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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    jgreiner - None of it is spit, man. Well, maybe a tiny bit. It's condensation from the moisture in my breath. I'm not blowing gobs of saliva down my horn for crying out loud! And it's not even all that much, no more than I see in any other wind instrument, but the bubble thing happens nevertheless.

    FredCDobbs - No offence was intended on my end either. My question, however, was not "Oh no what do I do my fingers are wet?" but rather "Does anyone know of a way to modify a horn so that the water stays inside it rather than coming out the toneholes?" Which also doesn't seem like quite as a ridiculous a question for an experienced player to ask. Perhaps people are responding to the title of the thread and not actually the question I asked. Which is understandable, we all skim from time to time.

    Gordon - no, only rarely using a stand. Why do you ask?

    Also thanks Gordon and DrG for the suggestions. I'll look into that.

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  3. #22

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by jgreiner View Post
    Regarding the creation of a "spit tunnel" inside the bore of your horn, again, I'm really not trying to be a wise arse, but that's just plain silly. Simply because I can pretty much assure you that your spit doesn't have a pre-conceived path it travels.
    As demonstrated in Jurassic Park. "That's, that's chaos theory."

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasali View Post
    jgreiner - None of it is spit, man. Well, maybe a tiny bit. It's condensation from the moisture in my breath. I'm not blowing gobs of saliva down my horn for crying out loud! And it's not even all that much, no more than I see in any other wind instrument, but the bubble thing happens nevertheless.

    FredCDobbs - No offence was intended on my end either. My question, however, was not "Oh no what do I do my fingers are wet?" but rather "Does anyone know of a way to modify a horn so that the water stays inside it rather than coming out the toneholes?" Which also doesn't seem like quite as a ridiculous a question for an experienced player to ask. Perhaps people are responding to the title of the thread and not actually the question I asked. Which is understandable, we all skim from time to time.

    Gordon - no, only rarely using a stand. Why do you ask?

    Also thanks Gordon and DrG for the suggestions. I'll look into that.
    lukasali--I was being funny, but that is actually what I do; at gigs when this happens I wipe my right hand across my pants. Also, I try to make sure I'm coming down at right angles on the keys to avoid slipping, which is the real issue for me. I frequently invert the horn and give it a quick shake so that any condensation runs out onto the stage or floor (I don't have a problem with that, because it is pretty much only condensation). That's actually gotten to be a habit, especially when on stage.

    Another possibility: Have you thought about what you might have been drinking prior to playing, of which the residue in your breath may be making the condensation viscous enough to form bubbles?

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasali View Post
    jgreiner - None of it is spit, man. Well, maybe a tiny bit. It's condensation from the moisture in my breath. I'm not blowing gobs of saliva down my horn for crying out loud! And it's not even all that much, no more than I see in any other wind instrument, but the bubble thing happens nevertheless.
    Man, I honestly don't know what to tell ya! For me, on both alto and tenor, I usually get some drips from my B and A tone holes, but that's pretty much it. Are you experiencing it in the upper stack and if so, what specific tone holes are the most egregious? Not sure how it could be done, but maybe taking some 5 min. epoxy (or similar, less permanent material) and creating a VERY SLIGHT "bump" along the top of the inside of the body, right above the tone hole(s) would create a different path for your manly excretions. ;-)

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasali View Post

    Gordon - no, only rarely using a stand. Why do you ask?

    Also thanks Gordon and DrG for the suggestions. I'll look into that.
    I ask because if you are lying the sax down when not being played, that is a sure way of getting condensate to pour out tone holes.

    You mention the moisture actually blocking tone holes. That is a problem for clarinets and oboes, that have small venting over small diameter tone holes. It should not be happening with sax. If it happens with sax then I suggest your "liquid" is not just condensate, but contains a more viscous material like saliva or even mucus. Consider my post earlier on how not to get saliva into the sax.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Fred - I'd be surprised if it has anything to do with what I'm eating or drinking. As a general rule, I brush my teeth before I play and don't eat or drink (except water) until I'm done.

    jgreiner - that's the kind of thing I'm wondering about, if anyone has tried something like that. It seems like it very well could work to at least prevent the water from going there as often, not if not totally. And the biggest culprit by far is the C# tonehole. Occasionally B,C and G# but those are less often and less critical as it's usually only on the C# that the bubble thing happens.

