Saxophone Care & Maintenance Tips
Before you play...
Wash your hands before attempting to play your Saxophone. The dirt and oil can tarnish and damage the keys and pads. Brushing your teeth or washing your mouth out will also help preserve the pads and playability. If wearing jewelry, make sure it doesn't touch the Saxophone. Loose Jewelry can get caught on the instrument, or damage the finish. Be sure to check the instrument for any issues, whether it be dings, loose/worn parts or dirt buildup. Be aware of your surroundings, even light bumps can do more damage than you'd think.
Before attaching the neck, make sure that the joint is sufficiently greased. Check your Reed to make sure it's in good condition. *If this is your first time assembling your clarinet, please wait for your teachers instructions before attempting.
- Moisten the reed on your tongue
- Place reed on mouthpiece, with carved side facing up and towards the front edge
- Fasten the ligature over the reed and mouthpiece with the screw side over the reed and tighten
- place the mouthpiece on the neck with a light twisting motion
- Loosen the wing nut on the body and lightly twist the neck onto the body, being careful of keys
To maintain the Saxophone, it is important to properly clean it after each use. Keeping it clean is also important for your health by avoiding the buildup of bacteria. Moisture can buildup in the body and cause damage to the instrument. Remember to take care when cleaning the keys as they are fragile and can be bent easily. Household cleaners or other liquid cleaners should not be used on Saxophones.
- For Exterior: Use a brass polishing cloth to gently wipe down the finish to remove any buildup and fingerprints. Be careful of the keys.
- For Interior: A Saxophone swab can be pulled through the body and neck separately by dropping the weight through and pulling the cloth behind it. it's best to pull the swab from the bell up. This can be done multiple times to completely get out buildup. A pad saver can then be inserted for a minute to soak up any excess moisture.
- For Mouthpiece: After each use wipe down and clean out mouthpiece. The reed can also be gently wiped down. To deeply clean mouthpiece, wash in warm water with a small amount of dish detergent.
Keeping your Saxophone clean is vital to its play ability and tone. Keeping it safe is equally important as repairs can be costly and time consuming. Here are some tips for keeping your Sax in top shape.
- Always hold the saxophone by its bell, as its stronger and avoid grabbing keys.
- Replace reeds every 1/2 weeks or as needed. Reeds will lose tone when worn or won't work properly if cracked/brittle.
- Don't leave pad savers or swabs inside of the instrument while in the case. This can cause the moisture buildup you are trying to prevent.
- When putting the saxophone in the case, don't put extra accessories in the case on top of the instrument. The pressure could damage the sax.
- Saxophones are sensitive to temperature and humidity, so the instrument should not be left in hot cars or other areas with extreme temperatures or humidity.
- Be Sure to clean your case & care products like swabs and pad saver regularly to keep them hygienic and safe for the instrument.
It’s advised that you get your Saxophone professionally maintained at least once a year to make sure it’s in top playing condition and to prevent major damage. If you experience a problem or situation that is not covered here, have a question anything Saxophone related or you think that your Saxophone needs professional care, please reach out to us below.