How to Repair Stuck Slides on a Trumpet

Stuck trumpet slides can be frustrating to repair, but unless there is physical damage to the instrument, you can fix most any slide that is stuck. Trumpet slides must move easily to adjust to changing intonation as the trumpet warms up. As a trumpet warms, the pitch will go sharp, making it necessary to pull out slightly on the slide to correct the pitch. Stuck slides prevent this by making it difficult to adjust the pitch of the instrument.

Step 1 Remove the valves from the trumpet by unscrewing the valve caps and pulling the valves out of their casing. This prevents pressure from building up inside the instrument as you remove the slides.

Step 2 Grab the slide and attempt to wiggle it by using a gentle up and down motion. Sometimes this is all it takes to remove a stuck slide.

Step 3 Pour dishwashing liquid into the lead pipe of the trumpet, following it with about 3 ounces of water. Shake the trumpet while covering the lead pipe opening.

Step 4 Pull the slide out to remove it from the trumpet.

Step 5 Clean the slide using soap and water and scrub the inside of the slide with a trumpet snake. Apply slide grease or petroleum jelly to the slide to ensure it does not become jammed again.

Do not use any tools to remove the trumpet slide. If these steps don't work, take it to a repair shop for a professional to work on. Generally, slide pulling only costs a few dollars and is well worth it to protect your instrument.


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