Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / out of tune

User ID: 0847534
Jan 27th 4:13 PM
I'm playing alto for six years by now and I'm still not able to play it in tune. At first I thought the high notes were to high, but after doing the mouthpeace-exercise I found out that my low is to low. At first it didn't seem to matter. When I came so far that it did matter, I really worked hard on it(for a year), using the tuner, there was progression, but not ennough. At first I thought it was bad habbit, later on I thought I was a very poor student. Last summer, in spite of all, I started to play soprano. From the beginning working on tuning. And now, after half a year, I can play the soprano in tune!(well not the palm keys, but I'm glad I can get make them sound any-way). I'm still not able to play my alto in tune. I don't think it's the instrument, because I've the same problem on both my Selmer II and the Jupiter I play on the street. Maybee it's the mouthpeace (selmer F and selmer C* both with the same result), but it also can be me.
Please help.
Dr. Love
User ID: 1884774
Jan 27th 7:41 PM
I recently struggled through the same problem, and it caused me much of the same stress it's been causing you. One thing that I've noticed really helps is tuning to a pitch, rather than the dial on a tuner. If you have an electronic keyboard, or a tuner that makes soud, that could really help you get used to hearing the out of tune notes.

- Dr. Love -
User ID: 9579203
Jan 27th 8:51 PM
Its tough to play in tune if you don't know the sound you are after. If you always work with a tuner on many notes you will sound out of tune, Usally sharp. Work for the best tone in tune you can play. Listen to alot of music and try to play along with it. This will help inprove your ear and your ablity to reconise cord patterns.
Keep Practicing It will come
User ID: 3459474
Jan 27th 9:55 PM
try the web page they have this cd that plays a complex overtone series, and you tune notes in that key, it really makes you aware of where your pitch is, especially in relationship to the instruments around you and within your own instrument
User ID: 0192094
Jan 30th 1:55 PM
Wow "lows are too low", usually it's the other way around on alto. It sure sounds to me like your playing too lose. Soprano has to be played tighter more like clarinet. Maybe you are automatically tightening with the soph. just to get a decent tone. Alto can be played tight or loosely and it's kind of a matter of personal taste. Have you tried firming up your Emb. muscles with the alto? This will raise the pitch some. You will have to adjust your mouthpiece out so the highs will not be to sharp or remember to loosen up in the upper range.
User ID: 0847534
Jan 31st 12:22 PM
Thanks, for the tips. I'll work on it.