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Cleaning Swab Blues

Hal the Elder

New Member
Messages
163
Hello,

When I finish with a lesson or a practice session, I always clean my Tenor Sax. (I'm a beginning student, age 76.)

The problem I have is getting the weighted end of my Yamaha body swab to come out the small end after dropping it into the bell.

I tilt the horn up and down and shake it thoroughly, but it still takes 4 or 5 tries to get the swab through!

Looking through the body, I don't see anything where the cord could hang up on, unless it's dropping into one of the open tone holes.....

Any tips?

Thanks,
HAL
 

bodak

Member
Messages
72
Hello,

When I finish with a lesson or a practice session, I always clean my Tenor Sax. (I'm a beginning student, age 76.)

The problem I have is getting the weighted end of my Yamaha body swab to come out the small end after dropping it into the bell.

I tilt the horn up and down and shake it thoroughly, but it still takes 4 or 5 tries to get the swab through!

Looking through the body, I don't see anything where the cord could hang up on, unless it's dropping into one of the open tone holes.....

Any tips?

Thanks,
HAL
Hi Hal--try adding more weight to the end of the swab.
Regards.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,000
I would suggest going to a HW Padsaver instead of the pull through swab. Some poorly constructed "shove its" have given these types of cleaners a bad reputation, but the HW Padsaver does not shed fibers, and actually "wicks" the moisture away from the walls and pads into the center of the shaft. I repair saxophones and have used these for years with no problems.

I do like the clarinet pull through "hanky" swab to clean the inside of the neck (crook) after each playing session. For those who haven't read it, Stephen Howard has a good article about saxophone cleaning swabs at Testing. . . Testing.
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I hadn't see Stephen Howard's article before. I'll have to get a good "shove it".

I had trouble sometimes with a pull-through swab. I think the weight was a bit light and was small enough to pass through one of the big holes by the bell. I later bought a silk swab with a larger, rubbery weight and that works rather better, in that it never gets stuck.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Two ways these pull throughs stick. One is the tone holes - trick is to hold the sax upright, put the weight and plenty of slack into the bellthen tip the body back, shaking gently as you go until the body is upright, this generally manages to avoid the tone hole catch.

Other thing that happens is that the pull thourhgs with a cotton cord absorb moisture and tend to stick cos they're wet. The ones with a synthetic (nylon) cord are much better.

Jbtsax's suggestion is good. I prefer to use a pullthrough a couple of times and then, if I have one, use a shove-it. I have one for alto and sop, not for tenor. And can't tell any difference between using one and not using one after the pull through. But the pullthourough does get rid of the puddle of condensation that collects in the bottom of the bow.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
My sax came with a pad saver at the time of purchase, but I try not to use it because of the particles mentioned above. I've seen that HW job, sounds and looks better. Less like a duster, more like a synthetic fiber with no little dusty bits to shed. For the price it might be worth a shot.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,551
I drop the weight down the bell, follow it with all of the cord, and then line the bell with the fabric part, then I tip the sax completely upside down with one hand inside the bell, and wait for the weight to drop out of the neck.
It's very rare that I need a second attempt.
I have a Trevor James shammy pull-through for my alto and a BG micro-fibre one for my tenor.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I drop the weight down the bell, follow it with all of the cord, and then line the bell with the fabric part, then I tip the sax completely upside down with one hand inside the bell, and wait for the weight to drop out of the neck.
Me too. Exactly like that. Works every time.
 
Saxholder Pro

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