Saxophone Forum


by Nitron
(3 posts)
10 years ago

Need serious intonation help

I'm playing alto/soprano in a musical, uh, tomorrow...But I have awful intonation on the alto. Suprisingly, I'm closer to being in tune on the soprano (a cheap, used, no-name-brand, black-finished straight soprano). For some reason, nobody can teach me how to play in tune on the alto. My alto is made by Conn and it's at least 20 years old. That's all I know about it. My mouthpiece is a Meyer 5M. I play a size 3 Van Doren. I can play a concert Bb in tune and hold it out, but all of my other notes are either extremely sharp or flat...It's been said that I'm "all over the place". Also, if I'm flat, I can raise the pitch with my embouchure, but if I'm sharp, I can't lower it. Just a little side note, I also play oboe (out of tune as well), which I think is messing up my saxophone embouchure. Any suggestions?

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  1. by chiamac
    (586 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Need serious intonation help

    have you tried to play in tune on another horn, and with another mpc?

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    1. by Nitron
      (3 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Need serious intonation help

      Uhh...No...Should I? Any recommendations?

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      1. by tenor562
        (297 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Need serious intonation help

        Ttake your horn into the tech, and see if there's any leaks or other problems that could affect intonation. Just tell them that it has intonation problems. It could just be the horn too, because some vintage horns are harder to keep in tone. If the tech okays it, and it still has problems, take it to some store that has a lot of mouthpieces that you can try out. Woodwind Brasswind, in Indiana is a good choice if you're near there, but there's a lot of other places with a good selection. Be sure that you have a tuner with you. See which mouthpiece plays the best in tone, you'll be able to tell which one works for you. .

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        1. by definition
          (963 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Need serious intonation help

          Tenor 562 pretty much has it right. the pad might not be adjusted to the correct height, thus causing intonation issues. Take it to a tech, and have him look at it. Since its a 'Vintage' horn, and you if end up needing to get a new mouthpiece, look for an mpc with a large, round chambered mpc. these have way better intonation for vintage horns

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        2. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Need serious intonation help

          yeah, I was trying to make the point that it may not be you. As stated above vintage horns are sometimes out of tune no matter what. easiest way I thought of was to try a different horn. That would at least tell you where the problem is.

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        3. by Nitron
          (3 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Need serious intonation help

          Well, thanks everybody! We ended up just getting another altoist, and I played soprano and tenor. Is my horn really vintage? I thought it had to be 50+ years old to be vintage...Hmm

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        4. by definition
          (963 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Need serious intonation help

          what is the serial number? its fairly easy to tell with a Conn horn. Make sure you tell us any letter prefixes with it when you tell us!

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      2. by saxman0317
        (53 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Need serious intonation help

        The simplist thing to start with would just be check the pads, then mouthpeice, and finally get more technical, BUT only if u can play in tune on other horns, mouthpeice, etc. Start simple, never over fix, its just creates more problems, my best suggestion is, if ur sharp up high, just get a harder reed, and visa versa, it could just be that u have to bite alot.

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