Saxophone Forum


by Saxerman
(7 posts)
9 years ago

My sax is out of tune the whole time

hi, i'm a freshman in high school and i play alto sax. Most of the time i play my middle range at band, but whenever i play the low D or lower or high D and higher, it gets very flat on da low notes and very sharp on the high notes. I tried everything to get it in tune, but nothing works. Please help me out here!!

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  1. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

    What kind of saxophone is this and what mouthpiece are you using? My guess is that you may want to try a different mouthpiece, but I need a little more info. Throw me a bone or two. Jim

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    1. by definition
      (963 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

      Yeah Jim is right, need way more info if you want us to help you

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      1. by west
        (242 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

        I actually think this guys pretty lucky. I don't know about the lower notes but Isn't it true that most people go flat on the higher notes?

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    2. by Saxerman
      (7 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

      I'm using a selmer C* mouthpiece with vandoren classic reeds with rovner ligature. I'm also using a saxophone brand called estee although i never heard of it. I'm probably sure that its a cheap taiwan saxophone. And i go sharp when i play my high D and anything higher

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      1. by YanagisawA-901
        (312 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

        well which is it homeboy?? u sed before u were flat higher then C now ur sharp?? do u even know what flat and sharp is?? if its really flat there may be a leak or somthin.. if its really sharp u just gotta develop your tone more and ull be able to hear it better.

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Ok...here's your problem, even though you haven't told me what horn you have yet....Spend about $17.95 through WWBW and get a Rico Royal Graftonite mouthpiece. As soon as your mouthpiece arrives, take that no good piece of shit Selmer S 80 C* and throw it in the trash!!! I GUARANTEE you that mouthpiece is the cause of your intonation problems! They're JUNK!!!!! J U N K

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        2. by YanagisawA-901
          (312 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          i have an s 80 and my intonation is fine..

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        3. by Saxerman
          (7 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          my selmer 80 C* is fine. I think its the saxophone. Its a cheap taiwan brand

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        4. by west
          (242 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Yuck Yuck! Make sure you wash your hands every time after touching it and wash you eyes with soap after looking at it, Put soap in your mouth after playing it and clean every single place the sax or case touches

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        5. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Sounds like you need a new horn AND a new mouthpiece!

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        6. by YanagisawA-901
          (312 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          what u have against s 80's jim?? every person in my band plays on s 80s, my teacher teaches us on s 80s, and we are one of the better jazz bands in Maryland.. AND! were not selective.. meaning we cant really choose who is in the band.. to an extent we can but not to a liberal extent where we have auditions.. so i cant see why u have a big thing against em

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        7. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          I like the S80s. Many accomplished players play and play in tune on them. The tone they produce is well suited for concert band. My problem with them is mainly that many band directors insist on their universal use even though there are better choices.

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        8. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          " My problem with them is mainly that many band directors insist on their universal use even though there are better choices." no shit... I have a S80 E right now, and sure it works great for a nice classical tone, but it won't do anything for jazz. and I would go with Jim on this one, get a more user friendly mouthpiece and a differen't horn. =) or just pratice more and get that control.

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        9. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Jim's problem with S80s is that he plays nearly all vintage horns, and it has a small square chamber that wreaks havoc on intonation for vintage horns. He needs pieces with a large, round chamber to be able to play intune, like an otto link or a meyer. What he should do is find a nice, older, short shank soloist and a long shank soloist... nice big chamber, he'd have no trouble picking one that played nicely!!

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        10. by west
          (242 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          I also think that...............GET A NEW HORN AND MOUTHPIECE

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        11. by west
          (242 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Sorry 'bout that. The mouthpiece is great, but...................................GET A NEW HORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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        12. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          "Jim's problem with S80s is that he plays nearly all vintage horns," it's like a speed cutoff on a car. You get blowing and all of a sudden the sound won't get any bigger, it just stops. which is why band directors like them... keeps the saxs in check. =)

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        13. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Thats one thing I never liked about band directors, making everyone play the same piece, usually a Selmer C*. I allow my students to use ny piece they choose to use, as long as it is appropriate for the nsemble, and their ability. Of course, when they recomend pieces, I stick to the major brands being easier to obtain... But if a student wanted to play on a guy hawkins and was able to contrl the piece... go for it!

