Saxophone Forum


by juansax
(2 posts)
5 months ago

Octave B extremely flat, A self growling, etc

Hi everyone, after reading several posts for some time now i feel i need to explain my situation and see if i can get some feedback.

 

I play the sax for almost 2 and a half years by now, so im still new in this world in a sense. With time im starting to take notice of some vices i have when i play and slowly i am trying to correct them.

Playing in tune is one of my ultimate goals (to whom not?), for that porpouse i started paying atention and working on my singing voice and doing some simple ear training stuff. I realize that i am in tune if im RELAXED, if not i build a tension that messes up the whole thing. 

Recently ive been noticing that my embouchure is not that good, i need to stop biting on the higher register, sadly its almost second nature. My move is trying to play with my embouchure as relaxed as possible. The thing is that doing this i find that if i play a middle B relaxed and then press the octave key, the note sounds SUPER flat,almost an A. Sometimes if i do it super slowly, it doesnt even sound a note. As well, If i play an octave G, Ab and A, for the first seconds note sounds usually good but then a growling low sound appears. My sax is a tenor KING CLEVEAND and mpc is a Daddario Select Jazz 6. Many good sax players and teachers tried my sax and mpc and found it OK, one teacher told me that in this not so modern saxes you need a little extra pressure on that B to put it in tune, but i didnt read that almost anywhere here. Is that true? Or i am doing stuff wrong?

I guess that if thats so, the challenge is to put that little preasure in the left hand octave notes but take it out if i go down or higher to the palm keys (because both them and the right hand octave notes go super sharp if i dont do this). I found this pretty difficult to do without losing control and as well losing concentration on playing. If this is the way, practicing scales slowly is the path to go? Or keeping relaxed and playing this notes super flat and some day my lip will get how is the minimum movement? Individually long note-ing them? Or what? Im all ears (eyes).

 

Sorry for the long text, too many issues, but i hope you can help me with them. THANK YOU.

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  1. by mijderf
    (200 posts)

    5 months ago

    Re: Octave B extremely flat, A self growling, etc

    what reed strength are you playing?  You might want to try a slightly stronger reed.  I don’t agree that B3 requires biting down to get the note in tune.  Biting is a bad habit and it is good that you realize that.  Also make sure you are taking enough mouthpiece in your mouth.  Your lower lip should be placed at the location where the reed first shows a gap between reed and rails.  

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    1. by juansax
      (2 posts)

      5 months ago

      Re: Octave B extremely flat, A self growling, etc

      Im using RICO 3. For a long time used 3 and a half and i feel like doing too many effort to blow.

      As i tell you, if i delibertely go relaxed concentrating in not bitting at all when playing a middle b and jumping to the octave an ocave, always that b is almost an A. But im not saying that bitting is the solution to make it in tune, i guess its just a sligtly change (that i dont know how to control for the moment).

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      1. by GFC
        (780 posts)

        5 months ago

        Re: Octave B extremely flat, A self growling, etc

        Tongue position is a big factor in intonation.  The oral cavity is part of the resonance chamber around the reed and the position of the tongue affects the volume within it.  The way Joe Allard put it, raise the rear of the tongue near the roof of the mouth to generate velocity ot airflow and adjust the forward part of the tongue to get the best results in tone and intonation.  That will vary between individual players because mouthpiece/mouth combinations are all different.  There should be very little change in jaw pressure between octaves.

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