Saxophone Forum

by Dauthdaert
(1 post)
4 years ago

My Alto Saxophone keeps squealing in crazy harmonics

Hey all,
I recently switched to a Yamaha Custom EX Alto Saxophone and at first, it was a dream. Before that I had a crappy YAS-270 from when I first started (7 years), and I thought that after 7 years of playing I definitely needed to step up from a beginner instrument that had leaking pads. When I first played the EX, the sound quality was amazing beyond comparison and every note was crisp and came out smoothly. Fast forward a month or so to now, I cant even get a high D out of my instrument without it squealing some note 3 octaves above what is played... It is definitely not my mouthpiece, as I tried it back on my old YAS-270 and it was absolutely fine on the high notes.

I got this saxophone second hand in mint condition for $3800 when it is usually $5600.

Can someone please give me an idea as to why it is doing this? I have checked, and there are no leaking pads and the neck is secure to the body when screwed on. I have tried loosening my embouchure a lot, like I'm playing the Bari and it helps a bit but still squeals like all 5 hells have been unleashed...

I've got my grade 6 exam coming up so I hope I can get it fixed by then. If I can't get help from here I plan to take it in for a service.


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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (644 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: My Alto Saxophone keeps squealing in crazy harmonics

    On the higher end of the horn, focus your embachure a bit more. I think your reed is just fluttering out of control. So, you need to use more control. Think about blowing into a straw. With that in mind, do the same sort or round, focus from all direction embachure. Focusing in on the sound and the air flow.

    It is probably the opposite of, loosening up, that is needed.


    Good Luck

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  2. by mijderf
    (282 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: My Alto Saxophone keeps squealing in crazy harmonics

    Assuming that your reed is not closing up on you, I would take it to a good tech.  Since it played so well when you received it, you should have the horn checked out.  If the horn is fine, then you can focus on other issues like reeds, embouchure, hand placement, etc.

    Good luck. 

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  3. by furinkasan
    (5 posts)

    3 years ago

    Re: My Alto Saxophone keeps squealing in crazy harmonics

    Let a few other people play your horn to see if they have the same problem. If not, you may have been over compensating with your old horn which is causing you to squeak on this one.

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