How to Lubricate a Trombone Slide


There are a lot of reasons your trombone slide may be slow. It could be misalignment or it could have some dents. Or, you may just need to clean and lubricate your trombone slide.

First you will need to clean your outer slide.   Dirt and grime build up on the inside. There are many ways to do clean your outer slide. Yamaha offers a line of brass instrument cleaning swabs that you can carry in your case.

Steps to cleaning the outer slide:

  • Stick the weight in the end of your outer slide.
  • Flip your outer slide until the weight comes out the other end.
  • Pull the swab through the outer slide. Though you will feel a little bit of resistance, never force anything.


Repeat this step as many times as needed.


Next you will clean the inner slide.

Steps to cleaning the inner slide:

  • Spray down the inner slide with water.
  • Holding the Trombone by the strongest part of the instrument, take a soft cloth and dry off the inner slide.


Next you will apply lubricant.

Steps to applying lubricant:

  • Apply your lubricant to the stocking area of the inner slide.
  • Take the outer slide and put the top on the top and move it around to spread the lubricant, and let you know if it is catching on anything indicating dent issues.
  • Spray down inner slide with water again.
  • Apply outer slide and move it around over the inner slide to spread the lubricant.

Water works as a catalyst with the Yamaha Trombone Slide Lubricant, so for awhile you only need to apply water to get the same affect as applying lubricant. When the water stops working, complete this list of steps again.

No matter which lubricant you are using, if it is the first time you are using a lubricant it is really important to clean your outer slide thoroughly because different lubricants will counter act each other and make the slide worse.



Products for lubricating your trombone slide


Slide O Mix Trombone Lubrication System

Yamaha Trombone Slide Lubricant

Yamaha Brass Swabs