Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / high F still sucks

User ID: 0283314
Dec 26th 11:04 AM
I've been taking alto lessons for 6 months, but I still can't do the high E and F without a squeal at the start of the note. I've changed to thicker reeds (Van Doren 2-1/2) and tried saying "tee" instead of "tuh" on these high notes. I still squeal. What am I doing wrong???
Randy M.
User ID: 8729803
Dec 26th 3:24 PM
You may try playing the note a few times with NO TONGUE - just air to see how fast the air needs to be going and embouchure setting that works. Once you get that going then try a very soft legato tongue like de (e as in we).

If you haven't read Pacu Coats atricles on the forum home page please read and do the mouthpiece alone exercise. That exercise has helpsed a lot of players.
Randy M.
User ID: 8729803
Dec 26th 3:42 PM
I noticed on another thread, you mention that you always practice softly while working on new things. For only playing 6 months, I'd suggest just the opposite---get used to medium to loud until you get something learned, then you can concentrate on how to balance soft playing out. Mot enough air and lownotes/high notes won't respond or tune well, and response will be sluggish.

Any times you play under pressure (like in front of an audience or for a test if you're in school), you'll probably play the way you've practiced most. (when you practice you develop kinestetic muscle memory and conditioned response reflexes. Suggest to practice like you intend to play).