Saxophone Forum


by ptg
(3 posts)
2 years ago

High F advice please

Hello!

I am an old guy (over 50) who has just picked up the alto sax about 6 months ago and am progressing fairly rapidly as I play other instruments and can do basic reading, etc.

I am, however, getting very frustrated as I cannot, for the life of me, play a high F. If I walk up to it I can get a weak one but that's about it.

Sometimes the sax reverts back to a low note and sometimes nothing comes out at all.

My teacher has tried the instrument, says it's fine and to hang in there but it's very depressing.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so very much!

 

 

 

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  1. by JonHuff
    (68 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: High F advice please

    Try humming the note before you play it. You want to get a good clear idea in your head what the note should sound like before it comes out, which will help you down the line as you extend into the altissimo anyway. Also spend time doing long tones on the low notes. I know it sounds counterintuitive to play low to work on your high notes, but it develops embouchure and control. You definitely do not want to bite down or exert more pressure to force the note out, which will set up bad technique and increased frustratrions later. You are still new to the sax, just keep practicing and it will come. 

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    1. by ptg
      (3 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: High F advice please

      Very interesting, thank you! I will give it a shot!

      Hard to be patient when you're an old guy like me :-(

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  2. by DonnaSax
    (4 posts)

    2 years ago

    Re: High F advice please

    Sounds like your embouchre isn't as developed yet as you would like. JohnHuff is spot on with his advice.

    I would add that you should make sure your lower lip is in a good position, meaning think of imitating how you say the letters, F or V. You'll notice how much lip curls over the bottom teeth (which is not much).

    I have a video out on YouTube about this that you can search for, or you can find it on my site on this page: http://donnaschwartzmusic.com/teaching/common-performance-problems/improving-your-saxophone-tone/

    I know you said you are not patient, but if you shoot for 1% progress everyday, you'll reach your goals...

    Donna

     

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    1. by ptg
      (3 posts)

      2 years ago

      Re: High F advice please

      Thanks Donna! I'll try your thinking "F" suggestion!

      BTW, great videos and love your playing!

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      1. by DonnaSax
        (4 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: High F advice please

        Thank you and great - keep us posted on how you're doing!

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