    LostConn - actually, the rest of that conversation with Dr Whatshisface and Dr Whatshername in Jurassic Park touches on the basis of my idea, specifically that small changes can lead to a big difference in behavior. Having just a little less surface tension, or a small track to follow, in the right direction could divert the flow of water to a less problematic are.

    I've also noticed that once the condensation starts going in a certain path it seems to want to continue in that path. So some cold days for whatever reason it never happens, at other times it starts coming out a certain key won't stop until I take the horn apart and swab it out, sometimes several times. So that phenomenon is part of what makes me thing putting a track for the water to follow, or diverting it away from key sport, could work: once it starts going a certain direction, it tends to continue going that way unless interfered with.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    The water is going to run down the front inside wall of the saxophone where the toneholes are located due to the angle it is played and gravity. There is no way around that. I do know of clarinet players who have a method of "training" the bore of their clarinet so that the water runs down the same channel every time and out the bell. This works on the clarinet because the tone holes are on the top. A space heater to warm the room where you practice, and constantly emptying the water out of the neck either by tapping or running a clarinet swab through it is going to be the best you can do IMO. BTW I have the same problem on tenor as you do.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by jgreiner View Post
    I can confidently say in my 40+ yrs of playing, I've never known someone to form SO much spit/condensation that a "bubble" forms between the pad and tone hole. Honestly and not trying to be a wise guy (yes, this is rare), I think you literally need a spittoon or something, so your incredibly high level of spit goes somewhere other than inside of your horn. Seriously....maybe have a cup or empty water bottle you can make your "deposits" in between tunes or multiple measures of rests.
    Regarding the creation of a "spit tunnel" inside the bore of your horn, again, I'm really not trying to be a wise arse, but that's just plain silly. Simply because I can pretty much assure you that your spit doesn't have a pre-conceived path it travels. You certainly don't hold your horn perfectly still or at the exact same angle when you're playing, so something like that would be useless. I go back to the cup/bottle idea. I really don't see any other solution.
    Ahhhh! I miss sitting next to you in the big band John! I use to get these gems all the time........

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    I get this off and on. It's weird. Sometimes I just feel like I have water running all over my left hand, then I will go months to a year and have nothing. Then it strikes again. Sometimes I wonder if it has something to do with what I just ate or drank more than the saxophone..........

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ) View Post
    I ask because if you are lying the sax down when not being played, that is a sure way of getting condensate to pour out tone holes.

    You mention the moisture actually blocking tone holes. That is a problem for clarinets and oboes, that have small venting over small diameter tone holes. It should not be happening with sax. If it happens with sax then I suggest your "liquid" is not just condensate, but contains a more viscous material like saliva or even mucus. Consider my post earlier on how not to get saliva into the sax.
    Laying it down is probably a big part of the problem - I have to do this fairly often. Also, the sax stand I have leans the horn forward (towards the tone holes) a fair bit, so that might not help whole lot.

    As far as blowing spit down the instrument - I concede that it is possible but maintain that it's highly unlikely. I sure don't feel any saliva getting blown down the horn, I don't have a spitty sound or lots of spit in the mouthpiece...and at least to touch the liquid that comes out just feels like water. But I could be wrong.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by saxoclese View Post
    The water is going to run down the front inside wall of the saxophone where the toneholes are located due to the angle it is played and gravity. There is no way around that. I do know of clarinet players who have a method of "training" the bore of their clarinet so that the water runs down the same channel every time and out the bell. This works on the clarinet because the tone holes are on the top. A space heater to warm the room where you practice, and constantly emptying the water out of the neck either by tapping or running a clarinet swab through it is going to be the best you can do IMO. BTW I have the same problem on tenor as you do.
    That makes sense, but I also think people are underestimating the power of surface tension, especially with amounts of water that are so small. Surface tension at that scale can actually be many times more powerful than gravity, relative to the mass of material.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasali View Post
    That makes sense, but I also think people are underestimating the power of surface tension, especially with amounts of water that are so small. Surface tension at that scale can actually be many times more powerful than gravity, relative to the mass of material.
    This is why it seems (seams) as though small grooves on the inside of the tube would serve to move the condensation around the toneholes and down the body safely, avoiding the leak points.

