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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious if anyone has ever used a small electric blanket to keep their sax warm or to warm it up before playing/practising?
 

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I see you're from Toronto. I would recommend not leaving the horn outside. It will be as warm as you are.

Otherwise, your breath is sufficient to warm your sax.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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It's not quite heated, but I use one of these for my flute.

I usually keep my instruments out on stands in my WhisperRoom, which is in a part of my house that can get up to 20 °F cooler than the rest of the house in winter.

It also seems to help keep it from tarnishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My practise space is a little on the chill side. My horn warms up when I practise, cools off when I take a break. I was just thinking of a solution to keep it warm.
 

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I use a small space heater in my studio. For gigs it's more difficult. I've considered getting a pair of battery powered heated socks to slide over the top in an effort to keep my flute warm in between playing and I've more or less given up on bringing bari as a double during the winter months since it just takes too long to warm up in most cases.

One of those radiant heating pads that folks put under their desks at work to keep their feet warm might work if you place it under the stand your horn is sitting on.
 

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My practise space is a little on the chill side. My horn warms up when I practise, cools off when I take a break. I was just thinking of a solution to keep it warm.
If the room isn't large, and it is enclosed (or can be enclosed by a curtain or room divider etc, then one of those oil-filled electric heaters (DeLonghi, Pelonis, etc) would do the trick. You don't have to leave it on all the time, just turn it on maybe 15 minutes before you start playing....

Actually, a heating blanket set on low ? That isn't a terrible idea and may be worth a try. It'd certainly send localized, safe heat straight to the horn, and these never get very hot to begin with....
 

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I used to play shows in the circus and they would need to keep the large load in doors open during the entire performance. In really cold arenas, with the coldest being Philadelphia we would sometimes get temperatures near freezing. So I would have a space heater on the ground and periodically use it to warm up my sax. We only got 4-5 20-30 second breaks for the two hour plus show, so I would spend all of my breaks moving the sax around in front of the space heater to warm it up.
I called it my “tuner” because without warming up the instrument the upper stack would playing almost a half step out of tune compared to the bottom stack. The air I blow into the sax only goes so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I managed to rent space during the day at a local hall, so it's quite spacious. Maybe a space heater might work. I suppose I can just buy the cheapest electric blanket and give it a try.
 

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I imagine it would be fine. Just test it first and don't have it directly on any pad cups...wouldn't want to loosen any glue or shellac. I imagine it wouldn't get hot enough for that but better safe than sorry.

- Saxaholic
 

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An electric blanket is a good idea. I have been looking for something like this when I play double on clarinet or bass clarinet. I'll use it on one tune, and spend the whole song warming up the instrument. A mini electric blanket would be perfect.
 

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You could place a heating pad on the sax while in it's case, maybe close the case loosely?
 

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How about one of those Zippo hand warmers? You could put it in a sock in the bell. Wouldn't even need an outlet.
 

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I've used an ultra light down jacket to keep my clarinet warm in the pit. I did a show with in a pit with a really cold concrete floor. I had like 20+ minutes between sections requiring clarinet and only a few seconds to warm it up before the second bit on clarinet, so I warmed it up nice and early and draped the jacket over the top. It stayed warm and played much better as a result! The musician sitting next to me did laugh a bit, though.
 

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When I was playing baritone in the wilds of New Hampshire, I brought a small hair dryer to the gig and left it in the bell on low during breaks. A quick warm up of the neck before the next set and it was good-to-go.
 

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Same as StuartSax. A compact electric hair drier from Goodwill or a Salvation Army Thrift Store has worked just fine for me the past couple of years, and very quickly, too. Bari just takes a little longer than an alto. Fortunately, the various rooms have been heated so I didn't have to re-warm the horn. Only hitch is convenient, proximate access to an electrical outlet, just as for a space heater or electric heating pad. A heavy enough gauge extension cord (NOT HOUSEHOLD) might come in handy sometimes. The drier is easily portable. I carry it in my music stand bag or a small fabric attache-like carrying case with my music, not in my sax cases. Similar to Jazz House's experience, I have gotten some bemused looks. But, "What, Me Worry"? to quote that famous philosopher, Alfred E. Neuman.
 

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On second thought, those Zippo hand warmers emit carbon monoxide, so maybe not a good idea.
 

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