Equipment Recommendations Part 8

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:

Interesting Equipment

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.

The List

Here are all the items we’ll cover:

  • Swabs
  • 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

Pad Saver

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

Not necessary

Cork Grease

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.


Cleaning Cloth

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.

Not necessary

Reed Clipper

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.

Not necessary

Reed Knife

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.

Not necessary

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.

Not necessary

Reed Holder

We discuss this item in our Saxophone Equipment for the Beginner post. You’ll also find recommendations for a metronome and tuner as well.


Mouthpiece Cushions

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

Saxophone Case

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

Saxophone Stand

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.

Not necessary

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.

Not necessary

Screw Drivers

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.

Your Equipment

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

Comments 4

  1. Superb Jeff. You are covering the very very minute things which we ignore generally. Thank you very much for letting us know these salient things.

    1. Post
  2. So jeff.. You’re saying that If I didn’t clean my horn (wipe the body), it doesn’t effect my horn at all regarding to the tone?

    1. Post

      Hi Oz,

      Cleaning the outside won’t do anything for your tone, but it will keep your saxophone looking its best. Cleaning the inside of the saxophone is important but not as important as regularly cleaning out the neck (with a silk swab) and mp. If the inside of the saxophone gets any build up, it can make the tone worse and the saxophone can become more difficult to play correctly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *