Saxophone Forum


by lovemytenor
(6 posts)
10 years ago

How do I get louder?

Hello all, here is another question that I'm sure will be answered almost immediatly. Ok. I am generally a quiet person, and I guess that volume comes through when I play my sax. When my teacher asks me to play, say, a forte, I blow really hard, and he says, "Louder, that's a metso piano." So I blow my lungs out the bell and he says "Ok, now fortissimo." *Chuckles* In short, I really have to overblow just to get a what is considered forte. I play a Selmer Series three with a C* mouthpiece, vandoren java 2.5 reeds. I'm thinking long tones, but I'm really not sure how to get louder. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  1. by Kattamaki
    (15 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: How do I get louder?

    Hi there, You also need to tell us how long you have been playing. Maybe your embouchure is too weak(as yet) What kind of tone are you aiming for(besides being louder)? Do you(or your teacher) want a sound that can penetrate or one that is round and blends well with others? Is your goal jazz or classic? Or just in general to begin with? A solid base of knowledge and practice is always good.
    Exercises for playing louder:
    1. Take a piece of typewritter paper, hold it in the middle on both sides with both hands, hold ten inches away from mouth and blow evenly so that the paper bends away from you without fluttering. Repeat this 5 times a day after another.Be careful not to get dizzy.
    2. Have your teacher or buddy put his/her hands on either side of your rib cage from behind and press strongly while you take a deep breath and thereby push the hands apart.
    3. Repeat five times without playing, each time building up more strength while taking a deep breath.
    4. Now try playing a loud tone and keeping it loud for four beats at quarter = 60
    5. Add tones still holding them 4 beats each until you have a full scale.
    6. First take one breath for one tone, then two etc. until you are able to play at least four tones at quarter = 60 in one breath.Goal is a whole scale(one direction)
    7. Summer is coming, try practicing outdoors, it does wonders for playing louder.
    If your teacher has not given you any hints HOW to play louder it may be time to change.
    I wish you lots of luck and the main thing is you enjoy playing saxophone!! 

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  2. by golferguy675
    (600 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: How do I get louder?

    A 2.5 reed on a C*?!??! No wonder. You're going to need a heavier reed than that. The C* can play pretty loud too, for not being a jazz piece or anything. Go to a 3. And if you're playin legit, then work up to a 3.5 or maybe eventually even 4 if the 3.5 ever gets to feeling to light. My pet peeve about the new selmers is that they dont resonate a whole bunch, but they should still be able to play plenty loud. Javas are good. I use them from time to time.

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    1. by selmersaxman
      (13 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: How do I get louder?

      You can also think about getting a metal mouthpiece. Or get a mouthpiece with a more pronounced baffle. Also get a ligature that "blows free." Some ligatures restrict the vibrations of the reed.

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      1. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: How do I get louder?

        Yeah, the silver inverted ligs are good for that. Just get ones with little edges so it doesnt touch the side of the reed. Don't get the black legit ones, they deaden your sound. I good fairly inexpensive one is the silver bonade inverted lig. A metal piece is alright for tenor, but never for legit music. If you have an alto, I wouldnt get one if I were you. unless you want to sound like kenny gee....*shudder of disgust* Just get a large chamer hard rubber piece on alto. Tenors I think sound good with metal pieces the most.

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        1. by Mobile Band
          (27 posts)

          4 years ago

          Re: How do I get louder?

          Maybe it helps already, when you just take the mpc somewhat deeper in your mouth? swinging jazz band berlin

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        2. by kelsey
          (806 posts)

          4 years ago

          Re: How do I get louder?

          Ask your teacher how to play louder....that's what you are paying for!!!
          Barry Kelsey

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        3. by peter090
          (155 posts)

          4 years ago

          Re: How do I get louder?

          Several things to check. Are you taking in enough mouthpiece. Look at the where the reed separates from the table. You should be quite close to but not beyond that point. Is your embouchure to tight. On an alto if you play on just the mouthpiece you should be somewhere around an A above middle C on a piano. If the pitch is higher you are squeezing too much. You can get more volume by switching equipment but if you have fundamental problems you will still be restricted by them. A 2.5 reed on a C* is pretty soft but you should be able to produce a good solid tone on it.

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      2. by saxgourmet
        (108 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: How do I get louder?

        assuming you are doing all you physically can. the you're going to need to improve the acoustic efficiency of your horn. There are several things you can do:

        (1) significantly increase the size and surface area of your resonators

        (2) go to a higher baffle/smaller chamber mouthpiece

        (3) replace your neck with one of more efficient design

        none of these solutions are cheap, but they will get results 

        STEVE GOODSON
        New Orleans
        www.nationofmusic.com

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    2. by gloss1
      (27 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: How do I get louder?

      Get a Morgan Excaliber 6E  mouthpiece with a std 2 reed. EXTREMELY BRIGHT. You will love the Morgans. Blessings. JB

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