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Note/Embouchre Problems


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#1 TonyK

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:20 AM

Hi
I have been learning the Alto Sax on and off for about two years now. I have a Trevor James Signature Sax (Silver Plated) with a Selmer C* Mouthpiece and a Strength 3 Vandoren Java Reed.
The problem I am having is that when I move from a hight note to a low note the high note seems to continue for a split second before I hear the low note I am trying to play. I am not sure if my Sax needs tuning or it is a problem with my Embouchre. Any help/advice would be appreciated.
Tony

#2 Ken Ng

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:56 AM

Try a harder Reed? Or try a different mouthpiece. Or try lower your embouchure When you hit the low Note. Do not push it anymore. However I use my tongue and embouchure to do the trick from high to low notes. do not know how to explain this.

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#3 TonyK

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:27 AM

Many thanks Ken. I will try what you say.

#4 ravenek

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:46 AM

the trick with going smoothly from top notes to low notes (you probably mean the notes with octave key pressed to the ones without the octave key) is that you need to make a minor adjustment to your embouchure. this you need to learn, or rather your mouth needs to learn this (kind of unconciously get used to) - and you can do it through practice. try practicing octave jumps (let's say high D then low D, high B then low B, etc.), first normally and then legato, you'll be hitting the low notes from high notes in no time :)

on the other hand moutpiece/reed might cause this to be harder than it should - try experimenting with different setups. if you cant change the moutpiece - try changing reeds (strengths AND makes - I find some makes more responsive than others). in your case I would go down a notch and tried Java 2,5.

#5 TonyK

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:07 AM

Thanks ravenek. I hav just gone up from a Java 2.5 to a 3 to see if that cured the problem. Whilst my tone is much better according to my wife the problem is still there. I will try your suggestions.
Many thanks
Tony

#6 ravenek

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:05 AM

also, one more thing occured to me - if nothing of the above helps it might be that the sax have a leak somewhere in which case you should take it to a tech to have it looked at.

#7 Ken Ng

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

Yes, take it to the tech to check.

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#8 Paul Dalley

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:56 AM

If you have been playing fine up till now & before shelling out hard cash, have a realy good look at the end of the reed you are useing.
I had the same problem today after all has been fine for days, after checking & double checking each pad is closing & seating
( paying particular attention to both octive pads )
Checking & rechecking, slightly adjusting the reed seating position various times. I noticed a tiny split in the reed, so small I had missed it before.
I proceeded to change reed, thinking its about time I went up a notch so selected a royal 2, wet it & set it home.
As soon as I blew, Mmm sweet sounds on the full range & no wierd noises of octive problems.
Back to normal after about thirty minutes of faffing around.
The moral of this story, start with the simplest things first :)

#9 Jesusman

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:37 PM

going from high notes to low notes, does the embochure need to be softer or harder?

what do you mean by a lower embochure Ken Ng



#10 Ken Ng

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

@Jesusman Drop your jaw when you're going low and tighten when going high. Remember not to bite your mouthpiece. Also be careful if you drop too much, it will sound very very flat. you have to take note. Same for high notes, can be too sharp if you push . 


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#11 Jesusman

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

thanks heaps Ken Ng.

 

although by changing embochure wouldn't you run the risk of bending the note out of tune?



#12 Key of CS

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 04:44 AM

When you play on and off...we tend to forget some of the fundamentals..before getting your sax looked at, you may want to check your reed position just like what Paul Dalley said. A slight movement of the reed makes a tremendous change in your sound.

From what I know, here's how it works.

When going to a high key, you blow lesser but your jaw gets a little tighter. When you go down, you blow more but you need to loosen up your jaw to allow more vibration of the reed. The reed vibrates more when you go down and the reed vibrates a little less when you go up. That's why the embouchure is different when going up and going down. You blow less when you go up, you blow more when you go down. You may be blowing hard while you have a tight jaw..that's why you can still hear a high tone. Try to exercise the fundamentals and see if you still have that problem. Doing a warm up before playing is great. If you're not doing it, you should try it.

Your sax needs warm up time before actually playing.



#13 almightyzero

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:27 PM

I agree, check your reed position.



#14 Saxrasta

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:53 PM

Also try switching to regular Vandoren reeds rather than the Java. Java has a different taper than traditional Vandoren. They get thinner sooner. I bet you won't even need to change reed strength.






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