Saxophone Forum


by FredCDobbs
(77 posts)
10 years ago

Trouble with high G and G#

I've been playing about three years, and have just switched tenors from a Woodwinds to a vintage Conn 10M. I love the tone I can get out of the Conn, but I'm having a hard time hitting the higher G and G# --- no problem going up half tones, but big frustration trying to go from, say, middle C to G and G# or from an upper note to those. I know it's a matter of emboucher and overtones (via my instructor), but what I'm wondering is: 1. Why this kind of difference between horns; 2. Would this problem be helped/hindered by different mouthpieces (I'm using a Berg Larson 105/2 medium, with either #2 or #2.5 Vandoren reeds). Thanks for any comments.

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Trouble with high G and G#

    10M's rule! Seriously! Describe what is happening when you jump up to G. It could be the timing of your octave mechanism. Make sure that the body octave vent is opening and closing precisely with the motion of your thumbing the key. I've had similar problems dropping from high notes to G and have attributed it to what I describe. Some mouthpieces are more "stable" than others when it comes to tone production. A Berg 105 isn't out of hand by any means, but you might want to try some different mouthpieces to see if you get the same problem. Horn to mouthpiece matching can be tricky at times. I've found on vintage horns like your Conn that large chambered mouthpieces work best intonation and tone wise. Another question - do you have a single or double socket neck? If you're not sure of what I'm asking, I can send you a picture of my 10M double socket neck to clarify.

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    1. by tenor562
      (297 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Trouble with high G and G#

      I'm having a mishap with my High G to on my yamaha 62. it's normally the timing of your octave key. It's on the G, but my teacher says it happens on D too. at first I thought it was my neck, but then it turned out to be me. try putting down the octave key after you put down your other keys. See if the G works. If it doesn't then somethings wrong with your neck, and you should check it out. 10M's do have different necks then modern saxes., so you should check it out.

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    2. by FredCDobbs
      (77 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Trouble with high G and G#

      When I jump to G (or G#) the tone comes out multphonic, harsh, raucous, and offensive. If I carefully rearrange my embouchure first (tighten my lips, with a narrower throat, so the air seems to bounce off my upper palatte) then I get a decent tone. This works o.k. with long tone practice, but when I'm playing fast or trying to improvise, that offensive noise sometimes pops out. The body octive vent responds pretty closely with the octive key, but I'm going to try to clean out the tone hole--maybe it's partially clogged with lint or something. If that works, I'll be very happy (but I doubt it's the problem). The neck is single socket. My instructor also told me that a mouthpiece with a larger chamber would be best with this horn. When my current spate of bills get paid, I'll probably start thinking about a change. Thanks, SM. BTW, what size chamber, and/or MP would you recommend? Tenor--I don't think it's the neck, because I've tried variations on the sequencing of key depression. Thanks, though. My instructor thinks I should just train my emboucher to adjust, until I do it naturally in the course of playing. But it can get frustrating!

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Trouble with high G and G#

        For vintage - MC Gregory. For modern - Otto Links or Vandoren Java (not Jumbo Java for general purpose - those are to bright for all-around use. Stay away from Selmer S80's and S90's.

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        1. by FredCDobbs
          (77 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Trouble with high G and G#

          What a surprise! I took the 10M over to my air compressor, and blew about 60lbs of air into and around the octive key on the upper body. I stuck the Berg on with a 2.5 reed, and the upper G and G# came out sweet and clean, regardless of what key I came from. Sax Maniac---thanks so much for drawing my attention to that octive key. I keep a pad saver in the horn, and some fluff must have gotten into the interior tube of that little tone hole. Tenor562---you might give an air hose a try. My sax life just improved!

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