This article is part of a series of repair articles written Rheuben Allen.
Here are a few tips for basic saxophone repair.
Removing the Bounce in Your Low C Key:
In order to remove the bounce in the low C key of a saxophone, you must first move the spring out from under the arm of the key. Next, cut a small slot in the key. Make sure that the slot is not too deep. Adjust the spring and place it in the slot. This changes the pivot point of the spring and does not allow the key to bounce as much.
Fixing Sticky Saxophone Keys:
The G# and the low C# keys on the saxophone have a tendency to stick. The reason that the G# and C# keys stick is because the pad is closed against the tone hole, and so, whenever someone drinks anything other than water or eats before they play, they are contributing to the build-up on the pad that causes the key to stick.
There are several ways to prevent sticky keys. Here are five ways to help prevent your keys from sticking:
1. Place a thin piece of plastic sandwich wrap between the pad and tone hole so that the seat of the pad will not change when it dries. (After you are done playing)
2. Have the spring tension adjusted so that it is as strong as possible without making the G# or C# difficult to finger.
3. Change the direction of the spring. Leverage is very important to the operation of the G#.
4. Replace the blue steel spring with a stainless steel spring. The stainless steel spring works differently than the blue steel and seems to have more tension.
5. Brush your teeth and tongue before playing your instrument.
This article has been taken with permission from Rheuben Allen‘s website.