Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sticky pad

I've been having some trouble this week with the pad on the G key (right hand ring finger) sticking. A couple times I opened up the case, and found the key stuck entirely closed, and during playing, sometimes it would stick a bit and open slowly. After consulting with my tech who did the repad a few weeks back, who unfortunately lives far away, I've been trying to clean the pad with a dry Q-tip and various kinds of paper (cigarette paper, Kimwipes from the lab), closing the pad firmly against the paper and pulling the paper out. Whatever has gotten into the pad and tone hole surface that's causing them to stick, I'm hoping that this can remove it, and let it close. Probably the pad has gotten wet, so I've also changed how I clean the instrument out. Now I swab the boot first, although this requires juggling the wing joint while I'm working with the boot. And being careful to be sure that the G key is not being pushed closed in the case, so it can dry. Blocking open the other keys which can attract condensation is also a good idea.

It occurs to me that lots of short practices is worse for condensation than continuous practice, just because the horn has time to cool off and hence condense moisture again. That might be part of my problem too.

Also I'm probably using too much force on the key, but that's not easy to fix. I can get it to stick if I press hard, just about every time.

Here's Mozart from this morning. Different mistakes, every time.

  Mozart runthrough 2011-05-02 by TFox17


  1. I find that once a pad starts sticking, its days are numbered. But it works pretty well for me to store the instrument with the pad closed on a piece of cigarette paper (if the pad normally stands open, gently wedge it closed). It usually stops the pad from sticking, at least for a while.

    Mozart is sounding good!

  2. Thank you!

    And good advice, I'll try that too.