Summer Repairs: Is Your Instrument Ready to Go Back-to-School?

At Bertrand’s Music, we are just finishing off our big summer repair season. That’s when band directors all over Southern California bring us (or have us pick up) dozens of instruments for repair and maintenance before the new school year begins.

Why do instruments need to be repaired? Well, of course, sometimes instruments get damaged by being dropped or falling over. Brass instruments often get dents this way.  Here is a dented trombone slide that was definitely dropped on the floor:


This flute that came in this week has a dent, probably from being knocked against something:

flute dent

Sometimes instruments get old, but they still have some good playing years left in them if they are overhauled. John Pedersen is working on this clarinet from a local Middle School today, giving it a complete overhaul, including all new pads and corks:


This clarinet will go on to many more years of music making and music educating!

Some instruments just need adjustments every so often, even if nothing particular has happened to them–they’ve just been played a lot. A student will be practicing (good kid!) and his or her instrument will stop playing very low or very high or seem to be leaking. Adjustment is in order!

And some instruments just need to be cleaned. You can do some of that yourself and your instrument will stay in better condition if you do regular maintenance on it. Here’s a video John Pedersen made a few years back about maintaining woodwind instruments:


Often all it takes is some rubbing alcohol and a reminder to swab out your instrument every time you play. But sometimes your instrument needs some tender loving care from an expert. All of the Bertrand’s Music locations have qualified and experienced repair technicians on staff. They are happy to look at your instrument and give you an estimate, and of course do any repairs.

Is your clarinet leaking? Don’t call the plumber–call Bertrand’s Music!