You must lubricate the valves with trumpet valve oil on a regular basis in order for your trumpet to play properly. Choosing the best valve oil may require some trial and error, as it is entirely dependent on your personal preferences and the type of trumpet you play. A light valve oil is the best choice for tight valves and a quick response. A heavy oil is frequently required for older or looser valves. Valve oil is reasonably priced and widely available in music stores, on the internet, and through catalogs.
Natural and synthetic valve oils are the two most common types. Natural valve oil is made from petroleum. Synthetic oil is usually more expensive than natural oil, and it is also less widely used. Some experts claim that synthetic oil is better for newer instruments and natural oil is better for older instruments, but the choice of oil is often a matter of personal preference.
Valves on newer trumpets are usually tight and work well with thin oils. Vintage trumpets with a lot of use typically have more space in the valve and require a thicker oil. Manufacturers classify trumpet valve oil as heavy, light, or regular in some cases. This refers to the oil’s thickness. Light oils are typically used with tighter valves, while heavy oils are typically used with looser valves.
The thickness of the valve oil, in particular, will affect how the valve reacts. Some musicians prefer slight resistance in their valves, while others prefer a valve that slips up and down with the lightest touch. Trying different types of oil is the only way to figure out which one is best for you and your instrument.
Before trying a new trumpet valve oil, make sure the valves are clean. Mixing natural oils with synthetic oils can cause the valves to stick, and mixing synthetic and natural oils can cause the instrument to corrode. Corrosion is usually removed a chemical treatment, which is expensive and must be done a professional instrument repairman.
It’s important to think about the trumpet valve oil packaging, even if it seems insignificant. The majority come in a bottle, but the lid or cap can make a difference in how easy it is to dispense the liquid. Consider how easy it would be to dispense oil from the bottle in the moments leading up to a performance or during rehearsal. Even the best valve oil will go unused if it is difficult to use.
A small bottle of trumpet valve oil is included in the case of many new trumpets. Advanced players agree that this oil is usually of poor quality, lasts a short time, and produces unsatisfactory results. Given the low cost of even good valve oil, it is worthwhile to replace the valve oil that came with the instrument with a higher quality product.