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        14. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Definition is right on! I do have an old large shank soloist , but to me it sounds stuffy. It does play in tune though. When I first tried the S80 I thought wow, this mouthpiece plays so easy. Of course, I was just playing around at home. I was dying for a chance to really try it out on a gig, and I really don't play alto all that much, mostly tenor. When I finally had a chance to try it.....IT SUCKED!!! First, my intonation was all over the place. Sharp in the upper octave, flat in the lower octave. I tuned it 3 different times thinking.....what the hell?!?! I couldn't get any volume or projection either. You're exactly right Chiamac, it's like a speed limiter on a car! My 1956 Conn 6M is like a hot rod 1956 Corvette, and putting a Selmer S-80 mouthpiece on that horn is like putting a Mazda Miata engine in a 1956 Corvette! It just doesn't fit! Of course, I mention the Miata because they have become every bit as much a symbol of homosexuality as rainbows, triangles, and the color purple! If you want that gay, stuffy French "no balls" sound, sure, stick with your S-80, but if you want a sound that'll raise the roof, get an Otto Link! I LOVE my Tone Edge on my alto. What an awesome mouthpiece!!!

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        15. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          i think it's the horn...i play on a Selmer C* witha rovner ligature and vandoren reeds too...and i almost always play really closely in tune. i say get a new horn.

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        16. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          But on the new horns Jim, the S80 can roar with a good player behind the horn!! If you want to, get that soloist you have refaced to something that plays freer, you might like it. I actually do like using a soloist often for classical work, or if I need to switch gears in a gig and dont want to retune another mpc

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        17. by Saxerman
          (7 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          ANYWAYS..... I finally got both a new mouthpiece and a new saxophone. I went to a local WWBW store and got a new meyer mouthpiece for jazz band. I tried five different saxophones and i chose the selmer super action 80 model. Anyways, being out of tune is no longer a problem for me since i sound a few times greater. As for selmer C*, I am now gonna use it for marchin band

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        18. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          I keep my soloist around just because it was the mouthpiece that came with my 1952 SBA when it was given to me. I assume it's the original mouthpiece that came with that horn when it was new. I have used it on occasion, but I don't like it nearly as much as the Otto Link Tone Edge. I also have an old Conn Steelay alto piece that I like, but the Link blows them all away. Your band directors are convinced that the Selmer S-80 is the greatest! Well, it has been proven that the square chamber creates problems on a lot of horns, including some Selmer models. Perhaps they work better on the newer SELMER horns, but I can put my Otto Link on ANY horn; a new Selmer, old Selmer, Yamaha 62, my 6M, a Cannonball, even a 1908 Conn Wonder and ALL of them play in tune! Yet, when I put the S 80 on my Conn, the intonation is all over the place! Even on my Selmer SBA, the intonation is sketchy! That's because the S80 SUCKS! SELMER SUCKS!

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        19. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          Definition, bring me the best player you can find, any sax and an S 80 mouthpiece and I will show them what roars and what doesn't and send them home crying!

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        20. by definition
          (963 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          The Best one I can find? I can come alone and knock it out!! lol. Seriously, I and a few other I know can really roar if we want to on an S80 or 90, though normally we use other pieces. It CAN be done though

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        21. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          It sounds like jim's issue with the S80 could also apply to any mouthpice with a medium to small chamber, straight baffle, small window, or small tip opening. Yeah, the S80 isn't a volume power house and chia is correct, it's one thing band directors do like about the S80 C*, and I think it's a legitimate reason to like them. The overall design acts as a governer for any dynamic over a normal fortissimo, it seems.

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      2. by SahsSax06
        (4 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

        You might want to fix your embrochure (sp?).....Maybe youve tried it, but saxes tend to get sharper as the note gets higher....but thats prob. not the problem...you might want to def. invest in a new sax and/or setup

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        1. by GzsKerqt
          (77 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

          If it gets sharper as it goes higher, how do u fix it?

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          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

            I'm telling you, your problem is 70% mouthpiece, because those Selmer S 80's SUCK, 20% horn, and 10% embouchre!

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          2. by jaggtagg7
            (40 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: My sax is out of tune the whole time

            i have the exact same intonation problems (high=#, and low=b) and i am working on fixing it right now, although i am getting a new mpc soon. relax your embouchure on the notes that are sharp and obviously do the inverse on the notes that are flat. i find this works especally w/ mid E as it is notoriously sharp on altos.

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