When To Repair Your Saxophone

It’s Not Me, It’s You!

Why is repair important? Because if your saxophone is not in proper playing order, you may think the problem is you, when it’s not. Let’s make sure your saxophone is in proper working order.

How Can I Tell?

Especially for a beginner, it can be difficult to tell if your saxophone is not in top working order. Why? Because it takes some time to develop a feel for each note on the saxophone. An experienced player develops that feel, and when a note feels or sounds different, they’re able to identify that there is a problem. Sometimes, even the experienced player won’t notice that the saxophone is going out of adjustment. Why? Because many times the saxophone slips out of proper playing order very slowly.

What Happens?

When a significant issue occurs, it’s easier to identify that there’s a problem. Most of the time though, it’s a smaller issue that causes the problem. Here’s what happens. The pads are made of leather, and the leather creates a seal when you push down a key. If the seal is not 100%, the note becomes more difficult to play. Over time, leather changes shape. This is especially true when it gets wet and dries out every day. Also, take into consideration your local weather, and the change between winter and summer. The leather pads go through some extreme conditions. Because of this, it’s easy to understand why the saxophone slips out of adjustment. The leather changes shape (naturally and slowly) and the seal is no longer perfect.

When Should I Repair My Saxophone?

If the saxophone has an issue that you immediately notice, take it into the shop. In regards to normal wear and tear in relation with the pads, I would make separate suggestions based on the situation:

  1. If the saxophone is brand new, take it back to the shop after a couple months of playing. New pads can change shape easily when first exposed to the elements.
  2. If the saxophone is used (but new to you), take it to a shop. Have it looked over before you buy, and then have the shop make sure everything is in working order.
  3. Once you have owned your saxophone for a little while, I would suggest taking it to the shop every 6 months to a year.

No. 3 is the best method to keep your saxophone in top playing order. If you’re not able to go that often because of budget or access to a repair tech., then you can make the time between repairs longer.

Most Common Repair

Most of the repair work deals with the pads. The metal on the saxophone usually remains in good shape if taken care of properly. Unless the metal breaks, the annual cost should not be overwhelming. If the whole saxophone needs new pads, that can be more expensive. However, that would only happen if the saxophone is in poor condition. If you need some tips on finding the right repair tech, then click here. Not all repair techs are equal, and just because your local music store has a repair shop, it doesn’t mean you should let them repair your saxophone.

What Do You Think?

If you have any questions about repair, feel free to ask in the comment section. If you have any tips that have worked for you, please share those as well. Once again, if you found this post helpful, please feel free to share it with the social media buttons on this page. Thanks for reading!

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