Cleaning used saxophone insides
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Author:  paulrace [ Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Cleaning used saxophone insides

A reader writes:

Hey Paul, thank you for your article about your 1980's Vito Alto Sax. I recently just received an early 1980's Vito Tenor Sax from a friend of mine at church. The sax hasn't been played in years, and I'm looking at playing it one day on a sunday morning, is there anything that you suggest for cleaning an old sax? Also, do you still recommend the Selmer C Mouthpiece? Thanks again for all of your writings. They have been incredibly informative and helpful!

Thanks for getting in touch.

I recommend the C* (pronounced See Star), not the C. the C* is a little more "open" and free-flowing.

If the inside is gross, try dragging rags dampened with Windex or Formula 409 or something like that through the thing.
Obviously will help somewhat. You can wipe some of the pads with a damp cloth as well. Don't get the Formula 409 or Windex on the pads, though - it will dry them out. Armor All would be good, though it might not be necessary.

I cut down on my sax collection since they asked me to stop playing for church - long story. :-) I also play about a dozen other instruments, so I've been bulking up on things like banjos and autoharps.

You should enjoy your Vito. It's really a Yamaha, and an exact duplicate of the Yamaha student horns of that day. It would have come with a Yamaha mouthpiece (look for the tuning fork logo) or maybe with a Yamaha mouthpiece relabeled for Vito. That mouthpiece was made for orchestral playing (as is the Selmer C). The C* has a bigger opening and better flow, more suited for pop, rock, and jazz, although pop and jazz sax players eventually go for even bigger openings, which is one reason it's so easy to find C* mouthpieces online. :-)

Great to hear from you, let me know how things work out.

Paul Race

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