The Music & Families Repair Shop is here for all your instrument needs.  We recommend a yearly check-up for your instrument at our shop.  If your instrument becomes difficult to play, or if the joints become too tight or too loose, bring it in for inspection any time.  Instruments should be brought in to our shop for checking and maintenance at least yearly in order to keep them playing well for you.  You can do a lot to care for your instrument:


  • Refrain from sharing mouthpieces and reeds. You don’t know what illness the other person might share with you.

  • Put the mouthpiece on the neck using a little cork grease if it is difficult.

  • Fit and adjust the reed.

  • Hold the neck just above the tenon and insert into the socket dry, using a slight twisting motion.   NEVER use grease on the neck joint!  If lubrication is needed, use a soft pencil on the tenon.

  • Put the sax on the sling and hold the instrument in playing position.

  • Turn the neck so that the mouthpiece points straight at your mouth.

  • Tighten the screw just tight enough to prevent the neck from turning.


Do not:

  • Hold the neck too far back when putting it on the instrument.

  • Fit the mouthpiece when the neck is on the instrument.

  • Try to turn the neck with the screw tightened.

  • Over tighten the screw (finger tight only).

  • Lift the sax by the neck.


Before playing your instrument, make sure your mouth is clean.

  •  No food or soda for 45 minutes before playing.  If you must, at least rinse your mouth with water.   It would be best is to brush your teeth just before playing.

  • It’s also a good idea to wash your hands.


After playing, to protect your instrument, and your health, ALWAYS:

  • Dry the bore of the instrument using a silk cloth swab.

  • Remove the mouthpiece. Drop the weight through the bell, turn it upside down till the weight comes out at the neck.  Steadily and gently pull the swab through the instrument.

  • Always remove and dry the reed.

  •  Drop the weight through the neck, and pull the swab through the instrument.

  • Drop the weight through the mouthpiece, and pull the swab through it.

  •  Allow the swab and the instrument to air dry, by keeping the case open whenever possible. If not possible immediately after playing, open the case to let the instrument and swab dry as soon as possible.

  •  Neglecting the cleaning will accelerate the decomposition of the pads and cause bacteria to build up inside.

  •  Next wipe the exterior of the instrument gently with the polishing cloth and stay away from pads and corks. This is necessary to remove perspiration which often has a damaging effect on wood, lacquer, and metal.

  •  When the neck  starts to get difficult to assemble to the mouthpiece, use your cork grease on the cork.

  • Periodically, check that the tone holes are not getting plugged (with lint etc.).

  • To prevent damage to the octave mechanism, always insert the end plug before storing it in the case.


The Music and Families repair shop is here for all your instrument needs,  but there is plenty you can do between regular maintenance to keep your instrument playing great.

Clean horn = Good health  

Please take a moment and read this article. The health of someone you know could be at risk!


Play Condition

Check pads, key corks, tenon corks, springs, screws rods. Bent keys are straightened and key corks, felts and key silencers are replaced as necessary. Minor accessible dents are removed. Mechanisms are oiled. Each key is leveled, adjusted and regulated.  Includes cleaning of the mouthpiece and case. Pad replacement is additional.

Note: If fewer than half the pads need to be replaced, the instrument can be put in play condition. If more than half the pads need to be replaced, it’s more efficient and it will play better if it is repadded or mechanically overhauled.

Clean and Repad

The instrument is disassembled and cleaned. All keys are leveled, straightened, swedged, removing play and wobble, and fit between the posts. All pads are changed, and corks and springs are replaced as necessary. The instrument is reassembled, lubricated, regulated, and adjusted to like new playing condition.

Mechanical Overhaul

Same as repad except all corks are replaced and keys are buffed or polished.


Dents that require instrument disassembly, tone hole work needed, corks and springs, solder work, part replacement other than pads, , and other modifications e.g. special key work, tuning, or plating work.