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Discussion Starter #1
I was recently searching forum posts on bari sax swabs. A number of players suggested the Hodge. I had previously been using metal-spring neck swab/brushes for cleaning the bend, and I felt these never did the job. Turns out I was right about that.

Well, the Hodge arrived in the mail today. So I thought I'd try it out. Following the instructions, I removed the neck and pushed the swab into the top of the pigtail. I felt some resistance, and as I got around the top U bend I heard something drop into the bottom of the sax. I tipped the sax over and out of the bell an ancient reed (Vandoren 2.5, blue box?) fell out.

Who knows how long that reed was in there. At least 2 years, as that's when I acquired my horn. Maybe decades? Very gross.

By the way, this is my first post in these forums. I've been reading here since 2013, and I can't tell you how valuable it's been over the past few years. Thanks to everyone who's posted their advice and opinions.

16a0dad0b7c14d2c_0.1 copy.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What the?! I would imagine the horn plays better now?
I know, right! But unbelievably, not much improvement. Intonation is noticeably better on side-key Eb. Otherwise, before the plumbing job it was every bit as fun to play as it is now.
 

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I got a good alto mpc (Runyon 22) out of an ebay tenor described as not playing, when that blockage was all that was wrong with it (pretty much).

This story makes me glad I use pull throughs and swabs.


But I kinda hate to harsh the whole Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink thing going on. So:

"Oncet I reached down in the pigtail and pulled out a smoked ham."


Also: who ever heard of anybody deliberately putting a reed in the tube of a horn?
Q: Do you ever set down your reeds in the pigtail?
A: No. Never thought of it. Never heard of it. What would be the reason to do so?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got a good alto mpc (Runyon 22) out of an ebay tenor described as not playing, when that blockage was all that was wrong with it (pretty much).

This story makes me glad I use pull throughs and swabs.


But I kinda hate to harsh the whole Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink thing going on. So:

"Oncet I reached down in the pigtail and pulled out a smoked ham."


Also: who ever heard of anybody deliberately putting a reed in the tube of a horn?
Q: Do you ever set down your reeds in the pigtail?
A: No. Never thought of it. Never heard of it. What would be the reason to do so?
Agreed, never heard of it! However this is the only logical explanation I could come up with. I'm imagining that while setting up a previous owner placed their reed in/on the tube while getting the neck and mpc ready, and it dropped down without their noticing. But ultimately who knows how it got in there?

I'd also hate to let the pork themed thing drop. So I can tell you unequivocally: that nasty old reed sure was fried, but it did not smell like bacon.

Same thing happened to me once.
I pushed the swab into the pigtail and out popped an alto.
Did it squeal? 🐷🎷
 

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Agreed, never heard of it! However this is the only logical explanation I could come up with. I'm imagining that while setting up a previous owner placed their reed in/on the tube while getting the neck and mpc ready, and it dropped down without their noticing. But ultimately who knows how it got in there?

...

I just assumed that the reed had been left floating around free in the case, and what with being turned upside down in the trunk, and on its end backstage, the reed fell in w/o being noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just assumed that the reed had been left floating around free in the case, and what with being turned upside down in the trunk, and on its end backstage, the reed fell in w/o being noticed.
I like this idea. Lift the case by the handle, and it drops in the tube. Definitely possible. Personally, I can't imagine leaving my reeds floating around in the case without a reed holder of any kind..
 

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I like this idea. Lift the case by the handle, and it drops in the tube. Definitely possible. Personally, I can't imagine leaving my reeds floating around in the case without a reed holder of any kind..
... less likely than not swabbing the neck ...
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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The reed got into the upper loop from inside the case because the owner neglected to use an end cap. Use your end cap and replace it when needed.
Starting with a new or washed-out baritone, there is a long, flexible stuffer that fills up the whole loop. I use one but only as a swab, not leaving it in. I swab out the loop after every gig.
For older baris that haven't been cleaned in a long time, the horn has to be torn down and washed - then with a clean horn you can begin to keep it clean.
 

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Little Jack Horner sat in a corner playing his baritone sax. Stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said " wow, what a swingin' sound Daddy-O.
 

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I recently lost a Legere reed. Need to look in my horn but does not have a pigtail. I also swab daily. Not likely in the horn.
 

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Ah, over a decade ago now when I was in a travelling ska band (oh those were the days...), we were getting ready for a show and the bari player was furious.

"My horn isn't working. %#$*!" etc etc. He checked his reed, he looked at the keys, no damage, no issue, but the damn thing would barely play! I investigate, play the horn, sure enough it's...stuffy.... Looking down the bell saw nothing...except a small corner of his cleaning rag. I reach down and pull out the loooooooong rag he used to clean his horn. Problem solved.

Fast forward many years. Now a middle school music director. Festival time, stress, anxiety, excitment. Band sets up, my bari player panics. "My horn isn't working. %#$*!" etc etc. He checked his reed, he looked at the keys, no damage, no issue, but the damn thing would barely play!

I remember what it sounded like many years ago. I say, "Want to see a magic trick?" He angrily says yes, I reach into his horn and pull out his rag with a "Ta-da!" The band erupts into laughter and cheers!

The things that get into horns will never cease to amaze me, but I am no longer surprised.
 
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