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How to Assemble Your Saxophone

Up close image of a hand screwing a saxophone neck onto the body.

Saxophone is one of the easier instruments to assemble, but there are a few key things you need to know to avoid damaging your instrument. The parts of your saxophone are the main body, neck, mouthpiece, ligature, and reeds.

The Process

Cork grease being applied to saxophone neck cork.

1. Apply cork grease to the neck tenon. You will not need to do this every time, only if it feels difficult to attach your mouthpiece to the neck. Make sure you use a grease that is made specifically for instruments.

Saxophone mouthpiece being adjusted on saxophone neck.

2. Twist the mouthpiece onto the neck.

Saxophone reed being slid behind ligature on saxophone mouthpiece.

3. When placing the reed on the mouthpiece, place the ligature on the mouthpiece first, lift up the ligature slightly, and then slide the reed down behind it. This will prevent damage to the reed. 

Ligature screws being adjusted.

4. Secure the ligature by fastening the screws.

Saxophone strap being clipped onto saxophone body.

5. Now you are ready to attach the neck to the body. This will be easier and safer if you are wearing a neck strap or harness. When you pick up the main part of your saxophone, be careful to not grab it by the key work. Then clip the main saxophone body onto your strap or harness.

Close up of top of saxophone body and saxophone neck with arrows pointing to pin and octave loop.

6. Loosen the neck screw and gently slide the neck into the receiver. The octave loop should line up with the pin on the body. This should not require any force, and you can easily damage the neck if you are rough.

Saxophone neck screw being adjusted.

7. Once the neck is in place, tighten the screw until you start to feel resistance. Not too tight, as the screw may snap.

When you are finished playing, make sure you disassemble the mouthpiece, reed, and ligature and put everything back in your case individually.

End cap being inserted into end of saxophone body.

You should also place the end plug back in the body to keep the octave linking mechanism protected.

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