Share this Post
This is it! We’re finally here. This is the last post of our equipment recommendation list. You can access all the past posts below:
Today we’re going to talk about many of the odds and ends that are interesting in regards to equipment. These are all the extra things that may or may not be necessary, but would be fun to have. I’ll also list whether each piece of equipment is necessary for a beginner.
Here are all the items we’ll cover:
- Cork grease
- Cleaning cloth
- Pad saver
- Reed clipper
- Reed knife
- Reed tool (reed rush)
- Reed holder
- Mouthpiece cushions
- Saxophone case
- Saxophone stand
- Palm key risers
- Screw drivers
Many times a swab comes with each saxophone, but these are not my first choice. Usually there’s a big brush attached, making it difficult to pull through the body of the saxophone, and impossible to get through the neck or mouthpiece.
I prefer a silk swab, as it will not only work in the body of the saxophone but also the neck and the mouthpiece. Silk swabs are a little more expensive, but they are highly useful compared to the larger swabs.
Necessary for long-term use
The pad saver is loved by some and not by others. It’s made out of a soft micro-fibers and goes straight down the bore (the inside) of the saxophone. It claims to do the same as a swab, but you can just place it in your saxophone and leave it in when it’s in the case.
- Pro: Fast and easy cleaning
- Con: Some saxophonists don’t like the idea of the moisture remaining in the saxophone
Using cork grease is not just to make the squeak go away, or to make life easier on you. Cork grease allows the mp to slide on easily to protect the cork and to keep the neck from bending. I’ve seen bent necks before, and it’s easy to avoid. For a beginner, any cork grease will do.
Especially if we buy a new saxophone we have a tendency to keep it looking nice. Many saxophones come with this cloth, but this is not a mandatory item. It simply allows you to wipe off finger prints and clean up the lacquer.
If your read is too “soft” or does not provide enough resistance, you can clip the tip of your reed with this handy tool. It won’t work for every reed, but you may get a few reeds to last longer.
There’s an art to adjusting reeds which can take many hours to perfect. However, if the reed is not working for you anyways, why not work on the reed a little and see if you can make it better. Making the right adjustments can turn a bad reed into one of your best.
Reed Tool (reed rush)
This is to assist with reed adjustment. The reed knife is for taking more wood off, and the reed tool is for fine adjustment.
We discuss this item in our Saxophone Equipment for the Beginner post. You’ll also find recommendations for a metronome and tuner as well.
Do your top teeth hurt or feel funny because of the vibrations on top of the mouthpiece? This can be taken care of with a mouthpiece cushion. They remove the vibrations to make saxophone playing more comfortable.
Not necessary for some, but a necessity for others
Most saxophones come with a case, but you can upgrade. Some features include being lighter in weight or they are designed to be carried like a backpack. Some can even be run over by a car with no damage!
Either way, a new case is usually purchased for saxophone protection, or to make your life a little easier. If you’re just learning at home, a new case is probably not important.
Not necessary, unless your case breaks
This holds your saxophone while you’re not playing. Most gigging musicians use it to hold their saxophone while they play flute, clarinet, or soprano. If you think you may practice more (if the saxophone is always set up), this may be a good purchase for you. I prefer the Hercules brand.
Palm Key Risers
Do you have an older saxophone where the palm keys are close together making it difficult to play? Placing these rubber lifters on your palm keys may do the trick. Just be careful they don’t fall off in a performance.
This is probably not the most exciting item, but if a screw comes out, it’s nice to be able to put it back. The screw drivers are smaller phillips and flat head, and are not the traditional house hold size.
Have you made any purchases of the items listed above? Do you have any items not mentioned on this list? You can share your equipment in the comment section below. Thanks for sharing!
Share this Post