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It seems that when I play the sax, after a certain amount of time playing, lots of little droplets of saliva starts to fly out of the key holes. This has always happened, but I feel like it's gotten kind of excessive lately, like it'll start happening when I've only been playing for a few minutes. The saliva gets on the keys and makes my fingers start to slip, and it also gets between the key holes and eventually dries, leaving dried-saliva spots and rusting some of the screws on my sax.

Is this normal? My gut tells me it isn't, but I'm not sure, so that why I ask you guys. I don't know, whenever I see vids of the pros play I don't see them wiping down saliva from their sax every once in a while lol.

What can I do to stop this?
 

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Not sure how to help you. I wanted to chime in and say this happens to me too sometimes.
 

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surely this is not "saliva" but breath condensation? right? it happens to me, too... curious to hear if it's not to be expected.
 

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...no I can definately say it IS saliva!!! i had this problem at first...my mouthpiece would get so backed up with spook that i would have to drain it every 5 minutes.....

as i got my tone production together,the problem went away..

i had a major problem with the facing on one of my mouthpieces..spit would fly out the sides...when i got the facing fixed the problem went away

i use a lot of air..being a trumpet player.....so I would say i was overblowing,and the result was spit....just like on a trumpet
 

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..yes it was wrong!! if a trumpet or trombone can accumilate saliva,why cant someone spit into a sax??? ...of course its wrong!! but possible
 

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Try not to spit when your playing.It takes time to master playing without spiting.
 

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..yes it was wrong!! if a trumpet or trombone can accumilate saliva,why cant someone spit into a sax??? ...of course its wrong!! but possible
It's a different way of playing.

because with a brass instrument your lips are closed, it's possible that some spit does actually enter the horn. But still the moisture in a trumpet is still mostly condensed waterr from breath.

With a saxophone, it should be all condensed water, not spit unless you are playing it like a trumpet!
 

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Can't all be saliva: must be mostly condensation (if not all). Has the weather changed? Are you playing in a room that's colder? These things can have an impact on the amount of moisture that turns to droplets in your horn. If it was all spit you'd hear a constant buzzing sound as it was moving across your reed, which is something you did not mention.
 

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i know mine is condensation, and i know it increases when the ambient temps drop. it also increases when my body hydration increases. inversely, when i am dehydrated, or when playing extended 'sessions', it decreases. what i always wonder is if i have some kind of pad leak that allows it (it gets all over my top keys/pearls).
 

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How are you holding the sax? If it's not straight up with good posture, some saliva can drop out in places where it shouldn't.
 

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There is a whole long thread somewhere on here that goes into a long discussion/argument about whether moisture in the horn is saliva/spit or condensation. But to the OP's point - yup, I get that sometimes, too. There are a lot of variables, including the temperature and humidity, how hard you are blowing, etc.

When I was having issues with moisture (and an underslung octave key) I found that pre-warming the neck would help. I would stick it under my arm while setting up the rest of the horn, and I would grab it with my hand when not playing. If I hadn't sold that horn, I was going to see if someone could knit a neck cozy for me...
 

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Somtimes customers bring me a horn and tell me there must be a leak in a pad because water leaks out of their horn when they play. When there is water in the horn ,wherever it comes from,and you open a key to let air out so does the water. That is a normal condition.
 

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At the risk of getting another private email from JBT telling me that I dont know what Im talking about in regards to excessive saliva spit happening in a sax. I will proceed waiting for a comment

My advice is first consult a teacher near you to see if they can diagnose why, however I have found the following works in my location and for students around here

A fair bit of it will be condensation, but some of it will be spittle, and sometimes chips and beer and plaque and ughhhh youd be surprised, I would recommend to start with check your reed strength, how hard of a reed are you playing, consider going with a softer reed so your not blowing so hard to create your sound, maybe get a mpc with a shallower lay, for condensation learn to play from different parts of your lungs, find which area creates the most issues, and then avoid that playing style

As far as trumpets a lot of it is spittle, becuase you need to keep your lips moist while playing, to keep them moist you lick your lips, then the vibrations move the saliva from your lips intot he instrument, also a lot of players initiate there sound with there tongue in a spitting sensation.
 

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Has your schedule changed so that you are practicing after you have eaten a meal?
Your mouth can and will produce more saliva for quite a while after eating.
It may be thinking that your mouthpiece is just more food! :)
 

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I've just got a new tenor (a Bauhaus M2) and notice this much more than on any of my other tenors (don't ask how many). Water drips out and flows down over the keys of the left hand, particularly first finger front F and B.

Maybe it has something to do with the location of a tone hole (e.g. how far round the bore) and the chimney layout. I guess these might affect how likely condensation/spit would be to collect somewhere and then to flow out of a hole rather than to disperse down the bore.

Rhys
 

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Spray some WD40 on a cotton swab and pull it through the horn. This will clean the bore and allow the condensation to run through quicker and less will come out the tone holes. Also good for the neck if you ever get water fizzing up through the octave pip. I had this on a Yana sop neck once and the WD40 cleared it right up.
 
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