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5 Common Saxophone Repairs [What to Look For]

If you're new to the saxophone, recently purchased one and are looking for possible repairs needed, or are renting one and want to make sure you know what to look out for you're in the right place.

Here we'll describe 5 common repairs needed on a saxophone, and why they need attention:

  1. Pad Replacement

  2. Cork Replacement

  3. Key Adjustment

  4. Spring Adjustment

  5. Cleaning & Lubrication

In need of a repair now? Schedule yours

Below we'll explore what each of these repairs entail and why you might need them:

1. Pad Replacement: Pads are located on the interior side of each saxophone key. They're often made of natural materials like leather and felt and secured with glue. These provide a comfortable seal to each key, allowing you to close the desired hole. Pads wear out over time due to fluctuating moisture levels, overuse, or sometimes improper technique. Without a proper seal air can leak out from keys resulting in squeaks, and undesirable tone. It's common for pads to need replacement every couple of years if maintained properly.

2. Cork Replacement: You'll find corks on the neck of the saxophone where you install the mouthpiece, and in certain parts of the keywork. These corks ensure that the mouthpiece is connected to the instrument properly, and that the metal keys don't damage each other during play. Because cork is a natural material it can degrade and tear over time warranting replacement.

3. Key Adjustment: Keywork on a saxophone is a complex networks of levers, screws, springs, joints, rods, and more. Regular use, and small impacts can cause your instrument's keys to fall out of alignment. If your pads seem like they're in good condition you may need a simple adjustment.

4. Spring Adjustment: When you think of a spring you may envision something that looks like a slinky, but on a saxophone springs are much simpler, but with a hefty job. They're small metal pieces under enough tension to allow your keys to spring back up to their original positions after you push them down. If these springs go missing, are bent, or simply lose tension you may notice your keys flopping, not reopening, or simply responding differently. Let the professionals fix these.

5. Cleaning & Lubrication: Dirt, grime, and dust - oh my! Regular cleaning and lubrication of the body and keys of your saxophone will help prevent your keys from sticking and keep it running smoothly. Often technicians will wipe down and lubricate your instrument during major repairs. Use something like our Spiffy Kit to get the job done between adjustments.

Regular maintenance and repairs are the key to your saxophone's performance and longevity. Schedule your next repair!


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