Saxophone Octave Mechanism Repair

7th April 2010

In the Sax workshop, we see this problem daily…

The Saxophone is a fragile instrument and the brass keys can get bent.  It’s really easy to be a bit heavy handed and grip the crook too tightly when packing it away.  What tends to happen is that that key on the top of the crook gets bent and it when you play, you get a really bad squawking sound.  That’s not you, that’s the pad at the top of the Saxophone not closing.  The Sax is trying to play the octave above.  Your best bet is to get a qualified Instrument Repair Technician or Teacher to repair it, but if you can’t here’s how it’s done.

1. Assemble the Sax.
2. First, just check that indeed, the octave pad IS actually permanently open.  Get someone to press it down and see if suddenly works.
3. If the pad is open, hold the Sax in the normal playing position, and gently bend the octave key back in the direction of the mouthpiece .  If it’s a Yamaha Sax, it will go back real easy.
4. What you’re aiming for is a really small amount of movement between the “pin” which lifts the octave mechanism up, and the octave key.