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A customer came into the shop the other day with a very strange request. He asked me what do I use to plug up the holes in a sax after you take off some keys.

I asked him why were the keys off and he said he took some of them off because he did not use them. He then asked me if I could take off all the keys that he does not use. He said he does not need them. He only wanted from D up to make a major scale and take everything off . He said the other keys get in the way.

I told him the keys are put on in a way that if you don't use them they just sit there, no need to take them off. He said it would also it would make the horn lighter. He wanted to know if there was a factory some ware that could make him a horn with only the keys he wanted.

Now I have been around for a long time and have added and extended keys for people but was never asked to take keys off that you don't use.

Of course I told him I was not interested in doing that kind of work.

It was hard for me to keep from laughing while he was talking to me.

Any other techs out there have any other strange requests?
 

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well, I have seen Alternate F# being made inoperable and Eb and G# trills closed , some here rave about getting rid of the high F#. These gentle (but stupid) man could have had some appreciation for a strain of unsuccessful saxophones made in the foolish past of the saxophone, the Buescher Academy, which was only extending from Low C to high(!) C and had a reduced amount of keys making it an instruments operable only in few keys. They are out there, a collector oddity, and were made in soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Also other brands, like Martin, had a similar go at this.
 

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He ought to get himself one of these: http://www.sax.co.uk/acatalog/info_226132526.html

Reminds me somewhat of a conversation with another repairer who was asked to get a school or county owned cor anglais that was in pretty bad shape to be made playable just enough so it could play only the notes in the Dvorak 9th solo (lower and upper register Ab, Bb and C and upper register Eb, F and G). Either the person requesting this was a vocal, string, percussion or keyboard teacher!
 

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yes, the modern equivalent of the Academies
 

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I see what you mean!

Some Buescher academy sopranos, altos and tenors pictured here: http://blaiseggarza.com/saxlist.html

They don't have the high D key but some did have the side Bb key. They also have a single touch for G# and low C# which is a good idea, but I bet that takes some bending around to get it to work properly so both pads close together!

And a page with photos of a quartet of them: http://bassic-sax.ca/blog/?p=1486
 

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Ummm... I wonder... did you count the fingers on his hands? He might have been an out-of-work- punch press operator.
 

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I read an interview where Johnny Griffin said "Lockjaw" Davis blocked off some of his keys cause he didn't need them!
Don't s'pose this guy played like "Jaws"? Nah...didn't think so.:mrgreen:
 

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A Scottish chap came in for some work on his alto years ago and he said 'Did you notice which fingers I'm putting down?' He had his left hand index finger amputated so used his middle finger for LH1, ring finger for LH2 and little finger for LH3. For G# he used the lower side of his hand. It was a fairly recent amputation but he worked around it.

Django Reinhardt didn't let his terrible injuries to his hands stop him playing. So to anyone with such injuries where they think that's the end of their playing career, don't give up or let that put an abrupt end to your enjoyment. Learn to adapt to your new situation as there are plently of options out there to allow you to enjoy playing and please draw inspiration from Django Reinhardt.

Although facial injuries as the result of an accident which affect the embouchure are what we all dread and can mean the end to playing wind instruments, but that still doesn't mean it is the end - Leon Goossens changed his embouchure as the result of a car accident and the surgery that followed but he worked around it and was still one of the leading oboists of his time.
 

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I had to make a trumpet left-handed for a guy once. His right hand and arm were no good and the position of fingerhooks etc are placed for right-hand use.

I've seen those extra Eb toneholes sealed up before. They'd used a shape similar to a key cup adn soldered that on. I guess you could strip the unwanted keys and solder the tonehoels up liek that. Daft idea though.
 

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For young players or beginners with small hands who have trouble with the high D, Eb and F keys sticking out as far as they do on some instruments, if they don't need to play that high at an early stage, the palm keys can be removed and the toneholes sealed up with rubber or cork bungs and the keys kept safe so they can be replaced later on.

The other option is to wedge them closed so they can't be opened if they're accidentally hit. Any closed keys (side keys and palm keys) can be wedged shut and the wedges can then be removed once they need to use them when their hand size, position and shape develops.

A few examples of reduced keywork woodwind instruments for young players:

Flute: http://www.jupitermusic.co.uk/rdas/papp.asp?cmd=PLRASRPRIM&DocumentID=2761&TemplateID=87
Oboe: http://www.howarth.uk.com/pic.aspx?pic=./wo/HowarthJuniorCon.jpg&pid=982949
Clarinet: http://www.bill-lewington.com/kinder.htm
Bassoon: http://www.guntramwolf.de/englisch/***ottino.html
 

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I'd probably just cork the holes and keep the keys operable (with admittedly limited effect) - after all, you must get used to them being there.
 

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He should get a "xaphoon"

http://xaphoon.easystorecreator.net/items/xaphoon-products/list.htm

(The think is, though, that although it is also called a "pocket sax", it has noting to do with a sax and everything to do with a clarinet, because it has a cylindrical bore, and hence overblows a 12th.)

A fun, novelty item though, with rather weird fingering.
 
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