For some, applying Slide-O-Mix to your trombone slide can seem like an obvious process. Of course, if you look around, you’ll find that almost nobody is doing it the same way. So, how do you apply the product to your trombone? That’s the question I hope to tackle today in this article.
3 Steps to Apply Slide-O-Mix to Your Trombone Slide
In this article, we’ll be looking specifically at the Slide-O-Mix (affiliate link) that comes in two bottles—not Rapid Comfort.
For reference, I’ll be referring to the two lubricant components by the size of their bottles (large vs. small). If you’re in a hurry, I’ve also taken the time to bold the main directions in each section. Feel free to jump around the article as needed.
1. Clean Your Slide Thoroughly
As with many of these types of tutorials, the first step is to always clean your slide—especially if you are switching lubricants. That way, you’ll remove any sort of dirt from the slide, so it doesn’t interfere with the lubricant.
Cleaning can be done in a lot of ways, but it’s probably sufficient to use water and a rag alone on the inner slide. That said, be very careful not to damage the slide as the metal is fairly thin.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can use some mild dish soap or rubbing alcohol. Be careful not to use anything too abrasive near the lacquered surfaces.
Of course, why stop there? After all, old lubricant and other gunk has likely built up on the inside of the outer slide, so it’s a good idea to give the horn a full bath. If you have the equipment (i.e. snakes, cheesecloth, etc.), go for it! I’ve linked a great tutorial by Trent Hamilton if you need any help.
2. Apply a Small Drop of the Small Bottle to the Stockings
When you apply any sort of lubricant to your slide, you should target the stockings, the fat ends of the inner slide. After all, these are the portions of the inner slide that are going to come in direct contact with the outer slide.
To lubricate the stockings, you’ll want to lay the slide on a flat surface. That way, when you extend the outer slide, you don’t apply any torque to the inner slide which could bend it.
Once you have the slide in position, you’ll want to apply a small amount of the Slide-O-Mix to each stocking. In the official Slide-O-Mix directions, they recommend using a “good” drop—whatever that means.
With the lubrication in place, it’s safe to start spreading it out using your outer slide. I’ve seen some folks only lube one tube at a time while rotating the slide to get full coverage, but it’s probably fine just run the full slide up and down a few times. When you think it’s ready, move on to the next step.
3. Let a Generous Amount of the Large Bottle Drip Down the Slide
At this point, you can stand your trombone up so the slide is pointing toward the ground. With the horn in place, extend the slide, so most of the inner slide is showing. Then, apply a generous amount of the large bottle to the top of each inner tube.
If done correctly, the liquid should roll done the slide a bit. Once it’s near the stockings, begin spreading it out with the outer slide—a few cycles should give your proper coverage. If done properly, you’re slide should be running quite smooth.
As a bonus, you can always apply a little bit of water to the slide using a spray bottle. According to Slide-O-Mix, “water is always necessary because our preparation takes advantage of water’s gliding properties.” After a bit of research, I’d say I agree with their assessment: water is an excellent final touch.
Tips and Tricks
If you followed the three steps to apply Slide-O-Mix above, you should be in good shape. In the future, you will be able to apply water whenever your slide gets sticky to bring it back up to speed. If after awhile the water is no longer helping, it’s probably a good idea to start this process all over again.
As always, thanks for stopping by! If you found this article helpful, why not give it a share. In the meantime, remember to respect the brass!