What it is:
The swab is a synthetic material attached to the end of a nylon cord that has been weighted on the other end.
What it does:
It removes saliva and food particles left in the leadpipe after playing. Using the swab daily will help preserve the trumpet and keep it playing consistent day to day.
How it works:
Any saliva or food particles in the horn will alter the shape of the air column, thus affecting sound, intonation and back pressure. If left in place, these food particles will continue to absorb the acids in saliva and de-zincify the brass. This causes a cavity to form in the brass, often presenting itself as what appears to be pitting or bad plating on the exterior of the horn. Using the swab after every playing session will prevent this from occurring.