Saxophone Forum


by Eric Dunlop
(3 posts)
8 months ago

Eric from Hampshire, UK

Hello every one. I have an Alto, a Tenor and a Con Melody C. All in good working order.
I now am setting about learning to play them.
I have a rudimentary knowledge of music but my reading skill is slow but will improve with practice.
Now practice is my main problem. I have found that saxes play in two ways, loud and louder so my practice times have to coincide with the house being empty.

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  1. by kelsey
    (823 posts)

    8 months ago

    Re: Eric from Hampshire, UK

    Your problem is not unique.  Give the other people in your house ear plugs. (or)There are places that rent practice space. My dog Rosie hates the sound of the saxophone so I put her in one of the bedrooms, play music on the bedroom CD player to mask my sound and I run a fan for  her. It seems to do the trick!!!

    Barry Kelsey

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  2. by GFC
    (359 posts)

    8 months ago

    Re: Eric from Hampshire, UK

    Playing into a closet full of clothes is a good way to damp the sound.  If your horns are responsive (no leaks, mouthpiece and reed ok) you should develop better dynamic control with long tone practice.

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  3. by Eric Dunlop
    (3 posts)

    8 months ago

    Re: Eric from Hampshire, UK

    Thank you for the advice. The wardrobe idea is a good one.
    I have since found yet another problem.
    When playing the low Bb and some times the low C I do not get a clear note. The sound is broken, the best way to explain it is to say that it sounds like a small motor boat engine.
    I only get this on the Melody C the alto and the tenor sound good.
    I can only think that I have a pad that is not sealing properly or maybe a weak spring, after all the Melody C was made in 1923 or so.

    Any ideas

    Eric Dunlop

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    1. by GFC
      (359 posts)

      8 months ago

      Re: Eric from Hampshire, UK

      You're on the right track.  Leaks are the most common cause of such problems at the bottom end of the horn.  You could have one or more anywhere between the neck cork and the low C key.  Some horns also have a propensity for low note "gurgling" or "motorboating" because of the design of the bow.  What kind of horn is your C-mel?

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      1. by Eric Dunlop
        (3 posts)

        8 months ago

        Re: Eric from Hampshire, UK

        My Melodt C sax is a straight neck Con.
        Made in 1923 or so.

        Eric Dunlop

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        1. by GFC
          (359 posts)

          8 months ago

          Re: Eric from Hampshire, UK

          Nice!  That's the New Wonder model.  One thing New Wonder tenor players do to counteract gurgling is to throw a wine cork into the bow.  The reason that works is that the New Wonder has a bit of excess volume through the bow and the volume occupied by the wine cork counteracts it.  Maybe the c-mel is similar to the tenor that way, maybe not.  But it's an easy thing to try.

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