Saxophone Forum


by saxyann
(4 posts)
4 years ago

intonation challenges

I have a Selmer Mark VI and my setup is a Meyer 5 hard rubber mouthpiece, a Rovner Ligature, and Vandorn (blue box) 2 1/2 reeds. I struggle with keeping my horn in tune. It's either way sharp in the upper register or flat in the lower. I can't seem to bring it into tune by lipping it tighter or looser. I'm not a beginner, but am far from being a pro either. I would appreciate any advice on the best way to conquer my tuning problems. Do I need a different horn?, mouthpiece, reed, etc. to make it easier? Thanks so much. My Selmer is a 1962 vintage.

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  1. by Namaste
    (9 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: intonation challenges

    Saxyann, Cool horn, but those Mark VI's are very inconsistant. I owned one that was ok and I owned one that S8cked. The MarkVI is all about the ego. About four years ago, I purchased two new horns. and...... They say you can't be in love with two women at the same time!

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    1. by saxyann
      (4 posts)

      4 years ago

      Re: intonation challenges

      Thanks for your reply. I've been considering trading in my Mark VI, but, you're right. it's the ego. Anyway, I'm just curious what are your new horns and how are they with pitch consistency? Thanks again,

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  2. by saxandbassplayer
    (42 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: intonation challenges

    Mark VI's are indeed a different story for intonation versus a lot of other horns. I play a Mark VI alto as my main horn, and the intonation is indeed a little bit out there. What I recommend doing is sit down with a tuner, and figure out how far out the pitches are. For sharp notes, try covering different keys. The tone might be a little different, but if you're shooting for better intonation alternate fingerings are the next step. I use my horn for classical as well as jazz, and classical can be quite the bout when trying to get everything even and in tune... especially some of them altissimo notes. It's all about experimentation though. The horn's fine, you just need to learn to grow with it.

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    1. by Lord Amin
      (1 post)

      4 years ago

      Re: intonation challenges

      well umm, i just made this account like 30 sec ago,so ya im new to this. just thought id introduce myself: im an 11 year old alto sax player i just started 10 weeks ago and umm, ya thats it lol

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  3. by MartinMods
    (63 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: intonation challenges

    This is a common situation occurring when the volume and or resonant frequency of the mouthpiece do not match the instrument correctly. A mouthpiece with a little smaller chamber will balance the intonation between the high and low registers better. I like a Bari Richie Cole 5. Or, if you really like the way the Meyer plays, other than the intonation, I can tell you how to make an insert for the throat of the mouthpiece which will fix your problem.

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    1. by saxyann
      (4 posts)

      4 years ago

      Re: intonation challenges

      Thanks for the suggestion. I have ordered a Bari Richie Cole 5 and can't wait to try it out. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks!

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      1. by saxyann
        (4 posts)

        4 years ago

        Re: intonation challenges

        Also, would really appreciate your solution for making an insert for my Meyer 5. THANKS again!

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        1. by MartinMods
          (63 posts)

          4 years ago

          Re: intonation challenges

          Inserting a short, cylindrical tube shaped insert, which fits snugly in the mouthpiece throat and has the same inner diameter as the neck opening, will usually fix this problem. One will need to experiment with different insert lengths to get the best balance between high and low registers. Once the insert is in place, you will have to pull out a little further in order to tune to A440, making the saxophone longer and lower in pitch. This change in length and lowering in pitch is proportionally more pronounced for the high register, short tube notes, than it is for the low register, long tube notes,

          Reply To Post AIM