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Instrument Case Essentials

  1. Leave you with less things to remember when you’re rushing off to a contest or concert.

  2. Ensure better preparation for band rehearsals

  3. Avoid a few contest mishaps.

Here is a list of five useful things to keep in your case/gig bag, besides your instrument, lyre and mutes. Think of it as a brass banders survival kit…

1. Valve Oil


Whilst we’re on the subject of valve oil, I’ve had a few people ask me recently about brands of valve oil. If there is one brand I would recommend it would be Vincent Bach valve oil (see picture on left). I’ve been using it for a few years and it’s the best I’ve used. It’s long lasting, so you don’t feel like you’re constantly oiling your valves every rehearsal and the bottle lasts quite a while, so it’s excellent value for money- beltin’! Most importantly it’s clean, by that I mean it doesn’t leave any residue or stains or cause stickiness on your valve- no one likes a sticky valve.



2. Pencil


If you can remember everything a conductor has told you in a rehearsal without writing anything down- congrats on being superhuman, what’s that like? If you’re like me and know you’ll forget the minute you step outside that bandroom- BRING A PENCIL!

I write everything down and I would like to formally apologise to anyone who has had to use my part for a contest after I’ve used it, because there is always more scribble than music notes by the time I’ve finished.

Choose a nice snazzy one. Maybe a music themed one for a true band geek experience!


It’s a little thing and easily forgotten, buy a couple and keep them in your case, so you never have to worry about it… or you always have a spare to lend to a mate who hasn’t read this and has forgotten/lost theirs and are without a spare.

4) Pegs


Forgotten your lyre on Whit Friday? If you play bass, back-row cornet or trombone, peg your part onto the back of the person in front! Problem solved! If you play at the front and forgot your lyre…unlucky!

Fun game idea: boring march job? Put your pegs in your pocket and see how many of them you can attach to the person in front, before getting caught. If you do get caught…I accept no responsibility  for this idea.

5) Spare Solo/Contest Part


Are there any other essentials I missed out? Let me know in the comments!



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