As a music teacher sometimes my students ask me if they should practice when they are sick. I decided to write this article to explain when you should and shouldn't play your instrument. So, should you play your instrument when you are sick?
If you are playing a wind instrument you should not play your instrument when you are sick. Your instrument will get gross really quickly. If you are playing a non-wind instrument, you can play as long as you wash your hands first!
Cleaning your musical instrument is an important part of maintaining its sound and longevity. The frequency with which you should clean your instrument depends on a variety of factors, including the type of instrument, how often it is played, and the environment in which it is stored.
For woodwind instruments, such as flutes, clarinets, and saxophones, it is recommended to clean the instrument after every use. This includes wiping down the exterior of the instrument with a soft, dry cloth, and cleaning the interior with a cleaning rod and swab. It is also important to oil the joints and keys to keep them moving smoothly.
String instruments, like violins, violas, and cellos, should also be cleaned after every use. This includes wiping down the exterior of the instrument with a soft, dry cloth, and cleaning the strings and fingerboard with a microfiber cloth or a special instrument polish. It is also important to keep the instrument in a case when not in use to protect it from dust and other environmental factors.
Brass instruments, like trumpets, trombones, and French horns, should be cleaned every few weeks, or more often if they are played frequently. This includes wiping down the exterior of the instrument with a soft, dry cloth, and using a special brass polish to clean the inside of the instrument. It is also important to regularly lubricate the valves and slides to keep them moving smoothly.
Percussion instruments, like drums and marimbas, should be cleaned every few months, or more often if they are played frequently. This includes wiping down the exterior of the instrument with a soft, dry cloth, and using a special percussion cleaner to clean the inside of the instrument. It is also important to regularly tune the drums and marimbas to ensure they sound their best.
In addition to regular cleaning, it is important to bring your instrument to a professional for regular maintenance and repairs. This can include re-padding, re-corking, or re-stringing, depending on the type of instrument. A professional can also check for any other issues, such as cracks or warping, that might affect the sound or playability of the instrument.
When you don't clean your musical instrument regularly, it can lead to a number of problems that can affect its sound and playability. One time I found a noodle in my trombone! Believe it or not, I was eating too much lo mein.
One of the most common issues that can occur when an instrument is not cleaned is the buildup of dirt and grime. This can cause the instrument to sound dull and muffled, and can also make it more difficult to play. For example, in a woodwind instrument, the dirt and grime can accumulate in the keys and joints, making them harder to move and causing the instrument to sound out of tune. In a string instrument, the accumulation of dirt and grime on the strings can cause them to wear out more quickly and sound duller. If you are interested in violin lessons, you should check out our violin lessons in Ann Arbor.
Another problem that can occur when an instrument is not cleaned is the buildup of moisture. This can be especially problematic for woodwind instruments, as the moisture can cause the wood to warp or crack. Moisture can also cause the keys and joints to stick, making it difficult to play the instrument. In a brass instrument, the moisture can cause the instrument to corrode, which can also affect its sound.
When an instrument is not cleaned, it can also attract pests such as insects and rodents. These pests can cause damage to the instrument, and can also create an unpleasant smell. In addition, the pests can also spread disease, which can be harmful to the person playing the instrument.
Neglecting to clean your instrument can also cause it to wear out more quickly. For example, if you don't clean the strings of a string instrument, the grime can wear down the strings faster and cause them to break more easily. Similarly, if you don't clean the valves and slides of a brass instrument, the grime can cause them to stick and wear out faster.
I hope I have convinced you not to play your instrument when you are sick or when your hands are dirty. It is important to focus on the cleanliness of your instrument. That means you should really wash your hands before playing. If you are playing a wind instrument your should brush your teeth before playing also. Thank you for reading to the end of this article!