When I remove the valves of a piston tuba, do I remove the spring also?


2 Answers 2


Yes. When cleaning the tuba (in the sense of a full cleaning of the instrument), you should also take out the springs in order to clean properly. This is for more easily cleaning both the springs and also the bottom interior of the housing.


Short answer, no.

  1. To oil it, first unscrew the top valve cap and remove piston.
  2. Next wipe off the old oil.
  3. Apply the new oil to the piston.
  4. Replace piston to valve casing and re-screw top valve cap.
  5. Screw the finger-piece clockwise until it stops. This aligns the piston correctly in the casing.
  6. Press and depress key quickly to work oil around.

You don't need to remove the spring. However, a little oil on it won't go amiss.

  • It depends on if they are just cleaning the valves or if they are giving the tuba a bath - two different cleaning techniques. I would also clean the pistons with soap and water to remove any residue before I apply new oil. Also, it is a good idea to warm up the instrument and snake the tubes while you're cleaning the pistons. Sep 21, 2013 at 0:52
  • 2
    Hmm. I assumed he was talking about oiling it. Yes, giving it a bath is another matter. My experience with brass is limited to the cornet and giving a tuba a bath is a whole different league. I'm probably not the most qualified person to comment on tuba baths. :P
    – Luke_0
    Sep 21, 2013 at 1:52
  • You are right - giving a tuba a bath is a very...interesting process to say the least (and heavy!) I know of some trumpet players who give their horns baths as well. Sep 21, 2013 at 3:07

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