How to Lubricate Your French Horn Slides
French horns have tuning slides and valve slides that will need frequent lubrication to them moving. You will need a relatively thick grease, so that the slides don’t move without you pulling them out. Some good options are pictured below.
Do not use any general household products, as these are not suited to the materials of your instrument. It’s not ideal to use petroleum jelly either, as this will become hard over time.
1. Whilst pressing valve number one, remove the corresponding valve slide and remove the old grease with some paper towel or a cloth. Avoid using tissues, as parts may break off and end up inside your instrument.
2. Pull out the slide behind it and remove the old grease.
3. Apply a small amount of grease on the ends of each tube.
4. Insert each slide inside the outer slide, moving it in and out a few times to spread the lubricant. You really don’t need to use much.
5. Once you have done this, wipe off any excess lubricant with some paper towel.
6. Repeat these steps with the other valve slides and tuning slides.
It’s best to do each slide one at a time so that you don’t get any of the parts mixed up.
Read our blog on oiling rotary valves to get all of the parts of your horn moving smoothly.