Any saxophone player would agree having an accessory case close at hand is a smart idea for daily maintenance on the instrument. The most obvious items would a sax neck, neck strap, mouthpiece, ligature and a good reed. However there are plenty of other lesser-known 'goodies' that can make a musicians' life easier.
In order to keep the saxophone in tip-top shape for performances, you may consider the following: swab, pad saver, cork grease, pad papers and tooth guard (mouthpiece patch). It is recommended to clean your sax after each use. A sturdy swab for inside the body and a small clarinet swab for the mouthpiece and neck is a terrific, compact option you can take anywhere. As an alternative to swabs you may prefer a pad saver which is a long, fluffy stick that goes in the sax body.
To go a step further, cork grease is a simple item to effectively lubricate the cork on the end of the sax's neck. Just a little drop of grease once a week elongates the lifespan of the cork and ensures easy tuning of the mouthpiece. If you find sticky finger pads are an ongoing issue, pad papers are simple, efficient cleaning tools. For those concerned about protecting their instrument from tooth damage, a guard (also called a mouthpiece patch) is a small pad placed on the mouthpiece to protect the bite area from wear by your top teeth.
A few other supplies to think about are extra reeds, a reed case, a neck strap and a mouthpiece cap. Reeds are small, delicate and wear out easily. It's a good habit to purchase a few in advance as you start getting low. A reed case keeps them flat, protected and easy to grab when you're in a hurry. A neck strap is a must-have to alleviate neck pain so it's a good practice to keep a couple of extras in your case. And lastly, a mouthpiece cap protects the life of your reed when you're not using the saxophone.
In the event you need to perform some basic repairs on the sax, consider keeping screwdrivers, rubber bands, and electrician's tape on hand. When adjustment screws come loose, a screwdriver can fix the problem in no time flat. Just be careful not to touch screws that aren't meant to be closed tight. A simple, classic rubber band can temporarily replace a broken or missing ligature or spring. Electricians tape can be used to swap out a misplaced cork or dampen down a noisy key click.
These are just a few quick, simple items that can have a big impact on your sax and even save your performance. Naturally you wish to keep your sax in the best possible shape and with a few tools and accessories added to your kit bag, you're certain to lengthen the life of your musical instrument. Better safe than sorry!