Useful tips

Useful tips


Questions often come up for students, amateur musicians and professionals when they make music. We can answer some of these here.

What’s more, we would like to emphasize that you can contact us for any additional questions about your instrument. We are always happy to help.


Should I insure my instrument?

Our recommendation: Yes. As for any valuables, we recommend instrument insurance to protect against theft, loss, and damage since personal liability insurance and contents insurance are not usually effective in these cases. Handling insurance claims is a service that we offer. Once you submit the claim, we take care of all other formalities. You can find all the information about this here.

Was is lead bending?

Brass tubes are filled with hot lead to prevent them from buckling when they are bent. When the lead has cooled and solidified, the tube is bent into its final shape and the folds produced are pounded away with a hammer. This means that the structure of the metal is processed very evenly. The lead is then reheated and pours out. The tube is then filed, smoothed and polished.

I can see red marks on my instrument, what are these?

This is probably zinc pest which can occur in alloys with a copper content of less than 85 per cent. This chemical process cannot be stopped but can be delayed with regular cleaning. If a part has a hole, we can replace it. Although the visual result is not so appealing, we can also patch it with the same material. We are happy to advise you about this.

I can’t make any sound with my instrument – why?

First check the valves: they may have been inserted incorrectly, rotated 180 degrees or be in the wrong order. Is the water valve leakproof? There may also be something stuck in the bell – a piece of paper, a paper clip or something similar. This happens more often than you might expect from transport in bags or cases and is easy to address.  If you think there is a technical problem, contact us and we can have a look.

How can I loosen sticky valves?

Piston valves can be unscrewed, removed and oiled. For rotary valves, a light tug on the casing often helps. If this does not work, do not use pliers or tug harder! It only takes professionals a few simple steps to fix this – so get in touch! We can also help if the instrument needs cleaning to loosen the valves again or if the bushing has warped.

The mouthpiece of my instrument is stuck – can I loosen it myself?

Please do not simply use any tool. If someone inexperienced tries to do this, there is a risk of the leadpipe warping, becoming scratched or being pulled off. This could be very expensive. It is better to come straight to us. Loosening a mouthpiece is part of the service and only takes a few minutes with the right tool.

The finger hook of my instrument is broken – can this be repaired?

We can quickly repair a finger hook that has broken off. We can tidy up the area of the break, resolder finger hooks and grind and polish the solder joint. You are welcome to watch us working in the workshop and can take your instrument home with you in no time at all.

Do dents damage my instrument?

Dents in brass instruments usually look worse than they are. Small dents in the bell are usually no problem in terms of playing quality. However, deep dents can narrow the cross section of the tube. In any case, we can remove dents in our workshop with the right tool in just a few steps.

Do scratches affect my instrument?

Scratches are only a visual problem and do not have a negative influence on the playability and sound of your instrument. Small scratches can be mended with repair lacquer on lacquered instruments. Even simple polishing unnecessarily damages the lacquer. Conversely, silver-plated surfaces can be polished. If there are very deep scratches, the instrument can be replated with silver. We are happy to look at the specific situation and give you tips.


What is the right way to store my instrument?

After playing, condensation collects in the instrument from the interaction between hot breath and cold brass. You should therefore remove the slides after playing and drain the water. You can store your instrument after it has drained, always with the slide facing upwards. If you take a longer break from playing, you can oil the slides as a preventative measure.

On another note, A tuba should always rest on the bell and be placed to lean against a wall, for example, so that it does not tip over and get damaged.

My instrument is tarnishing and turning black – what can I do?

Silver is a precious metal and reacts with sulphur compounds in the air – it turns black when it tarnishes. This can even happen if the instrument is stored in a case for a long time. In the same way as for silver cutlery, treatment with silver polish also helps for instruments. But please ensure that you do not use too much polish in areas that are difficult to access so that no residue is deposited. We can make these parts shine again in our workshop.

How can I care for my instrument?

If you play daily, your valves need to be cleaned and oiled once a week. The slides need to be greased every four weeks, and the mouthpiece and surfaces must be cleaned regularly. Various polishes are available for unlacquered, lacquered or silver-plated surfaces. We have metal, silver and lacquer polish, the right oil for various valves, and disinfectants for the mouthpiece in our shop, and we can also advise you on this.

How often does my instrument need to be maintained?

To keep enjoying your instrument for long periods, we recommend that musicians that play regularly service their instrument at least once a year, for example during the summer break. For amateur musicians, maintenance every two years is usually enough to preserve the playability. We are happy to advise you on appropriate maintenance intervals and can remind you of your appointment in good time.

How do I clean my instrument?

Ordinary dirt and deposits can be removed by placing brass instruments in a bath with lukewarm water and a little detergent. Grease and oils dissolve after around half an hour. You can then pull a cleaning brush through the tubes and rinse them with water. Then dry the instrument thoroughly and wipe the inner slides clean. Do not forget to oil it again when finished! We are happy to help with stubborn soiling and lime deposits.


Does Vogt instruments buy second-hand instruments?

Yes. We can also sell instruments on your behalf on a commission basis. First, we examine the instrument and give you a reliable estimate of the instrument value. This estimate is based on current prices in the second-hand market or prices according to depreciation lists for instruments that are still being produced. There are several benefits to selling with us on a commission basis: We ensure that the instrument is in the best possible condition and take care of all the customer discussions, advice and logistics for you. In contrast to sales between private individuals, as a specialist dealer we assume liability for damage and make a quality promise, like we do for all the instruments that we sell.

Are there special instruments for children?

Yes, these are particularly small and compact and just right for children’s hands and short arms. On another note, it is also possible to play brass instruments if you have braces; this is a question of practice and getting used to it.

What do I need to consider when buying an instrument?

We recommend name brand products to ensure that you can continue enjoying your instrument for years. These are not necessarily expensive, and there are good value options for all requirements. What is more, our experience has shown that it is worth visiting a specialist dealer to learn about all your options and find the right instrument for you. You can hold the instrument in your hand and ask all your questions directly, which is not possible online.

Go to Top