Jan 30

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Balancing Your Key Action

Adjusting the springs so that the tension is the same for all keys is a simple and easy way to improve you finger technique. Using your index finger, slowly and gently lower each key, including the side keys and spatula keys. Determine which key has the tension you like, then adjust the springs to the other keys to match that key. I prefer a lighter touch, but strong enough so that the keys to not bounce then they open. You might want to have your instrument repairman set the spring tension. This will help avoid breaking a spring, and the springs will probably hold their tension setting longer.



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  1. Larry Panella

    I remember playing Paul Maslin’s tenor which he had just finished reworking and I was so impressed by this very thing on his horn. I likened to playing a well regulated Steinway grand piano. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been wanting to know how to do this.

  2. John Carlson

    Paul Maslin also swedges the keys on all the overhauls I’ve had done – a process that takes nearly all the play out of the key work on older horns.

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