Saturday, August 1, 2015

Concerto for Horn and Bathtub

In the list of statements I never imagined I would hear during my life, this one is near the top on the Unexpectedness Scale:

“My horn is about to come out of the bath,” said my son. 

Apparently French horns need to have a bath every few years.  How was I supposed to know? As a former violinist and pianist, I never gave my instruments a bath.  But then, maybe I should have - it could have improved the sound.

Then Son said something I have heard a number of times in my life. “I am planning to let it dry on the dining room table.”  This is the first time the “it” was not kids’ art work dripping with paint.

I gave my usual reply. “No, you are not planning to do that.”  

I told him that he could let it dry in his sister’s room.  That’s what that room is for, now that she has her own apartment.  Plus, it has a ceiling fan, which will help with the drying process. 

For those few who are interested, here is how to give your horn a bath
1.  Watch several youtube videos on the topic (not shown here).  But really, get some professional youtube advice.

2.  Before taking things apart, take photos so you can remember how to put it all back together.  
Looks more complicated than threading a sewing machine.
3. Run the water in the bathtub, with a little dish soap.  Take the horn apart.  Clean tubes with tiny metal snake for brass instruments.

4.  Put all the parts in the bathtub.  Promise your parents you will clean the tub afterward. Soak for an hour or so.

5.  Remove horn parts from bathtub.  Dry it off as best as you can.  Put the parts on a towel in your sister's room to finish drying.


7.  Go to see the movie "AntMan" with your Dad.

8.  Reassemble the horn.  (Ha!  Good luck with that! I think this is where a history of playing with Legos comes in handy.  My son has not yet done this step.  We'll see.)


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

My youngest son bathes his horns. As a former flutist (with kids who played clarinet and flute) I never had to bathe any instruments.

smalltownme said...

Oh my. I hope it goes back together without leftover parts.

Cassi said...

This makes me wonder if there are professional horn-cleaners, and how much they charge :-)

slow panic said...

That last step does seem terrifying. Also, I am very happy I never had to do that with the piano!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I had NO interesting! I'd be nervous about all those small parts and putting them back together in the right way.

The Crislers said...

I had no clue whatsoever that there were so many parts to the French Horn... or that you should ever take them apart, or that they should be cleaned! I guess it makes sense, though. I wonder if there will be a noticeable difference in sound post-cleaning. Update, please!