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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!

I am looking for advice regarding my left pinky cluster problem: I cannot keep the low b key completely closed on a Selmer SAII bari sax. I have small hands so I only reach the side close to the c sharp key comfortably. Unfortunately, this part of the low b key sits somewhat deeper than the rest, too (see for example, http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Tenor/Images/selmer/shwwimg_selmer_sa80III_tenor_spats.jpg), which makes it even more difficult to keep the key closed.

I though a key riser would solve the problem. I would not be able to use the rollers but that is a small price to pay (My alto is a Typewriter so I am used to not making use of the rollers anyways). The Selmer belongs to the music school, other people use it too, so it has to be a removable. Does such a thing exist? If not, I found Stephen Howard's article on custom key risers (http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/HandyHints/key_risers.htm) and thought I could make a key riser from Sugru but I am unsure how to make it removable (maybe with a ringlike design?). Anyways, any suggestions are welcome.

Worst case scenario, I can take my Martin (the pinky cluster is flat, so I don't have this problem there) but I would rather not.

Thanks.
GG
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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The table keys can be adjusted to some extent. Since this is a school horn, there is no telling what has been done to it in the past, but the B key should not normally be low. A tech could probably raise it for you but this involves the other keys so its not just the one thing. I probably would look at the low B and Bb pads and see how open they are - the B may have been lowered by someone tampering with its adjustable stop. Raising the stop will raise the B pad and key. You can probably get away with doing this with no major complications but only raise it a little and see how that works. Again, the horn should go to the shop for these adjustments because of the corresponding effects - getting this major sector regulated can take a little time and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The table keys can be adjusted to some extent. Since this is a school horn, there is no telling what has been done to it in the past, but the B key should not normally be low. A tech could probably raise it for you but this involves the other keys so its not just the one thing. I probably would look at the low B and Bb pads and see how open they are - the B may have been lowered by someone tampering with its adjustable stop. Raising the stop will raise the B pad and key. You can probably get away with doing this with no major complications but only raise it a little and see how that works. Again, the horn should go to the shop for these adjustments because of the corresponding effects - getting this major sector regulated can take a little time and experience.
Thanks for your reply. As I mentioned, it is a school instrument used by many different people so changing anything on it is not possible. I should have mentioned, the sax is very well maintained, perfectly regulated. The school has more than one of these and the low b is a problem on each, so it is not one specific instrument either.

If you look at the picture I linked, the middle of the cluster is deeper than the outer part of the low b and c sharp keys. It is a design thing, so yes, the part where the rollers are sits lower. Not by much, but these few mms in extra distance mean that I really struggle with this key.
 

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The low B touch can be raised by adjusting the LH table and the bumper on the key guard. First you can unscrew the adjustable bumper using a butter knife or similar tool to increase the opening of the low B keycup which will also raise the height of the touch. See if this raised position allows you to reach it more easily. If it helps, then the rest of the adjustments are a bit more complicated due to the relationships in the LH table and should be done by a repair tech. The common standard for "setting up" the LH table is that all of the keys should be on the same plane as close as possible. It seems quite unusual that the design of the low B touch on this instrument has it tilted and lower than the rest. If this LH table were made more "normal" it certainly wouldn't make it more difficult for other students to play. It should make it easier even for students with larger hands. A good argument could be made for setting it up to be the same as other saxophones IMO. I read Stephen Howard's comments on the LH table on the SAII tenor and he makes no mention of the lower B touch or the fact that it is tilted.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The low B touch can be raised by adjusting the LH table and the bumper on the key guard. First you can unscrew the adjustable bumper using a butter knife or similar tool to increase the opening of the low B keycup which will also raise the height of the touch. See if this raised position allows you to reach it more easily. If it helps, then the rest of the adjustments are a bit more complicated due to the relationships in the LH table. Basically the low Bb key cup will also need to be raised a bit and the "tab" that allows the Bb touch to close the B touch will need to be bent up. Next the G# touch will need to be adjusted to remove too much lost motion between it and the low B. The low C# touch may need to be raised as well. If raising the low B touch will solve the problem, it would be best to have a repair tech make the collateral adjustments that doing so requires.
Thank you, saxoclese. As I said, I cannot permanently change the saxophone and I am not sure I could realistically do this before every practice session and then re-do it in the 15 minutes I have before my next rehearsal starts. But I appreciate the explanation on what could be done if I could modify the instrument.
 

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Thank you, saxoclese. As I said, I cannot permanently change the saxophone and I am not sure I could realistically do this before every practice session and then re-do it in the 15 minutes I have before my next rehearsal starts. But I appreciate the explanation on what could be done if I could modify the instrument.
You may want to bring it up with your private teacher if you have one or the band director. You might find that making the sax more accessible to all players is not out of the question.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Thank you, saxoclese. As I said, I cannot permanently change the saxophone and I am not sure I could realistically do this before every practice session and then re-do it in the 15 minutes I have before my next rehearsal starts. But I appreciate the explanation on what could be done if I could modify the instrument.
So waht you need is something very quickly removeable.

I would do this with some kind of thick adhesive tape - or with mouthpiece patches cut to shape. You will be able to easily remove them, clean any sticky residue off with some spirite, e.g. light fluid. One patch should last quite a few on and offs.
 

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So waht you need is something very quickly removeable.

I would do this with some kind of thick adhesive tape - or with mouthpiece patches cut to shape. You will be able to easily remove them, clean any sticky residue off with some spirite, e.g. light fluid. One patch should last quite a few on and offs.
Thank you, yes, that is right. I have not thought of tape but two-sided tape should indeed work. I will try it next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You may want to bring it up with your private teacher if you have one or the band director. You might find that making the sax more accessible to all players is not out of the question.
I assumed it must be comfortable for the other people who use it, since the sax is in excellent condition and all, but you are right and I will mention this to the band director, though he will probably tell me to talk to the saxophone teachers (my own teacher does not work there).
 
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