner.

Over the past years, manufacturers have been forced to come up with methods of cleaning that are environmentally friendly. We have strived to become as chemical friendly in our own shop as well. Unfortunately, the safer the chemicals have become, the less effective they are at getting the grunge, grime, hot chocolate, Coke, Mountain Dew, and lime build up off/out of the instruments.

Fast forward to 2015…As it turns out we were the first ones to use ultrasonic equipment at our level. While industrial equipment had been around for years the equipment needed for our level just did not exist. After working closely with Omegasonics, a manufacturer of ultrasonic equipment in California, we have developed machines over the last 18 years that are now widely used around the world for specifically cleaning musical instruments.

In fact, in order to keep up with ourselves we have recently replaced both our floor model units with the latest developed models. In addition we also have two other table top units that we use for small parts. So we actually have four machines in use daily for cleaning of your, and our, instruments.

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Why? Because they simply do a superior job and without the need of toxic chemicals. Which is good for you, us and the environment. The instrument is totally submerged in a liquid solution and the “scubbing bubbles” go to work on every square inch inside and out. No longer concerned about getting cleaning brushes stuck inside or wondering if you got “it” all.

So the next time you might have your instrument “cleaned” elsewhere you should ask "What process do you use?"

The video above shows the ultrasonic cleaner in action. Pay attention to the red grime coming off of both the bell and the valve casings.

Contest Season Is Almost Here. Is Your Instrument Ready?

Scott Hayden - Repair Shop

It’s not too late, but time is running out. Contest Season is almost here!

January through April is a really busy time of year for school music students. Many of the annual contests and festivals happen during this time of the year. These include:

  • Solo & Ensemble Contest
  • Jazz Band Festival
  • Junior/Middle School Organizational Festivals
  • High School Organizational Festivals

Your performance level and the success of your organization depend on a properly playing instrument. If your instrument has not been looked over by a technician in the last 6 months you may be overdue.

Send your instrument in for proper maintenance to help avoid small problems from turning into something larger at an inappropriate time. It could help you get to the next level during the upcoming contest season.

If you’d like to send your instrument in for us to check, we have a step-by-step guide on how to do that right here.

As always, please give us a call if you have any questions.

1-800-382-1099

That Brittle Time Of Year – Tips On Caring For Your String Instrument During Winter

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Winter is approaching with its cold, snow, and low humidity. This scares the bejabbers out of any self-respecting stringed instrument. Can’t you just see or hear wood shrinking, pegs loosening, cracks splitting a top rib in two … These are sights and sounds that one might think would bring a smile to a repairman’s face. Winter time does create special problems for the violin family instruments, but good common sense care will reduce the number of unnecessary repairs.

In most circumstances, instruments kept from sudden extreme changes in humidity and temperature stand an excellent chance of not cracking or coming unglued at the seams. Now, take the same violin in the same well-balanced conditions. If you bang it on a wall, floor, a friend’s head, etc., that violin (not to mention your friend’s head) will come apart somewhere.

An instrument taken from one environment to another, i. e. from a warm room to a much colder outdoors, will also suddenly be subjected to less humidity in addition to lower temperatures that can stress the instrument to the breaking point. Keep the instrument closed in the case for a more gradual exposure to the change.

Cold weather makes wood, plastics, leather, and metal more brittle. Avoid blows to the case, bag, or any accessories.

Peg compound used sparingly can be a good thing. Using too much will cause well-fitting pegs to slip.

Dirt on a violin, viola, etc., is unsightly and detracts from the sound. Keep it wiped off. A soft rag used appropriately is enough to keep rosin, perspiration, or fingerprints from accumulating on an already clean instrument.

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable. Paige’s repair shop is here to help whether general maintenance or major repair is needed.

It is a fairly sure bet that everyone has heard the joke about the difference between the violin and the viola. The punch line is, of course, the viola burns longer. It is an old joke but serves to illustrate that violin family instruments are made of mostly wood. Instruments made of wood can and will wear or even break, but they will, with good care, last for many years of enjoyment.

Top 10 Tips from our Repair Shop

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  1. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It is best to have your instrument serviced regularly in order to keep it in good playing condition. We recommend at least once a year but twice is better. Especially for woodwind instruments. With all their intricate key work and pads/corks that wear out from just regular use they need a little more TLC.
  2. The hole in the bottom of a brass instrument piston IS NOT for a screwdriver or a pencil! It is a vent hole and sticking anything in there is liable to damage the port in the piston and cause a more expensive repair.
  3. We pull stuck mouthpieces for FREE. However, we do charge to re-install mouthpipes. When in doubt…..let us do it. (Pictured above)
  4. When wiping off your flute or piccolo to keep it nice and shiny be careful to not rub the edges of the pads. The pads are covered with a thin membrane which tears very easily leading to an earlier than normal complete repadding.
  5. Bari saxes do not bounce! Not really a repair tip but more along our amazement of the condition of the bari saxes that come in for repair.
  6. When an instrument gets wet from one of Mother Natures surprises just carefully wipe it off and then let it air dry completely before putting it back in the case. Putting it back in the case wet can lead to mold/mildew and major problems
  7. Never use alcohol to clean an instrument. It can damage the finish on string, brass and woodwind instruments.
  8. One UN-repaired solder joint…… leads to another.
  9. Extend the life of your bow hair by releasing the tension on the hair after rehearsals and concerts.
  10. Completely filled out repair tags are our umbilical cord to the customer. Without a telephone number we can not call. Without an address we can not send a postcard. If specific problems are not notated we may not find them.