Saxophone Forum


by 002
(1 post)
3 years ago

my Alto Sax plays half step flat

When I play notes on my new (used) alto saxophone, they are a half step flat. So when I blow into it without covering any holes or pressing any keys, it plays a concert E flat when it's supposed to play a concert E. When I play a G, it plays a concert A instead of a B flat. Is there a way to fix this on my own or should I bring it to a professional?

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  1. by Saxquest
    (329 posts)

    3 years ago

    Re: my Alto Sax plays half step flat

    What brand of sax do you have? Do you know how old it is? Do you know if it has the original neck? I would be happy to help analyze the situation if I had a bit more information.

     

    Cheers,

         Mark Overton

         saxquest.com

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  2. by krestonsmith
    (12 posts)

    3 years ago

    Re: my Alto Sax plays half step flat

    The most obvious answer is to push in your mouthpiece. Check out some videos of pro sax players and you will notice that their mouthpiece is pushed way on to the neck and the cork does not show very much. The more relaxed your embochure is the bigger and warmer the sound which creeates a flatter pitch resulting in a need to push in your mouthpiece. Give that a try first and save your money. Be sure you have cork grease on the cork and that your turn and push at the same time.

    Hope that helps!

    Good Time and Happy Playing . . .

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    1. by saxgourmet
      (113 posts)

      3 years ago

      Re: my Alto Sax plays half step flat

      a good (and VERY necessary) place to start is to take the mouthpiece by itself (not attatched to the horn), blow it, and see what note you're producing....it should produce one of the following pitches:

      Soprano saxophone: concert c3
      Alto saxophone: concert a2
      Tenor saxophone: concert g2
      Baritone saxophone: concert d2

      if it doesn't, that's at least part of your problem....you cannot reasonably expect the horn to play in tune if you're giving it the wrong input!

      STEVE GOODSON
      New Orleans
      www.nationofmusic.com

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      1. by Saxquest
        (329 posts)

        3 years ago

        Re: my Alto Sax plays half step flat

        Steve is absolutely right on with that advise! This is an excercise that used to be taught by the great Joe Allard along with many others. I've used this process with students all the time and it works! Do what it takes to ge the right pitch from just the mouthpiece and then transfer that technique for blowing to the entire horn when you put the mouthpiece on the sax. Good advise Steve, THANKS!

         

        Cheers,

             Mark Overton

             saxquest.com

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