30 May Care and Upkeep of Your Saxophone
By Simone Saviane
How to keep your saxophone efficient and in good conditions to avoid useless repairing costs
Welcome and thank you for reading this article. When you finish it, you sure will be able to take care of your saxophone, either refined or professional, even more so if it is your first economical instrument, given the low quality of this kind of instruments.
Every time you play, long or little time, you blow air coming from your body into your saxophone. Inevitably, your warm breath touching the cold brass will create condensation – this usually does not or rarely happen in summer, playing out-door. Also, little drops of your saliva will get into your saxophone, so you have to take care of your oral hygiene, before playing: it is necessary to always brush your teeth and to avoid playing right after you have eaten or drunk alcohol or fizzy, sugary drinks or after you have smoked. These foreign substances will come into contact with the skin of the pads and with the metal of the instrument and with time they will deteriorate the materials, leave residues and lower their efficiency and performance.
Be aware that your saxophone is made of metal, of course, but brass is a very tender alloy – you could even bend it with your own hands! – so, even a small careless bump in the keys might impair them and the pads would not close perfectly. Consequently the air, leaking out, would lower the sound quality and the output in proportion to the quantity of air you are blowing in. If a key does not close properly, you would put considerable effort when playing!
In time, dirty hands will also deteriorate your saxophone’s lacquering. Be careful to when and where you put it down: it has to be clean and be delicate.
An accessory still in fashion among saxophone players is – unfortunately – this one in the picture:
They sell it as a “sax mopper”, but it really does not mop or dry the saxophone, because it is made of synthetic material and it only moves humidity up and down the instrument. Moreover, leaving it into the saxophone body, it prevents the sax from drying faster and it damages the pads. In time, it will also lose fibres, which will slip into every cavity. My advice is: don’t use it.
Go to a specialized shop and buy one of these kits to dry your saxophone. It is guarantee of good cleaning and longer functioning duration for your instrument. Accept a piece of advice from me: in 25 years I have changed only a G# pad of my Selmer!
Thank you for reading this important article through to the end! If you would like to start studying with me or need more advice, leave a comment or go to CONTACT and leave me a message. I will reply asap!
Goodbye and on with Great Music!