The trombone hand slide is a delicate part of the instrument, and its mobility is extremely important to playing the instrument. There are so many different oils and creams on the market, but how do you know which one is right for you? Let’s talk a little bit about them.
Tuning Slide Lubricant vs. Playing Slide Lubricant
Your tuning slide and playing slide (hand slide) have two different jobs. We expect the tuning slide to stay in place where we adjust it to, whereas the hand slide should move freely throughout its entirety. Some players use two different lubricants on the different slides. For an example, let’s look at two of the cream products Superslick offers. Superslick’s Tuning Slide Grease would be a good choice for the tuning slide, as it is thicker and would let the slide move, while still being able to hold its place. Superslick’s Trombone Cream would be suitable for the hand slide, allowing it to move without needing force.
Should I Use Oil or Cream? And Which One?
As with many things in the musical world, like cases, instrument materials/models, or mouthpieces, slide lubrication comes down to personal preference. I know, experimenting with lubricants can seem daunting, with there being so many, but I promise you it will be worth it. We carry 5 different options for hand slide lubrication, and there are so many more. Why do we carry those 5? Because local players and our technicians have experimented and found they like these ones, so we carry them for you to try too! It may take a bit to find what you prefer, but that’s okay. It’s one of the fun adventures you’ll get to take as a musician. In the meantime, ask your instructor, band mates, or technician what they prefer for a starting point.
Some Local Recommendations
George Wiese says…
Ponds Cold Cream. “I tried Trombotine and a Yamaha cream for a while, but it didn’t work as well as the Ponds.” George advise the cold cream and a small spray bottle with water. He says it “Works beautifully! The water spray will reanimate the cream a few times too, so you don’t have to do the whole [application] process every time.”
Jack Sullivan says…
Ponds Cold Cream or Yamaha Slide Lubricant. “I used [Ponds] for a while and found it very effective (it also feels much more natural on the fingers than oil, and smells nicer too!)…Right now I am using Yamaha’s new Trombone Slide Lubricant, which seems to be between oil and cream. It looks like snot, but it works really well. When it’s been on the slide a while it doesn’t dry out like creams do, but it provides more of a smooth sliding experience than oils.”
Nicole LaRoche says…
Hetman’s Slide Oil or Superslick TSI. “I use Hetman’s concentrate and a spray bottle of water on my main/newer horn, I like the ease of application and the way it feels, plus it helps protect my slide from red rot while it’s in there.. But, on my older horn that has intermittent some issues in the slide I use the VSI. The silicone beads up on the slide, acting sort of like a ball bearing, compensating for the imperfections in the old slide… I’m constantly changing up what I use, just to see what products are out there.”
If you’ve ever stood at our single-reed wall, you’ve most likely notice that some reeds are packaged in blue, rather than orange. These reeds are the Rico Royal reeds, and they’re different for a reason. Let’s dive in!
Single reeds come in two flavors–filed or unfiled. The orange package of reeds are filed, while the royals are not. The difference? Tonal clarity. Filed reeds have bark on their shoulders, which creates more resistance. The Royals go through an extra step in which the bark is cut off the shoulders, allowing for faster vibrations. The Royals are easy to play, designed for students, and have increased clarity in their tone. The reeds come in both clarinet and saxophone, 1.5 through 5. So, if you’re finding the orange reed too hard to vibrate, or if you’re looking for increased clarity in your notes, give the Rico Royals a try next time!
*Royals Come In…
Bb Clarinet 1.5-5
Eb Clarinet 1.5-5
Alto Clarinet 1.5-4
Bass Clarinet 1.5-4
Soprano Sax 1.5-4
Alto Sax 1.5-5
Tenor Sax 1.5-5
Baritone Sax 1.5-5
*Sizes in stock vary, some sizes/instruments available only through special order. Call for inquiries.
Reed Profile photos sourced from/property of D’Addario & Co. 2019
I’m here to tell you that April 6th, at 11 am, you can join me at the store for an interactive demonstration on how to bathe your trumpet. We will go over how to properly disassemble your trumpet, what the bathing process should look like, and how to put it back together correctly.
Bathing your trumpet is a common and simple maintenance that can be done in your bathroom tub or sink. I hope to see many of you there. Here’s to trumpets!
Attention all acoustic and electric guitar players!! This April, on Saturday, the 20th, we will be hosting a restring event featuring D’Addario’s NYXL and Nickel
Bronze guitar strings.
So what’s the deal?
On April 20th, bring your 6-string acoustic or electric guitar into the store. When you buy one pack of the NYXL or Nickel bronze strings, we will restring the guitar FOR FREE (normally a $20 service), and GIVE YOU another pack of the same strings. That’s right–Free restring and a free pack of strings when you buy one pack of D’Addario NYXL or Nickel Bronze strings.
Made out of a reformulated steel, the NYXL strings will “bend farther, sing louder, and stay in tune better than any string you’ve played before.” They “provide more strength and up to 131% greater tuning stability by utilizing a completely reinvented wire drawing process coupled with a revolutionary ‘fusion twist’ process for the plain steels” (D’Addario Co.). They also provide more high output and a enhanced mid-range frequencies.
Nickel Bronze Strings
The Nickel Bronze Strings yield a “crisp and clear sound to accentuate the unique tone of your guitar.” They’re perfect for players that are looking for “the depth and projection of light gauge bottom strings, but slightly less tension on the high strings for easy bending” (D’Addario Co.). The strings provide brilliant projection, unrivaled clarity, and heavenly balances and overtones.
We hope to see you there! One Day Only, While Supplies Last.