Tuba Maintenance and Care               


The tuba mouthpiece should be inserted into the receiver.  It is not necessary to twist or tamp the mouthpiece into position as this can cause the mouthpiece to become stuck in the receiver.  If the mouthpiece becomes stuck in the receiver, you must bring it to your teacher, who has a special tool to fix it.  Never use household tools to try and remove a stuck mouthpiece.


The tuba should stored in its case when not in use.. Never stand a tuba upright on its bell.  Make sure the instrument is placed properly in the case. Never forcibly close the lid of the instrument case. The inside of the case should be kept free of objects which can damage the instrument.  Tuba accessories should be stored in the accessory compartment inside the case and not be allowed to rattle about.  Sheet music should be kept in a folder and never stored inside the case.


Regular maintenance

Everyday, after playing, wash the mouthpiece with warm soapy water and a mouthpiece brush. Fingerprints, oils and dust should be regularly removed from the body of the instrument using a clean, dry, soft cloth. Valve oil and tuning slide grease should be added, sparingly, as needed.  Always use soft, dry rag to remove old oil and grease before adding new.  Keep all moving parts lubricated, or they will become stuck.  If your valves or slides become stuck, bring your tuba to your teacher, never try to force them out yourself.



Brass instruments should be washed once a month.  Dirty instruments are very hard to play as deposits build up and make the valves hard to use.  Also, a dirty tuba will smell band and hold lots of bacteria. 


Very gently remove all valves and slides.  Do not take the valves apart. Wash valves, slides and main part of trumpet with lukewarm, soapy water. Rinse with lukewarm water and dry carefully.  Be sure to add valve oil to the valves and slide grease to the slides before reassembling the instrument.  Valves must go into the proper casings and are marked with numbers to help with this. 

Extreme care must be taken when replacing the valve caps: Make sure they are on the proper threads and NEVER FORCE THEM ONTO THE VALVE CASINGS.


Everyday dangers

Beware of food and drinks around your tuba.  Always wash your hands and rinse your mouth after eating or drinking, before you play.  Sugary foods and drinks are especially harmful.  Washing and rinsing keeps your valves from getting sticky and your tuba from smelling bad.


Extreme temperatures are very bad for your instrument.  A few minutes at the bus stop are OK but never leave your instrument out in the car, and be careful where you store it at home.


Dents can affect how your instrument plays, especially dents in the mouthpiece.  Be very careful with your instrument, and show any dents that do happen to your teacher.


Your case is designed to protect the tuba from everyday bumps and knocks.  It is not meant to bear a lot of weight or heavy abuse.  Use caution, even when your instrument is in its case.  NEVER SIT ON YOUR CASE



If the worst happens and you think your instrument in broken, donít panic!  Take it to your music teacher as soon as possible; it may not be as serious as you think.  Never ask a parent or any other individual to try and fix it for you as this often makes things worse.



Things that should be in your tuba case:

       Valve oil

       Tuning Slide Grease


Things you can leave home to use for monthly cleanings


       Mouthpiece Brush