Caring for your Alto Saxophone

saxTo keep you instrument in good condition, you need to take care of it correctly. We have put together this brief guide of hints and tips to help you.

Before playing: Ensure no food, sweets or sugary drinks are consumed just before or during play. This can leave a residue within the instrument and is usually the cause of ‘sticky’ pads.

Assembling: Attach the mouthpiece by twisting and pushing the mouthpiece on to the cook. Insert crook into the top of the saxophone body being careful not to apply to much pressure to the keys. Tighten the screws on the saxophone to clamp in place.

After playing: Remove the reed from the instrument and put it back into its cover to dry out. This will ensure that the reed doesn’t warp. If the reed becomes chipped or split it is unlikely to work and will need replacing. The life of a reed is solely dependent upon how well it is looked after.

Cleaning: Following playing, wipe the instrument down with a soft cloth, as over time sweat can cause problems with the lacquer if it isn’t cleaned sufficiently.

Moisture: It is recommended that you purchase a pad saver for your saxophone. These are inserted into the body of the instrument when not in use to absorb moisture from the internal body and pad areas, therefore preventing unnecessary wear. Leave this in for 20 minutes and then remove it and store separately. Do not keep the pad saver stored within the saxophone when not in use for any longer.

Check over: Check your instrument over regularly. If something looks unusual, ask the teacher or a technician to inspect it.

Bent Keys: Saxophone keys can get bent relatively easily if the instrument is not handled with care. When handling your instrument, take extra care of the keys.

Sticking Pads: This is a common problem and is usually caused by dirty pads. The best way to resolve this is to get a pair of old tights and put some white spirit on them. Whilst they are still damp, Clamp the tights between the pad and the tone hole then gently pull out, maintaining enough pressure on the key/pad to ensure the dirt is deposited onto the tights. We sell a complete care kit containing all the tools you need to keep your instrument in great condition.