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Saxophones Cleaning the Bore of a Bari


Well-Known Member
I swab out the bore and crook of my tenor and alto saxes almost every time I play, but what can you do with the bore of a bari ?

I must have had my bari for a good ten years and I dread to think what state the upper bore is in !

There is a thread on SOTW that recommends a "Hodge Silk Swab" that seems to be a silk-covered foam "snake" that you push in from the top of the horn.

Ebay in the US has one of these, but it would cost quite a bit to get it sent to the UK:

What do you bari players do to keep clean ?



Well-Known Member
Back on topic, what you can also do is attach a 14mm nut (or thereabouts) to a 2m length of cotton tape or string. Wrap the nut in clingfilm so it doesn't damage the inside of your sax. Attach something to use as a large swab to the other end. Then, and this is important, tie a further length of string or whatever to the other end of the swab. The idea is to have a swab you can pull from either side. With a certain amount of bari twirling you can manoeuver the nut around the top end of the sax, and swab back and forth. This is one of those exercises requiring about four hands, so I usually do this with the sax on a sofa, so I don't have to hold the beast while cleaning it.

Once a year or so is about what I manage. Now I've given up my disgusting habit of swilling beer while playing, the sax doesn't get too filthy inside.

Nick Wyver

Cleaning the bari? When it gets serviced - if it's lucky.

The others don't get cleaned too often either.


They're good those Hodge swabs and highly convenient - no need to try and turn the bari upside down or anything. Also, you can do it everytime, and anywhere, that you play. It won't reach all the keys at the top that jonf's method presumably does, but it reaches all the wettest bits.


Busking Oracle
Just book yourself in for a spot of colonic irrigation! Job done!
Saxholder Pro

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