Saxophone Forum


by FredCDobbs
(77 posts)
9 years ago

Just started playing a 6M!

Hi all. I just got a 1937 VIII 6M (I think it's been relaquered), had it completely repadded and regulated, and I've been playing it for a couple of days. The sound gives me the chills!! It can coo like honey, or blow the mice out of the walls. It will take everything I can give it, and then some, and stays steady as a laser . I don't have much experience, but I can't imagine a more open alto. Now the problem: I find the fixed right hand thumbrest very uncomfortable. It's angled to the left, and I can't seem to fit my thumb to it and reach the lower C table without lots of pain. Is there a way of holding the sax that I'm missing so this isn't a problem? What was the rationale for designing the thumbrest that way? I'm going to try one of those little rubber sleeves (the one on my 10M works well, but the problem wasn't as bad), but short of that, is there any solution besides having my tech reposition the thumbrest? (I'm going to have another bushing put around the octive pin to lower the octive mechanism for my left thumb, also.) Thanks for any tips.

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  1. by FredCDobbs
    (77 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Just started playing a 6M!

    Sorry for the spelling , meant octave.

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    1. by chiamac
      (586 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Just started playing a 6M!

      good to hear man! what mpc are you using? and for the thumbrest...you "could" move the thing with a cresent wrench, but it would be better to have a tech look at it . =) as for me and my 6m, it's a love hate deal. I still need to find the right mpc (or have it looked at) because the thing is really loud or stuffy... but i'm also out of pratice and stuff.

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      1. by FredCDobbs
        (77 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Just started playing a 6M!

        chiamac: Thanks for the suggestion. However, I couldn't bear to take a cresent wrench to it. If I don't find a milder solution, I'm guessing it will have to be sweated off and resoldered at a more vertical angle. I assume it was designed this way for a reason (unless it was redone for a previous owner); I just can't figure out why. I tried several mpcs and it sounds different but great with each: With a vintage Steve Broadus and/or a vintage Conn Eagle, I needed a stiffer reed (they're pretty closed) and used a Vanduren Optimum; it was lush, warm and sweet. With a Selmer C*80 and Rico Royale 2, and the Vanduren Optimum, it was brighter and crisper, and blew more freely than with the two vintage pieces. With a Jody Jazz HR 6m and the Rico Royale 2, it was brighter still (I like a darkish sound), so I tried a Rovner Dark lig and it warmed up a bit. With that set up, it screams. Sorry you're having trouble with yours. Maybe you've had a bad bunch of reeds. As a relative beginner, the reed issue drives me crazy, because I never know if I'm having a bad day or it's just the damn reed. What mpc are you using?

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          get an Otto Link Tone Edge hard rubber piece. They really sound nice and with the Tone Edge, my intonation is right on!

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        2. by FredCDobbs
          (77 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          Jim: I'll check one out, soon as all the bills are covered, not the least of which are SAXOPHONE BILLS! Any thoughts on my thumbrest problem?

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        3. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          "get an Otto Link Tone Edge hard rubber piece. They really sound nice and with the Tone Edge, my intonation is right on!" yup, that's what I need to do. I'll get around to it someday... after I buy a shit load of art metals stuff, and maybe a motorcycle. (the weather is just too nice here lately)

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        4. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          I know exactly what you mean about the thumb rest being angled. If you're used to holding the sax straight up and down, this would be ackward, but the sax is actually designed to be held at a slight angle. Once you get used to this angle, it's actually easier, and I find it more comfortable actually.

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        5. by Dave Dix
          (421 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          Jim is correct.They were designed to sit in the pit orchestra so they are played by the side. Martin came up with the adjustable thumbrest first (i think) on the handcraft committee then others followed as more people played standing up. Dave

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        6. by FredCDobbs
          (77 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          Thanks guys. I'll try canting the horn over to the left. Is this why Lester Young held his 10M the way he did? If so, he really over compensated!

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        7. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          personally I've never really had a problem with the thumb rest... maybe that's because I have small hands and am tickled pink I can even hold the damn thing.

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        8. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          On my 1908 Wonder, the thumb rest is straight and has hardly any curve to it at all. On my 1922 New Wonder Series I, 1926 New Wonder Series II, and my 1950 6M, the thumb rest is angled; more so on the 6M than the others, and the thumbrest on the 6M is wider and actually more comfortable. The thumb rest on my Selmer is also slightly offset, but not as much as the Conn.

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        9. by bmcguire
          (45 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          I might get ousted for this but I would really like to take a New Wonder or 6M and totally rebuild the keywork. Adjustable thumb rest, SuperAction style Alt F, lower stack and Octave keys. This is the machine shop fapricator in me. I would want to do it right though, not like that hack in LA, I forget his name, but have you seen his "custom keywork" but anyway, anybody seen something like this done to an old horn?

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        10. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          Actually they play pretty easy and have a nice sound. The intonation is better on the Series II's but it's not bad. The action takes a little getting used to, but they actually play better than many of the newer horns that I have tried

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        11. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          I'm referring to the New Wonder Series I

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        12. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Just started playing a 6M!

          I went to grab my 6M to see why anyone would think canting it to the left would make sense. Don't do that, even though that's the way it appears it would work. Pull your right arm back, so that the bottom of the horn is beside your right hip, and you should find the thumb rest perfectly situated. However, I often play the alto out front, even with the slanted thumb rest, and don't have a problem with it. The more you practice, the more your thumb should get used to the feel. It shouldn't be painful. (Another option might be to put one of those little rubber fingers people use for counting money or flipping pages on your thumb.)

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