Expensive repair bills and maintenance costs are the bane of any sax player's life. They always seem to come at the worst time. A leaky pad on that incredibly important gig can make all the difference and a properly working horn is essential to get the most of your playing.
Here's a few tips and tricks to help you keep your sax in tip-top shape.
Brush Your Teeth
This is pretty good advice generally but particularly if you're a saxophonist. Brushing your teeth before playing or just avoiding sugary food and drink right beforehand prevents sugar and other nasty things being deposited on your pads. This will cause them to degenerate more rapidly over time. Not good. Pass the Colgate.
Let It Breathe
When you're playing at home leave your sax on the stand or the case open. This allows your horn to dry properly, shutting it away straight away leaves excess moisture in the instrument which will contribute to pad degeneration.
Its easy to take for granted how complex the mechanics of a sax are. All the springs and moving parts need a little oil every now and again to stop them wearing out. Ask at your local store for the oil they recommend.
Always Hold Your Sax By The Bell
It always makes me cringe when I see players swinging their precious instruments around by the crook. If you've ever seen one slip out and come crashing to the floor in a heap of bent rods and expensive repair bills then you will never do it again. Trust me.
Ditch the 'Pad-Saver'
These somewhat controversial accessories are used by beginners and students as an easy way to keep your sax clean and your pads in good working order. But all they do is hold the moisture inside the instrument. It doesn't go anywhere. You are much better off using a swab to get rid of the excess moisture after playing rather than using a pad-saver.