how to put together your saxophone

  1. Before you open your case, make sure that it is right side up.

  2. Grease the cork on the neck so that the mouthpiece goes on easily.

  3. Put the mouthpiece on the neck, and then put the reed on the mouthpiece.

  4. Place the neck into the saxophone. Use a gentle rotating, twisting motion. The octave key should go under the ring on the neck.

when you have finished playing

  1. Remove your ligature, reed, mouthpiece, and neck from the saxophone.

  2. Swab your saxophone each time you finish playing. Insert the sob into the bell. DO NOT pull the swab through the mouthpiece or neck. Clean the mouthpiece with a tissue when you have finished practicing at home. Moisture left in the instrument after you have finished playing will cause the pads to deteriorate.

  3. Always remove your reed from the mouthpiece, wipe the excess moisture off of it, and place it in a reed guard.

  4. Leave the ligature on the mouthpiece to keep it from getting bent, and be sure to replace the mouthpiece cover on the mouthpiece.

  5. Always keep your saxophone in its case when you are not playing it. Never put anything into your case that it was not designed to hold because the pressure from papers or music can bend the rods and keys.

  6. Before putting the saxophone in its case, be sure to place the neck cap onto the saxophone so that the octave key does not get bent.

regular maintenance

  1. Do not polish the keys. Use a soft cloth to wipe off moisture and finger marks after playing.

  2. To keep pads clean, don’t eat candy or chew gum before playing and never while playing.

  3. Do not let anyone else play your instrument. The saxophone is a delicate instrument, which must be handled carefully. If you must set it down during class, put it on a flat surface with the keys up.

  4. Be careful when playing the saxophone not to bang or bump it, as it will dent easily and these dents are difficult and expensive to remove.


  1. Saxophone, in good working order

  2. Swab

  3. Cork grease (tube style is best)

  4. Reed keeper

  5. Saxophone reeds – Strength of #2.5 or Medium. Keep at least 3 reeds in playing shape.

Saxophone Care Sheet PDF

Want to Learn More About the Saxophone?

Watch as a professional instructor demonstrates how to properly get started on your saxophone. Click Here.

Check out our post, 6 Ways to Prolong the Life of Your Reeds.