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Hey people
i've noticed something when i finish my practice , should there be some saliva in the mouthpiece or the body of the sax . is it bad for the sax . because when i want to learn something new i put huge effort on it
should an amount of saliva not be or be
Thanks .
 

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Thats normal. I get from the tone holes even pearls. Clean your horn well after practice.
 

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You've just noticed it? How long have you been playing?

But to answer your question, yes, it's perfectly normal to have varying amounts of what I call "condensation" in your mouthpiece, in your neck and the body of your horn. I call it "condensation" because I personally don't spit in my horn! :tsk: However, I leave open the possibility that others may and seem to report doing so. :dontknow:

It's only bad if you leave it in there for extended periods. Very easy to use a swab and/or "shove-it" thingy to remove the majority of the moisture and extend the life of your pads especially. Depending on the finish of your horn, moisture may effect your horn to varying degrees.
 

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Condensation/spit/saliva - yup, having that is normal. That is a big part why you have a swab, why trumpets have spit valves, etc. If it really bothers you or causes a problem, you can try to pre-warm the neck of your horn so you get less condensation.
 

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I think that it's impossible to play and have saliva run into the mouthpiece and horn. You get the odd bit, and when you do you hear it in the buzzing reed. On the other hand, in order to make the saxophone play we put and enormous volume of air from our lungs through what is essentially a metal condensing tube. Someone more scientific than I am could pretty easily work out the quantity of water vapour that passes through the saxophone via the breath in an average gig. Depending on the ambient temperature and the relative humidity of the room, a predictable amount of water vapour will condense. It's an inescapable scientific fact. Saliva? I don't think so!
 

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Here we go again on the 'saliva' thing. Why the myth that you're filling your mpc and horn with saliva is so persistent is beyond me. patmiller has it exactly right in the quote below. You are blowing a LOT of warm air into a relatively cooler tube and some of the moisture (water) in that air will condense on the sides of the mpc and horn. Simple as that:

I think that it's impossible to play and have saliva run into the mouthpiece and horn. You get the odd bit, and when you do you hear it in the buzzing reed. On the other hand, in order to make the saxophone play we put and enormous volume of air from our lungs through what is essentially a metal condensing tube. Someone more scientific than I am could pretty easily work out the quantity of water vapour that passes through the saxophone via the breath in an average gig. Depending on the ambient temperature and the relative humidity of the room, a predictable amount of water vapour will condense. It's an inescapable scientific fact. Saliva? I don't think so!
 

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I think you kinda have to spit. Just like when we talk we throw some saliva out there. So when we tongue we must as well. But I agree that most of the moisture is condensation.

And I have a big problem with spit (condensation probably) on a Meyer mouthpiece but not on my bigger Vandoren or Ottolink. What could account for the changes?
 

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So I guess some of us are more full of "hot air" than others?

Why can't it be both?

Shades of grey...
I'm sure I'm full of plenty of hot air! But maybe that's a good thing for a sax player...

Sure, there will likely be a miniscule amount of saliva (which is largely water anyway) that gets past the reed, but a very high percentage of what you are putting in the horn is air. Just try breathing out onto your hand (or blowing air), with no reed in the way, and see how much 'spit' you get! I bet it's not much, if any.

But I guess nothing short of a chemical analysis can put this issue to rest. Anyone know a chemist with a lab and a budget to do the test??? Or really care enough to bother?
 

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I think you kinda have to spit. Just like when we talk we throw some saliva out there. So when we tongue we must as well. But I agree that most of the moisture is condensation.
I agree with LuisR, but does it really matter? Either way it is liquid (mostly water) from inside your lungs/mouth that ends up in the horn. Sure, condensation comes from vapor, and saliva is already liquid. (And saliva probably has some special added ingredients.) Either way, you get moisture in the horn.
 

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I agree with LuisR, but does it really matter?
No, I don't think it matters in terms of what ends up in the horn (but see next paragraph below). However, I prefer to deal in facts, and calling something 'spit' or saliva when in fact it is condensed H2O, is not factual. When, as often happens on here, someone refers to 'saliva' dripping from the tone holes on their horn, it's just not an accurate statement.

More importantly, I don't see how you can get a good sound on the horn if you actually do spit, even if you only 'kinda' spit. What you really want is good air support and that air comes from deep within the lungs.

p.s. One reason I'm hammering on this is this is the beginner's section and I don't think we should mislead beginners in any way, if it can be helped. So to all you beginning horn players, try to blow air in the horn, not spit, if you want a good sound.
 

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Do brass players get more actual spit in the horn from buzzing their lips?
No, not in my experience. I've played tuba, trombone and trumpet. It's impossible to make a buzzing brass sound while blowing saliva. Try it yourself. Blow a proper brass sound through stretched lips (not a wet raspberry with you tongue sticking out) at your hand and see how much spit there is.

All in all the condensation problem in non-reed brass instruments is worse than saxophone because that narrow cylindrical bore makes sure that the whole airstream is cooled rapidly and efficiently to extract virtually all of the water vapour that you blow into it. Saxophones, on the other hand, with their conical bore and many tone holes allow a lot of the moist air to escape without condensation.

When brass players open their water keys, the most disturbing content of the mixture that comes out is the amount of valve or slide oil in it. In my experience, this is what discolours the water and makes it look more like spit. It's mixed with the oil and with the bio-gunk that brass players swear enhances their sound.

Try noticing the difference between playing saxophone in a warm dry atmosphere compared with playing in a cool wet one.
 

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Cool, thanks! That is interesting (and I never could buzz my lips - which is why I started playing reeds).

I had a problem with moisture getting into the underslung octave key on one of my horns after about 10 minutes of playing, until someone on here suggested I pre-warm the neck - it made a huge difference! (During breaks in playing I would hold the neck with my hand to keep it warm. I thought about getting someone to knit me a "neck cozy" for it, too.) That confirms that the issue was with condensation, not with spit.
 

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The amount of spit in my horn/mouthpiece varies from day to day. Sometimes it gets quite wet very quickly, other days it's quite dry even after a long session. I think temperature, reed strength, and what I ate/drank has a lot to do with it. It does seem that when the horn remains dry, I'm usually happier with the sound that's coming out.

The other thing I've noticed is that quantity of condensation can vary widely between horns. I've had two Yanagisawa's (A991 and A9935) and they both seem to collect a lot more spit that either of the Mark VI's I'v owned. The A991 was a great horn, but for some reason it constantly got very, very wet and it really started to bother me to the point where I had sell it (after having it thoroughly cleaned up). The A9935 was much better in comparison, but my current Mark VI never gets anywhere close to producing the quantity of moisture that either of the Yani's do - not even close. I think that has a lot to do with the neck design and amount of resistance - the more resistance the greater the quantity of moisture, and the Yani's definitely feel more resistant than the VI's, and I can verify that after swapping necks between the two that the neck is primarily responsible for this.
 

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Anyone who thinks it is only condensed water vapor (distilled water) that goes into a saxophone has never looked at the palm key or low Eb key pads and toneholes on a saxophone that is never cleaned after use.

Even vocalists produce SALIVA when they use their instrument. :lick:
 

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Surely Spit Valves are named Spit Valves for a reason...

Basic thing to do if you play any curved sax is to first turn it over so that the liquid that has collected at the bottom can be mostly eliminated. Then you will want to swab it out. You will also want to do this with the neck and the mouthpiece or you will wind up with quite a bit of dried up crud and possibly a funky smell. I also regularly clean my mouthpiece with a scrub brush or if for lack of a better tool, an old toothbrush and a bit of soap or toothpaste...

Also, if any liquid has leaked out the side of the saxophone, you will want to wipe it. Sometimes it happens to me depending on how I hold the sax.
 

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the actual saliva is very little indeed but there will be saliva in the mouthpiece and neck. Saliva contains numerous salts and accounts the white hard deposit which mainly forms in the mouthpieces. This deposit is also a bacterial culture and is similar to what your dentist finds in your teeth and calls plaque.

The rest of the saxophone gets less saliva residues as you progress down and the liquid that you find is indeed mostly condensation and doesn't form white deposit but it is the one responsible for the so called " gunk" which is mostly a bacterial culture growing especially where the pads are with the occasion forming of copper oxide in the form of green oxidation.
 
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