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One time I was playing an outdoor gig and it was really humid then raining, so reed viability became an issue. I pulled out a fibracell I used to keep in the case because I was soaking through the cane reeds, but it was too hard. It was a rock band, so I called one of the tunes I didn't care to blow on and moved off to the side to make some quick adjustments with my trusty sandpaper and plexiglass. It was fine (and bright and buzzy as hell) the rest of the evening.

After the show everyone was very curious about the sax player who they swore was sitting over there doing blow a few songs into the second set!
I have no idea what he's trying to say either.
It was clear to me. Funny story.

Another "excuse" is to blow air at the upper tone holes, as if there's water blocking them.
 
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