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Common Trumpet Repair Issues You Should Know About

close up of trumpet bell while being played showing a trumpet repair that needs to be made

In order for your trumpet to sound and play its best, all of the various components have to be working together properly. If you’re noticing your trumpet isn’t playing as well as it used to or something doesn’t sound right, there are a few common trumpet issues that could be to blame and may mean you need trumpet repair. 

Your Trumpet Is Leaking Air

Trumpets can leak air as a result of normal wear and tear. So if your trumpet is older, you may come across this issue. Air leakage can affect the trumpet’s response and sound produced. Sometimes this problem can be solved by using a heavier valve oil, but if that doesn’t seem to make a difference, it may be time to bring it into a repair shop to get a professional opinion. 

Your Valves Are Sticking

It is not uncommon for a trumpet player to notice their valves are sticky from time to time. The valves of a trumpet must be free to move up and down when playing, otherwise, the sound will be greatly affected, and it can feel difficult to play. Usually, this issue can be quickly solved by adding a bit of valve oil. Oiling the valves at least once a week when playing daily should be enough. 

Your Mouthpiece is Stuck

A stuck mouthpiece can be quite difficult to remove. The shank of a trumpet mouthpiece goes from narrow to wide, so over time, it can become stuck. If your trumpet gets bumped and the mouthpiece is pushed in too far, avoid using a pair of vice grips or pliers to try and remove it. Doing so can easily bend the brass of the trumpet and cause other issues. If you cannot remove it with your hands and some strong effort, a repair technician can help. They have special tools that can remove the mouthpiece without causing any damage to the instrument or mouthpiece itself. 

Your Slides are Stuck

Mouthpieces aren’t the only thing that can get stuck on a trumpet. Trumpet slides can get stuck from an accidental bump, but more often, it is caused by a lack of proper cleaning. If it’s been too long since you’ve thoroughly cleaned your trumpet, a chemical bond can form between the impurities and the metal, causing them to stick together. Sometimes a little bit of pulling can break them apart, but avoid using pliers, a hammer, or other tools, or you may damage the metal. If you cannot get your slides unstuck yourself, a trumpet repair professional can use their special tools and tactics to safely pull them apart. 

Your Trumpet Sounds Stuffy

If when you play your trumpet, it has a stuffy or clogged sound, it could be related to the valves. It can be caused by the corks, felts, or spacers of the valves becoming worn down. The valves could also be mixed up and placed into the wrong position. They are labeled 1, 2, and 3, with 1 being closest to the mouthpiece. The water key could also have a leak or be broken and create a stuffy sound. If none of these seem to be the culprit, it could also be an air leakage or even a foreign object stuck inside. 

Your Trumpet Is Dented

Another common issue with trumpets, and instruments of all kinds, are dents. Dents are bound to happen, and most of the time, they aren’t a serious cause for concern. However, larger dents or major bending in an area could potentially cause issues with the sound or how your trumpet operates. If you’re concerned about dents for cosmetic or operational reasons, you can have a trumpet repair technician gently smooth them out. 

Your Trumpet Has Broken Solder Joints

If you accidentally drop your trumpet or it somehow gets twisted, it can break solder joints that hold parts of the instrument together. This is a repair that should only ever be addressed by an experienced trumpet repair technician, but once they’re finished, your trumpet will be working perfectly again.

Read More from CIOMIT:
What is Tuning Slide Grease for a Trumpet

Trumpet Repair Services from CIOMIT

CIOMIT instrument repair services range from simple cleanings to full instrument restorations and everything in between. If your trumpet isn’t working properly, or you think something may be broken, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 303-633-4084 to see how we can help. We offer a 30-day guarantee for instrument repairs, so if you are not satisfied with the work done on your instrument, you can bring it back to us within thirty days of the original repair, and we will make it right.

FAQ About Common Trumpet Issues and Repairs

  • 1. Why is my trumpet leaking air? Normal wear can lead to air leakage, affecting sound quality. Heavier valve oil might help, but consult professionals if issues persist.
  • 2. How can I solve sticky valves? Apply valve oil weekly to keep valves moving freely. Sticky valves hinder sound production and playability.
  • 3. How do I deal with a stuck mouthpiece? Avoid using forceful tools. A repair technician can safely remove it without damaging the instrument or mouthpiece.
  • 4. What should I do if my trumpet slides are stuck? Chemical bonds due to inadequate cleaning can cause stuck slides. Refrain from using tools; seek a repair expert’s assistance.
  • 5. Why does my trumpet sound stuffy? Stuffy sound may result from worn valves components, misplaced valves, water key leaks, or foreign objects inside the trumpet.
  • 6. How can I address trumpet dents? Dents are common but larger ones may impact sound and playability. A trumpet repair technician can expertly smooth them out.
  • 7. What if my trumpet has broken solder joints? Dropping or twisting the instrument can break solder joints. Only experienced technicians should handle such repairs for optimal results.
  • 8. Why choose CIOMIT for trumpet repairs? CIOMIT offers comprehensive repair services, ranging from cleaning to restoration. Our 30-day guarantee ensures satisfaction with the repair work.

For trumpet repair assistance, contact CIOMIT at 303-633-4084. Restore your trumpet’s performance with our expert services.

Does Instrument Repair as a Career Interest You?

CIOMIT Repair Institute offers in person and online instrument repair courses.

Choose from a range of instrument repair courses tailored to your preferences and schedule. Opt for self-paced online courses to learn at your own convenience, with the SELF ENRICHMENT LEVEL course. Alternatively, consider a 5-day intensive POWER COURSE, in-person instrument repair course for a focused and immersive learning experience. For those seeking comprehensive expertise, there’s a mastery program available for FULL TIME STUDENTS, spanning five months and covering instrument repair for all types of string, brass, or woodwind instruments of choice. Embrace the opportunity that suits your goals and embark on a rewarding journey in instrument repair. Learn more by clicking here.