How to Put Together an Alto Saxophone

Knowing how to put together an alto saxophone properly will ensure that you can concentrate on playing and not worry about whether the instrument will fall apart in your hands. There are several main components to an alto saxophone: the ligature, reed, mouthpiece, neck, and body. Each of these parts must be fitted together properly to create a snug fit and prevent undesirable air leaks. The neck also has a screw that is used to line up the neck and body to create a secure connection.

Step 1

Soak the reed in a small container of water while you prepare the saxophone. The reed must be thoroughly moistened before playing.

Step 2

Place the neck strap around your neck. Loosen it by using the buckles on the strap to lengthen or shorten the slack so that the neck strap moves freely and does not constrict your neck.

Step 3

Apply a small amount of cork grease to the cork on the neck of the saxophone. Glide the mouthpiece over the cork to create a secure fit.

Step 4

Attach the neck to the alto body. Gently twist the alto neck back and forth until the neck and body form a secure fit. Line up the screw on the neck with the body and tighten the neck screw. It doesn't have to be extremely tight, just enough to prevent the screw from rattling or coming undone.

Step 5

Clip the neck of the saxophone onto the clip on the saxophone body.

Step 6

Place the reed on the underside of the mouthpiece. Attach it so that the side of the reed lines up with the mouthpiece guides. Slip the ligature over the mouthpiece and tighten the screws securely. Be careful to avoid splitting the reed by using too much pressure.

Step 7

Turn the mouthpiece toward you so that you don't have to tilt your head to play. The reed should be parallel to the floor and your head should be straight.


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