Sticky Saxophone Pads – a Problem We All Face
One of the most common pads that keeps sticking is the G#. This is because of it’s location and the fact that it’s also in the natural closed position while not being playing. Some other common ones can be the lower keys that also are in the closed position. Also the high palm keys can get sticky as well. If you clean your saxophone regularly you probably won’t face this problem as much as I do.
How I Fix a Sticky Saxophone Pad
This is a common a recurring problem for me and I do have a couple different ways of fixing it. First you can use a small piece of ordinary paper. Sliding it through between the tone hole and the pad.
Press on the note key as you slide it through, not too hard and not too soft but for the paper to be able to pull the sticky gunk away from the pad and tone hole.
Use a Dollar Bill
Doing this same technique, but use a dollar bill instead. The material of paper money is rougher than plain paper and so will do a better job. Since my main problem key is usually G#, fitting a wide piece of paper or money is too difficult because of the ring that’s welded onto the sax near this G# location. Cutting or folding the paper is necessary to make it fit and slide through. You probably don’t want to cut your money but folding it may work ok.
So the best way I’ve found to fix a sticky saxophone pad is to use Powdered Paper. A music store turned me on to this product many years ago and I have stuck to it ever since as it works better than anything else I’ve tried.
This type of thin paper is coated with a powder that’s normally used to wipe off make up but works for a sticky pad as well! The pad will leave a very light coating of powder which dries the tone hole and pad and so will get rid of any stickiness.
Once Your Sax is Playing Again Check Out Some Music and Play-along Backing Tracks
Using a backing track is my favorite way of learning and experimenting with songs. Check out the growing list of blues, rock and pop songs that I’ve arranged for saxophone.
Music charts include Bb and Eb and of course a downloadable MP3 audio backing track… so let the fun begin!