Repair Tech Interview - Dan Hansen

We believe that band instrument repair techs are truly unsung heroes of the musical community. Repair techs don't just keep an instrument at their best playing ability, they also impart musicians a confidence in their tools that will help them achieve their musical goals. 

To honor them and gain a peek into their fascinating world, we have created a series of interviews with some of the world's finest repair techs. As we continue into our second episode, please feel free to comment, like and share so more people can understand and appreciate their talents, wisdom and artistry.

Interview 2: Dan Hansen

Saxophone Repair Tech Dan Hansen Uses Key Leaves Saxophone Key Props To Help Sticky Keys

Key Leaves (KL): How did you start in saxophone repair? Where you work now and how long you have worked there? 

Dan Hansen (DH):  My name is Dan Hansen and I have been repair for 28 years. I started out as an apprentice in a local Utah repair shop. Over the 28 years I have worked with dozens of excellent repair technicians and I love asking questions and picking their brains clean on techniques and tools. My resume is relatively long but it includes my current Job at Summerhays Music in Murray Utah: 1996-2002 and 2016 to current. Brook Mays Texas 2010 – 2016. Anaheim Band Instruments 2002-2010. While working for Anaheim Band Instruments I had the joy and privilege or working with musicians with the Big Phat Band and Dancing with the Stars while they still had a live band. I also had regular customers from the Late Show and Disneyland Side Street Strutters and Saxophobia

KL: Do you have a specialty and/or special projects you are working on

DH: For the most part is will work on any wind instrument but my specialties are Vintage Saxophone Restoration and high end flute overhauls. I do most of restoration work at my home shop and I always have a few in the works at any given time.

KL: What Key Leaves saxophone care products do you recommend and why?

DH:  I have been promoting the Key Leaves that vent low Eb and Low C# (G#) for a little over 3 months now. My previous approach was to try and convince customers that their sticky pad issues could be resolved with an expensive repad using Kangaroo Leather pads which are marketed as non-stick. But no matter how much I beg these guys to swab their horns dry after use their Roo Pads were still getting very dirty and starting to stick!!! One customer in particular plays the retirement home circuit and claims to play 300 gigs a year! He promised me he would swab and take care of his Kangaroo pad repad. Unfortunately though; He needed a new set of pads within a year!!! I cleaned as many of the pads that I could save and replaced the rest! Fortunately I had access to Key Leaves at this point and so I sold the customer a set. I showed him how to use them and how to properly swab out his horn. I spoke with him only 1 week ago and saw his horn! The pads I put on still look as good as new and they are definitely not sticking! He is the biggest and most outspoken advocate for Key Leaves you would ever need to become a believer yourself.

Saxophone Repair Tech Dan Hansen Recommends Key Leaves Sax Key Props

KL: What do you want the world to know about your work?

DH: I work with Brian Curry at www.GetASax.com and anyone that knows Brian knows his reputation for A+ quality vintage horns. His requirement for my overhauls to be impeccable under a microscope is also my sense of pride and joy! I have been helping do his overhauls for 6 years now and hopefully for many more years to come. My eye for detail translates to every instrument that I am asked to work on and will extend the same level of expertise to every level of horn.

KL: Are there common mistakes you see players making when it comes to saxophone care?

DH: There are very few players that have the patience and attention to swabbing that is required. I am finding out though that understanding about ventilating certain pads while being stored in its case will be very very enlightening to most everyone.

Extra thank you to Dan Hansen for his time and photos.  Visit Summerhays Music in Murray, UT at https://www.summerhaysmusic.com/