What is the technical reason for sticky saxophone pads, and what are the best resolutions, first by the saxophonist him or her self, and then by the repair person?

The primary cause of sticky saxophone pads is the accumulation of dirt, particularly the sugar in saliva or food particles that settle on the pads during play​​. There are several solutions that a saxophonist can try:

  1. Using Chalk Paper or Powder: Although chalk paper can fix sticky pads, it's not recommended because it leaves residue on the pad​​.

  2. Using Any Rigid Piece of Paper: Sliding a piece of paper between the tone hole and pad can remove some of the residue. This is a commonly recommended and simple method​​.

  3. Using an Earbud or Q-tip: A q-tip, moistened with water, can be used to clean around the pad and tone hole, removing residue​​.

Preventative measures include avoiding eating or drinking while playing, and rinsing the mouth before playing to minimize the accumulation of residue on the pads​​.

For professional repair solutions, I could not find specific advanced techniques on the internet. However, in general, a repair person might undertake more thorough cleaning, replacement of pads, or adjustment of the mechanics of the saxophone to address sticking issues. This would depend on the extent of the problem and the condition of the instrument. It's always best to consult with a professional saxophone repair technician for such advanced issues.

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