[Know-how] Saxophone finishing

[Savoir-faire] Le finissage saxophone
Made up of more than 600 parts, the saxophone is a complex instrument requiring rare know-how. Once the acoustic tube has been formed and the primary parts positioned, the finishing workshop comes into play to bring the instrument to life...

Delphine has been working in the SELMER workshops as a saxophone finisher for 28 years. Trained in just one year, she masters the finishing of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.

This step occurs at the end of the process, just before the instrument is checked and certified in the acoustic cabin. The finishing craftspeople receive the body, bell, bow, neck and all the keys to be fitted to the instrument. For each key, adjusted individually, a covering check is carried out: a lamp, inserted inside the bore, makes it possible to detect any leaks between the pad and the tone hole cross-section. The body and the bell/bow are then assembled, then the neck is paired with the instrument.

“You need patience and the desire to learn. Anyone can learn. It’s not a closed profession. As long as you’re interested and want to learn, it’s a really great job.”

Saxophone finishing

The saxophone finisher is also in direct contact with the musicians who certify the instruments. After trying out the instrument in a soundproof booth, they may ask to make further adjustments until they obtain a perfect result in terms of mechanics and acoustics.


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Learn more about saxophone making
Learn more about the anatomy of a saxophone