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Adjusting Springs

Articulated keys, such as the closed G# key and the octave keys, are sprung shut by two springs acting against each other. One spring the stronger of the two tends to close the key. The other and weaker spring tends to open the key. When the key spatula is pressed down, the stronger spring is overcome, leaving the weaker spring to lift the pad from the socket. This spring tension must be kept very light, and unless everything is working properly the keys may not function. If the spring becomes weak, you can increase the bend in the spring and create additional tension. This is called "tucking" the spring, or putting a "tuck" in the spring. For "tucking" springs, get a metal crochet hook and file a notch in the tip. See (a) and (b) in Fig. 34. As shown in the enlarged view (c), the notch is used to push the spring, while the hook is used to pull it. This is a very handy tool which every reed instrument player should make for himself.