But What Slide Lubricant, Champ?

A long time ago, in that great and expansive past history of the slide trombone, at least two things were foretold:

  1. The trombone (sackbut, serpenty-slide, etc.,) will be made into something called a “video game” featuring a trombonist with a giant head. This game will be played even by people who do not play the trombone, and lo, even by people who have no real interest in playing a real trombone. Even further lo, this game shall sound much weirder than a real trombone, with slide accuracy that shall have real trombonists everywhere shaking their heads, not in a good way, even though hitting slide positions is apparently part of the whole point of the game.
  2. Trombonists will, well into the future, get together and talk about which slide oil, lubricant, etc., really works the best (on real trombones).

You’re holding it wrong, dude.

The first prophecy was always going to be a little tricky, and frankly it seemed like a long shot, but here we are. Welcome to the future! It’s just starting now. The second? Easy. Fulfilled for years. The problem, of course, is that no one will ever be able to really decide which slide lube works the best. Oh sure — people will get close. Here in the technical vastness of the future, many say the best is Yamaha Slide Lubricant, which in the more immediate past was known as Yamaha Slide Oil. Some “swear by” Slide-O-Mix, or “Rapid Comfort.” But when it comes to slide action, will there ever be any real comfort?

Related:

Yamaha Slide Oil

Yamaha Slide Oil

Ive been using it since summer last, and Yamaha Slide Oil does a fine job of lubricating my trombone slide. But — no doubt like many people — I sometimes get concerned about the possible toxicity of substances I use on a regular basis. This slide “oil” (actually a soapy-looking concoction), works great, but what’s in it? I couldn’t find the information on the internet, even on Yamaha’s own website. They did have a web form for inquiries, so I wrote in:

Hello:

My question is about Yamaha Slide Oil — is it possible to list its ingredients? I’m interested in the oil’s relative toxicity to humans. Thanks, Chris

In a while, I received an email from a helpful product manager at Yamaha. He included a fairly standard Material Data Safety Sheet. To cut right to the chase, Yamaha Slide Oil doesn’t contain anything that is an eye, skin, or inhalation irritant. Although practically non-toxic, Yamaha Slide Oil should not be ingested because doing so could give you abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Insert you own TV dinner and/or Hot Pockets joke here.

The basic ingredients found in Yamaha Slide Oil: