Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I think I'd play more if I kept my saxophone assembled and on a stand rather than in the case. I work from home often and it's nice to take a quick break and play, even if it's brief. Plus I like having it on display, and I could save space with a wall stand. I know it's not great for the life of the cork or the reed to keep the sax assembled. However that's a trade I'm ok with.

Aside from the risk of bumping it, I'd like to know if there's any danger to leaving the neck on and tightened for extended periods. Does this cause any kind of problem? I know tenons can wear out eventually but I have no idea if leaving it on would accelerate this, how long that would take or if it's a major repair. Aside from a complete failure does this risk creating a leak or other issue with the tenon? I could just loosen the neck when it's not in use but then it doesn't stay put very well when the sax is on a stand.

I'd still take it apart now and again to clean it or take it elsewhere of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I would recommend not doing this. At bare minimum, take apart the mpc/lig/reed and remove neck and store on a shelf or the end of a stood-up case. I have seen necks corrode and get stuck to the point that an attempt to remove will break the solder holding the tenon to the sax body. But I live on the Gulf Coast...if you live in the desert, things might dry out quicker... but why take the risk when attaching or removing a neck takes all of 5 seconds. To hasten drying, I do like to keep the sax body on a stand WITHOUT the pad-saver in, for at least a couple hours, after playing. So what usually happens is it stays on the stand, neckless, until I want to play, and doesn't go into the case unless it's leaving the house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Aside from the risk of bumping it, I'd like to know if there's any danger to leaving the neck on and tightened for extended periods. Does this cause any kind of problem? I know tenons can wear out eventually but I have no idea if leaving it on would accelerate this, how long that would take or if it's a major repair. Aside from a complete failure does this risk creating a leak or other issue with the tenon?
The repeated action of putting the neck on and taking it off is actually what "wears" out or expands the tenon resulting in a looser fit or leak, so keeping it on would theoretically avoid this problem (even then, refitting the neck is an easy fix for a tech). However, as typist mentions there is the problem of moisture build-up to worry about. If you keep coming back to the horn to play over the course of the day then you can leave the neck on, but when you're done for the day take the neck off to swab the horn and neck out. After it's dry you can put it back on to store on the stand. I don't think you'd have any problem in this case.

I would definitely do the same thing for the mouthpiece & reed, maybe more often if you'll be away from the horn for several hours at a time since the cork and reed are much more susceptible to moisture issues - The reed can warp and the neck cork will wear out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I would concur with Samusax. At least take the neck off, disassemble and clean at the end of each day. Leaving the mouthpiece, reed and neck on the horn can't be good in the long run. I remember reading in the liner notes to Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section that Art had left the mouthpiece with reed on the neck while he was in prison for about 6 months. That was a lot longer period of time, but he said the mouthpiece was stuck on the neck after that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,591 Posts
I knew someone that used to often leave his sax on a stand fully assembled with similar reasoning. That was till one day he caught a really bad mouth infection from whatever baterias developed in his mouthpiece from lack of regular cleaning. It was so nasty he gave up on playing sax altogether after that. Let alone risk of corrosion as others mentioned.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,021 Posts
+1 to all the above responses. If you want to keep the horn on a stand and ready to play throughout the day, that's probably fine, but definitely at the end of the day or the end of your final playing session, remove & clean the mpc & reed, remove the neck and swab out the neck and horn. Then, as typist mentioned, leave the horn out (either on the stand or in an open case) for a couple of hours so it dries out. This will save the pads and help prevent leaks. None of that takes much extra time or hassle. And it could save you a lot of $$$ in terms of horn repair as well as keeping your horn in good playing condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
I keep my three main horns (S,A,T) out of the case on stands and leave the neck on but always take the mouthpiece off and take reed off mouthpiece. I haven't had any issues with the necks getting corroded or stuck, but I do keep the tenon very well lubricated. IMO reeds need to be in some sort of case to keep them flat when not being played, and leaving the reed damp on the mouthpiece for long periods invites a bunch of problems.

This is just what works for me, and I don't pretend to be any sort of expert.

I feel if you play every day, storing the sax in the case creates a situation of trapped moisture in the horn even if you swab it. And Samusax is correct that removing and re-inserting the neck multiple times a day will definitely loosen the tenon fit sooner. I cringe when I watch videos where players are roughly pulling the neck out and jamming it on. I'm super gentle when doing that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,018 Posts
My question is how long does it take to open a case, put on your neck strap, remove the body of the sax, insert the neck, tighten the screw, and put on the mouthpiece? 30 seconds? 45 seconds? As a teacher, player and repair tech I think the advantage of safely storing the instrument out of harms way and away from dust, and humidity in the air outweighs any time savings, but that is just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,756 Posts
My question is how long does it take to open a case, put on your neck strap, remove the body of the sax, insert the neck, tighten the screw, and put on the mouthpiece? 30 seconds? 45 seconds? As a teacher, player and repair tech I think the advantage of safely storing the instrument out of harms way and away from dust, and humidity in the air outweighs any time savings, but that is just my opinion.
You have a point if there are young children around with access to the practice room. I live with my wife and two cats. Very little risk of damage leaving it on the stand. I remove the neck, swab the mouthpiece and run a pad saver thru it before putting it on the stand. I'm much more meticulous with my wooden clarinet. It gets taken apart and swabbed. Usually I'll lightly swab it with with bore oil. Then I leave it on a shelf to dry.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,437 Posts
Bad idea. Typically the neck will get stuck. You will get mad and wrench the neck until it crumples. Then you replace it or have it fixed, about the same cost assuming its not an old Selmer or something else collectible - then a neck will be in the thousands.
Here's how to get a stuck neck loose; take out the clamp screw, put a few drops of penetrant (Kroil, PB Blaster) in the slit under the clamp screw and give it an hour. Use a small screwdriver as a wedge in the joint of the clamp to open it just a little - now the neck should be free.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,021 Posts
I feel if you play every day, storing the sax in the case creates a situation of trapped moisture in the horn even if you swab it.
That's why I mentioned leaving the horn on the stand for a couple of hours prior to putting it away in the case. Also, at the end of a gig, I swab the horn, put it in the case, then after getting home I open the case and let the horn dry overnight. I don't like to leave it out ALL the time because it will collect dust and is more vulnerable to damage than when it's put away in the case.

Going back to leaving the neck on all the time, it takes about 3 seconds to remove the neck! And if you leave it on the horn, you can't swab out the sax or put it in its case. So it doesn't make sense to me that anyone would leave the neck on "24-7."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
FWIW - I generally leave a horn out on a stand over which I drape a pillow case. The sax, neck etc are swabbed at days end, the neck is reinserted and over this I drape the pillow case to keep any dust off. The MP, after cleaning, is put on a shelf with the lig and reeds etc. no kids, no pets, sax on stand in the corner. I'm planning on getting a wall mount stand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,468 Posts
So, a list of what can go wrong:

Neck seizes to receiver as noted above, resulting in damage to neck and/or receiver ranging from mild to wild. Kinks or twists in neck, receiver to body joint could come loose, neck tube to tenon joint could come loose.
Cork seizes to ID of mouthpiece and tears off the neck when you next pull the MP off.
Cork seizes to ID of mouthpiece and doesn't tear from the neck, so you kink or twist the neck. Or the neck to tenon joint comes loose.
Cork gets smaller and smaller and smaller, from never having any time not inserted into the MP, and gets loose.

I do leave saxes out with the neck installed but no MP, but I don't think it's the best policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Leave it together and play it ! Been doing it for 40 years with no ill effects. Way too much OCD stuff going on with this topic.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,021 Posts
Leave it together and play it ! Been doing it for 40 years with no ill effects. Way too much OCD stuff going on with this topic.
So, never remove the mpc/reed, don't swab out the moisture, etc? I don't consider any of that "OCD" stuff. I suppose you could justify not doing any of that if you're willing to spend a lot of extra money getting the horn re-padded more often than normal, and whatever other repairs result from not spending the few minutes necessary to take care of the instrument.

For those who don't want to put it back in the case (of course you'll have to use the case if you play gigs), I like the method Hassles outlined (putting a cover over the horn will keep off the dust):

"I generally leave a horn out on a stand over which I drape a pillow case. The sax, neck etc are swabbed at days end, the neck is reinserted and over this I drape the pillow case to keep any dust off. The MP, after cleaning, is put on a shelf with the lig and reeds etc."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Assuming that you have to remove the neck and reed to swab your horn between sessions you still have to put it together for the next session, so you will not save much time by doing it after playing instead of before playing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
I think I'd play more if I kept my saxophone assembled and on a stand rather than in the case. I work from home often and it's nice to take a quick break and play, even if it's brief. Plus I like having it on display, and I could save space with a wall stand. I know it's not great for the life of the cork or the reed to keep the sax assembled. However that's a trade I'm ok with.

Aside from the risk of bumping it, I'd like to know if there's any danger to leaving the neck on and tightened for extended periods. Does this cause any kind of problem? I know tenons can wear out eventually but I have no idea if leaving it on would accelerate this, how long that would take or if it's a major repair. Aside from a complete failure does this risk creating a leak or other issue with the tenon? I could just loosen the neck when it's not in use but then it doesn't stay put very well when the sax is on a stand.

I'd still take it apart now and again to clean it or take it elsewhere of course.
You're right in that leaving it all set up with its mouthpiece cap on will make it more convenient to play. I do that some days when I'm home all day; I enjoy playing just a couple of tunes between things like a short bike ride, a dip in the pool, or practicing classical guitar. Florida retirement is not over-rated, by the way.

My suggestion is to wipe a small amount of cork grease on the tenon, which no one has mentioned. That helps make an air-tight seal without over-tightening a neck screw, and eliminates any seizing or difficulty or damage when inserting or removing the neck (learned that at my first saxophone lesson, which included assembly and care).

Naturally, how often during the day you would need to swab your horn depends upon how "juicy" a player you happen to be. At end of day may be often enough for you.

One other thing to consider is to store three good playing reeds in a small pill bottle half-filled with a 20% mouthwash solution. Saves putting a dry, bacteria-infested, reed in your mouth; and it extends the life of reeds, as saliva works to break them down. Change the solution at least every week, or anytime the solution looks the least bit cloudy. A pleasant surprise should be how long reeds will last. You may find playing a slightly stiffer rated reed, say a number 3.0 over a 2.5, to have effectively the same sound and intonation.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,944 Posts
My suggestion is to wipe a small amount of cork grease on the tenon, which no one has mentioned. That helps make an air-tight seal without over-tightening a neck screw, and eliminates any seizing or difficulty or damage when inserting or removing the neck (learned that at my first saxophone lesson, which included assembly and care).
Applying cork grease to the tenon is not a widely accepted practice. A properly sized tenon does not need it to form a good seal, and it will attract dust and grime to the detriment of the joint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,318 Posts
Some of it also depends on the type of horn. I tend to leave my bari and bass on the stand, however, disassembled, and the same goes with the horns that I play every day. If there is a horn I don't play for a few days, it goes back in the case after drying out completely, which is no problem in Colorado.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
Applying cork grease to the tenon is not a widely accepted practice. A properly sized tenon does not need it to form a good seal, and it will attract dust and grime to the detriment of the joint.
No build-up yet. Have to give it another 30 years or so, maybe?

Problem described with leaving the horn assembled is seizure of the tenon, with potential damage inserting and removing neck. Not possible.
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top