Introduction & Definitions

There is often misunderstanding regarding the scope of the work carried out by woodwind technicians. Therefore it is helpful to define some of the terms used!

All work carried out may be classified as Maintenance of the instrument and may be further broken down in to:

  • Servicingpreventative action to reduce the risk of faults arising
  • Repaircorrective action to rectify faults which have arisen from either lack of servicing or accidental damage

Generally the best policy is to regularly service an instrument, as preventative action is usually easier (and cheaper) than fixing the faults resulting from the knock-on effects of neglect. Please see my Woodwind Maintenance Guide for further advice. This introduces the various levels of servicing available and offers some advice as to when they should be carried out..

However, whenever an instrument is put in to the workshop for a service it is also likely to require some repairs. An example of this might be if a pad has been allowed to get very dirty and the material has corroded to the point where the ability of the pad to create an air tight seal against the tone hole has been compromised. Had the instrument been serviced regularly and the tone holes and pads cleaned, then the replacement may not have become necessary. The lack of servicing has led to the need for a repair .

Scope of work

I undertake servicing and repairs of all saxophones, clarinets and flutes. As these are the instruments I have played for many years I have the experience to determine when these instruments are set up correctly and playing perfectly.

I do not currently play the double reed instruments (oboe, cor anglais and bassoon). Whilst the skills necessary to service and repair these instruments are transferable I cannot play test them to the level that I would do so with the single reed woodwinds. However I am happy to undertake work for you with the understanding that I will be more reliant on you for the final testing of the instrument. Having said that you will find some positive reviews on Google or Yell from double reed players for whom I have done work. Please give me a call to discuss your needs further.