WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Valve getting stuck on the way up

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    • #49003

      I bought my trumpet brand new, like 2 months ago, it’s a Yamaha YTR2330. Since the first day, I notice that the valves often get stuck on the way up after I pressed them and played a note on the trumpet. First I thought it was lack of lubricant, so I always oil them after my practice sessions (with valve oil that came with the trumpet, it’s called ‘Fast’), but the problem persists! And now that I’m starting to improve on the instrument it’s getting more and more annoying because it completely messes when I try to do a quick chain of notes! Like I try to go from E to F and the second valve gets stuck in the middle of the way up, completely destroying the sound. The problem is not with and specific valve, all of them have a tendency of getting stuck. I notice that when I blow a note the probability of getting stuck is higher.

      What should I do? I’m thinking of dismantling the trumpet and soak it in warm soapy water to get rid of old oil..

    • #49016

      Yamaha? Why did you buy that???

      Just kidding, they make fine instruments. I know of some great players who play Yamaha… 😉

      I would call the shop you bought it from and tell them ASAP. There may be a defect with it and it may need to be returned.

      You could try a different valve oil. I have always loved “Al Cass” valve oil. I think it says “Fast” on the bottle, so mat be what you have. It’s clear.

      And I would oil them at the start of your practice session, not the end.

      My $.02 FWIW

    • #49021

      Too much time has passed, I can’t return the trumpet anymore. I was reading about sticky valves, I think my best option is to do a real good cleaning inside the valve casing using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Has anyone here tried it?

    • #49025

      A company like Yamaha stands behind its products.

      I believe they have a 5 year warranty.

      If the shop you bought it from is an authorized dealer, they will help.

      If not, contact Yamaha.

      But I would try my suggestion first–oiling at start of practice, not at the end.

      Good luck.

      • #49026

        My Bach Strad is 40 years old. Never used toothpaste on it. It works fine. Be careful.

    • #49044

      I once used diamond paste for a valve that was bothering me for a long time and it worked fine! I got it from a friend who has an instrument repair store. It takes some time to apply and rotate the velve long enough, but after cleaning the valves several times afterwards (all the diamond graines must be removed) the problem was solved!
      Good luck,

    • #49052

      Thanks, I will try to contact Yamaha! Also I’ll oil in the beginning of my practice lesson today.

    • #49081

      You say the valves were sticky from the first day? That’s not right — No more than one application of Yamaha’s recommended oil should have been necessary if it was indeed brand new.

      Unless you practice “Flight of the Bumble Bee” at warp speed for eight hours a day, you horn does not need to be oiled every day. Depending on the oil and how much you play, once a week to once every few weeks is more usual. Re-oil only as needed –when the valves start to feel a bit tight or sticky or after you clean your horn. Some oils do eventually leave a residue, so over-oiling can also cause problems.

      I’ve tried 2 oils on the 72-73 Getzen Eterna I bought last year. Ultra Pure worked OK, but needed to be re-applied every week or so. It’s very light and volatile. I think it evaporates pretty quickly.
      Next I tried Monster Oil. I like it much better. It performs flawlessly and I don’t need to re-apply it more than about once a month (or Less). (it was developed by trumpet players in the US Coast Guard Band – I recommend it, but Cass or whatever Yamaha gave you Should work fine.

      DO NOT CLEAN YOUR YOUR VALVES WITH TOOTHPASTE! It is abrasive and will wear them out prematurely.
      Also, it may void your warranty with Yamaha. Only use warm (not hot) water and mild dish detergent to clean your horn

      Take it back to the store where you bought it and ask them what to do. A brand new $1400.00 trumpet should not have slow/sticky valves from the first day.

      Here’s a link to a fairly new Trumpet blog called The Trumpet Boards ( Lots of pro and amateur players are starting to post there. Post the same message there in the Instrument repairs-modifications category. Several trumpet repair techs will see it there and I’m sure one of them will jump on it with more advice.

      Good Luck,

      (another) Greg

    • #49085

      Maybe there’s too much oil? Or there was some old oil from the time it was sitting in the shop’s inventory and it became sticky? Or maybe I’m doing some horizontal push when pressing the valves.

      I think the first thing I can do is to clean it thoroughly, get all the oil of the valves and the casings (with warm water and soap), and re-apply oil. Second, I’ll try my best to not do any horizontal push when pressing down the valves. If it doesn’t work I’ll contact Yamaha.

      • #49087

        In my experience (10-12 years many years ago and 2 recently), horizontal pressure can sometimes cause an already sticky valve to hang, but again it should not have happened from day one on a new horn. There is always some horizontal pressure from right to left when you play, but I doubt that worrying about that will do anything but mess with your playing. Don’t worry about it.

        Oil residue is a good theory. Maybe the horn had been sitting around for months with old oil in it, but they shouldn’t have let it out the door without checking it.

        It sounds like you have never cleaned it and have had no instruction on how to do it properly. If YAMAHA did not include any cleaning tools or instructions with it, go to their website –I’ll bet they have videos or instructions there. If you follow their instructions it won’t be likely to affect the warranty.
        I’d be more concerned with the fact that it never worked right than trying to fix it now. It’s unlikely that you did anything to cause the problem. You might have added more residue to what was there, but (as you said) it never worked right. It might be something mechanical.
        Post your original message on the Trumpet Boards and some folks who deal with things like this every day will give you more suggestions. For free — this is not an advertisement (LOL).

        Remember, the store you brought it from will have a Yamaha rep they deal with and might well be the easiest way to deal with Y.maha

    • #49088

      Hi Tandeitnik,

      Sorry to hear about the valve difficulty. I will assume that you are pressing the valves straight up and down — that your fingers are not leaning on the valves and pulling them (to the side) as you finger notes. Also that you are doing that finger action quickly/firmly.

      Can you return to the store where you purchased the instrument and show them what is happening in-person? Perhaps they have a brass repair specialist who can remedy the issue? If not, as suggested above, contact Yamaha.

      Related to when to oil valves, I oil after my last playing for the day to coat the valves with oil and get the other moisture off of them. I don’t have any issue picking up my horn the next day and playing without pre-oiling. If I’m using a horn I haven’t played for a couple of days I will pre-oil.

      Hope things get sorted out for you and your trumpet. Cheers,


    • #49095

      I just ended my practice session and, hooray! The valves didn’t get stuck, not even once. I don’t know what did the trick, because I’ve made a lot of changes since yesterday’s practice session. This is what I did:

      1) Following a video, I spread some oil through the holes at the bottom of the valve casings

      2) I dismantled the valves and made the springs a little longer

      3) I paid a lot of attention to pushing the valves with a pure vertical force

      4) I was using a hairband connecting the 3rd valve tuning slide to the 1st valve tuning slide, so the 3rd slide wouldn’t slide off the trumpet while it was on its stand (I saw this hint on a youtube video). I thought that maybe the valves where getting stuck because of pressure on the tuning slides.

      Can’t tell which one did the trick, but the action of the valves today was flawless.

      • #49101

        Good to hear all is well, have fun!

    • #49098

      This is the guy on YT that recommends using an elastic, he’s a Brazilian trumpet teacher:


      You can see the elastic in this photo.

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