    Collect and distribute.

    The butterfly effect is in play here. A small chance position (say laying the horn across a knee on a rest section) starts a condensation path that ends up dumping water out of a tone hole. The smooth wall of the tube means that the condensation can and will gather anywhere. If there were scratches on the inside of the tube, then the condensation would gather there first, like cloud seeding.

    That's my story and I am sticking to it!
    [actually it is just a fanciful notion that I use to explain to myself why every once in a while I get "spit" all over my pants]

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasali View Post
    That makes sense, but I also think people are underestimating the power of surface tension, especially with amounts of water that are so small. Surface tension at that scale can actually be many times more powerful than gravity, relative to the mass of material.
    In theory yes, but in practice:
    1. the surface tension forces are very sensitive to the groove radius, and uniformity of radius in the grooves would be important. You would need to make very uniform, small diameter grooves.
    2. Although the liquid is mostly condensate, some saliva will be present, and the presence of saliva can significantly decrease the surface tension.

    Seems to me that a better use of surface tension would be to wipe the offending tone holes with a surfactant (maybe a mild soap solution) so that bubbles will not form across the tone holes. Both posts 12 and 15 mention surfactant application using other chemicals.

    Good luck!

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    Ahhhh! I miss sitting next to you in the big band John! I use to get these gems all the time........
    LOL! Steve, I'm sure you won't be shocked to know nothing has changed! Next time I visit Boston, we must try to get together, hang and reminisce!

    J.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by click View Post
    This is why it seems (seams) as though small grooves on the inside of the tube would serve to move the condensation around the toneholes and down the body safely, avoiding the leak points.

    Collect and distribute.

    The butterfly effect is in play here. A small chance position (say laying the horn across a knee on a rest section) starts a condensation path that ends up dumping water out of a tone hole. The smooth wall of the tube means that the condensation can and will gather anywhere. If there were scratches on the inside of the tube, then the condensation would gather there first, like cloud seeding.

    That's my story and I am sticking to it!
    [actually it is just a fanciful notion that I use to explain to myself why every once in a while I get "spit" all over my pants]
    Yes, that's what I've been trying to say. Thank you for doing it much better!

    Also, thanks everyone for chiming in; I've got a few things to try and will have a conversation with my repair techs to get their perspective in the near future.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I get this off and on. It's weird. Sometimes I just feel like I have water running all over my left hand, then I will go months to a year and have nothing. Then it strikes again. Sometimes I wonder if it has something to do with what I just ate or drank more than the saxophone..........
    That sounds as if it is related to the temperature and relative humidity of the surrounding air, which are huge factors.
    Low temperature = more condensate.
    High relative humidity = more condensate
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ) View Post
    That sounds as if it is related to the temperature and relative humidity of the surrounding air, which are huge factors.
    Low temperature = more condensate.
    High relative humidity = more condensate
    Agreed...try a space heater at your feet. The air you put into the instrument is very warm. 65 degree and lower practice spaces are just too cold.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    and that’s how a simple question turns easily into an incredibly complicated answer and a series of even more complicated “ solutions”.

    not to avoid the occasion drip on the fingers one has to climate (humidity and temperature ) control the space around himself when playing.

    quick and dirty.

    try to spray just the back of the top of you saxophone with spray silicone it will create a lower resistance path anything else is simply too complicated to work with
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    "anything else is simply too complicated to work with"

    Nonsense! I figure some surgical steel needles and hooks with long handles, a good small flashlight, and start scratching the shit out of the inside of my favorite horn in long grooves! What could go wrong?!

    Yep. I do believe that is the answer.

    (On second thought, perhaps I will wait a bit and not break trail on this one ....)

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Managing condensation/water

    of course

    when I was using a 8” x 10” Large Format camera I thought the motto of this particular strain of craziness was “ Why do the things the simple way when you can do it the difficult way?”

    But then again, simple is a relative term, after mounting severa IKEA flat packs I have learnt to not underestimate the difficulty of simplicity
    Life is just a bowl... some have cherries in it, some don’t. Those who have the cherries aren’t likely to share them though.

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