Repair and Maintenance
During the early part of 2016 I began working as a saxophone technician in Chattanooga, TN so that I could further my understanding of the saxophone. It inadvertently brought about a new understanding of the importance of having your instrument being in proper adjustment. Allow me to explain:
Your instrument (whether it is a flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone or most instruments that you can think of) is similar to a car. It is a machine that requires numerous parts that constantly need to be working together in order to function properly. Also, it MUST be serviced at a regular interval in order make sure that they are all working properly or to address small issues which will prevent you from having much larger issues down the road. (You know how you have the oil changed in your car so that the engine doesn’t blow up? Same concept.)
I trust very few technicians with my saxophone due to past issues with technicians not properly repairing it or telling me that there was nothing wrong with it despite it not ‘feeling’ right while I was playing. For work on any wind instrument, I trust the work of Jonathan Cathell, Jeremy Hill, and Greg Merill at Consistent-C Winds in Redbank, TN above all others that have personally touched my horn. Their work is superb due to their desire to achieve perfection and unyielding personal integrity. The technicians of Consistent-C Winds are fantastic people and irreplaceable friends. Please see the links below in order to contact them (or me on occasion) about any questions that you may have about your instrument!
If you aren’t in an area where you can safely send your saxophone to Consistent-C, here are some helpful pointers about finding places that could be superb repair technicians:
Tip 1) Make sure that you are taking it to a specialist. I wouldn’t take my horn to one of the “Super Companies” of instrument repair or rentals. If they have more than one location or say that they need to send your horn to ANOTHER location once you get there: AVOID.
Tip 2) See if your technician is actually a saxophone player. Usually technicians that actually play the instrument that they are fixing have a deeper understanding of how it works.
Tip 3) Email the local saxophone instructors in your area and see who they use. Start at the local university. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Saxophone maintenance can be costly, so make sure that you have all of your bases covered before you chose your technician. Fixing bad repair work is much more difficult than doing a standard repair job.