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Discussion Starter #1
To leave my mouthpiece on the neck when not playing or to take it off and store it separately, that is the question. I've been storing mouthpiece on the neck in the bell of the horn. But I just got a new cork, which has made a significant difference in the ease of playing, so am revisiting the question, since I'd like to make it last.

My respected repairman advises me to take the mouthpiece off, but my respected teacher advises the opposite. I'm curious what other people do and why? (I saw an old thread on this question from over a decade ago, but not many replies and nothing recent.)

Why do you do and why?
 

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Take the mouthpiece off the neck, and take the reed off the mouthpiece. Rinse the reed in water, wipe it with a towel, let it dry, and then store it in a reed holder until you play again. Rinse the mouthpiece with water, dry it off, dry the inside with a small towel, and store it with the ligature and cap for protection.
Everything will be clean and dry for the next time you play. This may also extend the life of your reeds.
Put a little cork grease on the neck cork each time you play - it can help seal the mouthpiece to the cork, and extend the life of the cork.
Swab the neck after playing, to clean it out. Put a fluffy, long pad saver in the main body of the sax to absorb all the condensation.
Follow this routine religiously!
 

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I always remove the mouthpiece from the neck after playing and take off the reed. Then I wipe all the parts dry (including the saxophone body inside and out). This allows to save all parts for a long time. Hygiene is a great thing!
 

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The only reason to leave the mouthpiece on the neck is if the cork is too tight. In that case, leave the mouthpiece on the neck for a few weeks or until it is not too tight. At that point, remove when not playing.
 

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Did your teacher give any reasons to leave the mouthpiece on the cork? This is piques my curiousity.
 

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For me, it's a no-brainer. Take the mp off the cork. The cork needs to breathe and dry out after you play. If you leave the mp on, the cork will rot out a lot quicker. I can't think of any good reason to leave the mp on, other than convenience.
 

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I agree x2

Your mouthpiece will be dirty.
You will probably also be lazy and leave the reed on which is gross and bad for your mouthpiece.
You will replace the cork MUCH sooner.

It is not hard maintaining saxophone gear but still some folks wont do it.
Try to build some good habits along your path in life.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll ask the teacher today why he recommended leaving the mouthpiece on the neck. It does seem intuitive to store it off the neck, for the reasons stated in the comments.

To be clear (and maybe seem sillier), I've been religiously cleaning the neck, mouthpiece, and horn after playing (but not leaving the "padsavers" inside the horn, which I've heard is bad for the pads since it traps moisture). THEN I've put the mouthpiece back on the neck and stored them together in the bell of my horn, using a "New York Style Kiwi pouch" made "for saxophonists who store the mouthpiece on the neck." (Weiner music)

If storing the mouthpiece off the neck is so obvious, why the "New York pouch" and the apparent widespread habit of storing the mouthpiece on the neck? Maybe just to protect them when traveling to gigs, etc?
 

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I have always left the mouthpiece on the neck, and the reed on the mouthpiece.

I just like the idea of being inspired to pick the horn up and play instead of first having to faff around.

Every now and again I'd take it off and clean stuff, but not every time I play.
 

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To be clear (and maybe seem sillier), I've been religiously cleaning the neck, mouthpiece, and horn after playing (but not leaving the "padsavers" inside the horn, which I've heard is bad for the pads since it traps moisture). THEN I've put the mouthpiece back on the neck and stored them together in the bell of my horn, using a "New York Style Kiwi pouch" made "for saxophonists who store the mouthpiece on the neck." (Weiner music)
You're doing everything right, except putting the mpc back on the neck. So just leave that final step out.

Let us know what reason your teacher gives you; maybe he or she is referring to leaving the mpc on when you take a 20 minute break in your practice session* (which is fine), or something like that. But when storing the horn, it's best to swab everything out, as you are doing and then leave the mpc off.

*p.s. Just saw what Pete posted above, and it could be that's why your teacher is encouraging you to leave the mpc on. I often leave the horn fully assembled with it sitting on its stand all day long so it's ready to go whenever I feel like practicing. But at the end of the day or when I know I've finished practicing for the day, I always disassemble it, clean the reed, and swab everything out.
 

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The longer New York Bag is very handy for me. Mine is a KIWI I think, a Brecker design. I usually have my mpc/reed set up on the neck and tuned before the gig, so I need the bigger bag.

After the show I still need the bigger bag, I don't dis-assemble my rig and clean until I get home (or sometimes next morning). The smaller version would be quite useless to me actually.

But all good suggestions, a clean ship is a happy ship.
 

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If storing the mouthpiece off the neck is so obvious, why the "New York pouch" and the apparent widespread habit of storing the mouthpiece on the neck? Maybe just to protect them when traveling to gigs, etc?
It is a fairly common practice for some saxophonists to store their neck (without the mouthpiece attached) in some sort of padded pouch which they keep inside the bell of the horn if their sax case does not include a compartment for storing the neck. However, given the choice, I'd personally prefer a case that has a snug space for the neck to fit into to avoid possible damage that could occur with the neck floating around inside the bell.

Most of my cases also include a small circular compartment for storing the mouthpiece and lig inside a mouthpiece cap, but one does not. When I use that case, I have a little neoprene padded case for the mouthpiece which I store in the small compartment for general accessories.

I've never come across the "New York pouch" before, but ultimately, you have to decide what works best for you.

p.s. Welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So it turns out my teacher acquired the habit of storing the mouthpiece on the neck when he was regularly doubling, since as CashSax suggested, it’s easier to be set up for a gig.

But when he has the horn at home, it turns out he keeps the mouthpiece and neck separate to let them dry out, so I’m glad I asked.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I’ll be keeping the mouthpiece and neck separate going forward!
 

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No one has yet given the best reason to take the mouthpiece off the cork when you are finished playing. Cork is a compressible substance. That is why it is used on sax necks and woodwind tenon joints. The cells in the cork need time to relax and regain some of their original shape so that they will provide a tight fit the next time. When the mouthpiece is left on the cork for long periods of time, the compression becomes more permanent advancing the time when the cork feels too loose and needs to be replaced.
 

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The only reason to leave the mouthpiece on the neck is if the cork is too tight. In that case, leave the mouthpiece on the neck for a few weeks or until it is not too tight. At that point, remove when not playing.
Tight cork problem is solved very simply: processing with sandpaper to size.
 

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I have always left the mouthpiece on the neck, and the reed on the mouthpiece.

I just like the idea of being inspired to pick the horn up and play instead of first having to faff around.

Every now and again I'd take it off and clean stuff, but not every time I play.
By these actions you expose yourself to an increased risk of various pulmonary diseases.
 

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A mouthpiece compressing the cork because it is too tight is an invitation to a new cork and a mouthpiece repairman.

Also I presume the piece is moved around for tuning and occasionally removed.

If it is too tight you can also look forward to neck pull down and other damage...either quickly or over time.

All this stuff comes apart easily for a reason.

It isnt going to break my heart, Im not a control freak...its your stuff... but for me its just as easy to do the whole job.

I take the mouthpiece and reed off. When I wet the reed (I use cane) I pick up the mpc and lig. By the time the reed is ready and strapped on it only takes a second to put it on the neck.

IF your mouthpiece takes work to put on the neck you have a simple problem that you better address or it will address you in a very unkind way.
 
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