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For starters, I don't have this problem on alto. Mysteriously on my tenor, the altissimo fingerings get me a pitch that is almost a complete half-step too low (for the ones I can actually get.) F# is not quite so low, but the others are way off. My mpc is pushed to be in tune with A-440 on other notes. Unless I find a remedy, I'll have to learn all my altissimo fingerings a 1/2-step up for my tenor. Also, the typical fingerings don't seem to be the ones that work on this horn. Asked my teacher about it today, but he didn't have any immediate answers.:scratch:
 

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Are you using the alto altissimo fingerings on tenor? That might be a problem. Also, each horn has its own quirks.
 

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Altissimo fingerings are relative. What might work on one horn may not on another. Likewise, what may work for one player might reach a different note for another player. Your problem isn't with fingerings. It's with voicing.
 

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I find my low A bari was the only sax I own where ai really needed to learn a different set of altissimo fingerings for intonation.

A half step is a lot between alto and tenor. I would guess it will get better with practice. If it is still significantly off, there are fingerings that can raise/lower the pitch a few cents. The book by Robert Luckey has several suggestions for each sax size along with intonation changes he has measured.
 

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For starters, I don't have this problem on alto. Mysteriously on my tenor, the altissimo fingerings get me a pitch that is almost a complete half-step too low (for the ones I can actually get.) F# is not quite so low, but the others are way off. My mpc is pushed to be in tune with A-440 on other notes. Unless I find a remedy, I'll have to learn all my altissimo fingerings a 1/2-step up for my tenor. Also, the typical fingerings don't seem to be the ones that work on this horn. Asked my teacher about it today, but he didn't have any immediate answers.:scratch:
I have similar experience with my 10M tenor, as well as my Beaugnier bass saxophone. I don't know what to do about it. The same fingerings (or with only tiny little adjustments) work perfectly on my Conn 12M baritone and my Conn 6M alto, made within a couple years of each other, and they do not work properly on my Conn 10M tenor also made within a couple years of the other two. And this experience is with using Meyer 8 on baritone, Meyer 8 on tenor, and Meyer 7 on alto, so it's not a matter of different mouthpiece designs. I would suggest that the fact that a problem sax is straddled by non-problem ones makes it unlikely that my embouchure is "too tight" or "too loose" or that my internal "voicing" is "too high" or "too low" or something like that - though I'm not going to go to the mat with that statement, not at my level of altissimo skill (pretty low).

I have a deep suspicion that the Conn tenor acoustical designs are very old and were never altered to any significant degree during the decades the Conn tenor was made, but I don't have any data to support that other than the fact that the Conn tenors (I have owned four) seem very different in subtle playing characteristics than the altos and baritones.

I will say that the Buescher bass sax I tested a few years ago played beautifully in tune using my existing altissimo fingerings (the ones that work on the 6M and 12M) clear up to the "only dogs can hear" register. To the extent I can eke out altissimo on my Buescher soprano the same case obtains. I have not played a Buescher tenor in at least 30 years so I can't comment.
 

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My Conn NWII had a similar problem.... I figured out some alternate fingerings, but I sold it several years ago and no longer remember what they were...With a bit of experimentation, you should be able to find fingerings that work though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have similar experience with my 10M tenor...I have a deep suspicion that the Conn tenor acoustical designs are very old and were never altered to any significant degree during the decades the Conn tenor was made...
That validates my sense of what is going on. I love the 10M tone flavor, so I'll just have to plow around and find fingerings that work. My budget for a tenor is limited, and I was glad to get a good horn without breaking the bank completely, so this is the trade-off. I'll check into the Robert Luckey book.
 

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I had a 10M for years and didn't have to alter any altissimo fingerings that I used for other tenors, or even altos. Now it had other quirks, for sure; but difficulty with altissimo was not one of them. For me.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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That validates my sense of what is going on. I love the 10M tone flavor, so I'll just have to plow around and find fingerings that work. My budget for a tenor is limited, and I was glad to get a good horn without breaking the bank completely, so this is the trade-off. I'll check into the Robert Luckey book.
I use a 10M, never had this problem as long as I'm using the tenor fingerings rather than alto
 

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Conn tenor fingerings are a law unto themselves but, it can be done. Make sure the high F doesn't open too far- it only needs to act as a 'vent' when playing off the 'front' F key
 

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For starters, I don't have this problem on alto. Mysteriously on my tenor, the altissimo fingerings get me a pitch that is almost a complete half-step too low (for the ones I can actually get.) F# is not quite so low, but the others are way off. My mpc is pushed to be in tune with A-440 on other notes. Unless I find a remedy, I'll have to learn all my altissimo fingerings a 1/2-step up for my tenor. Also, the typical fingerings don't seem to be the ones that work on this horn. Asked my teacher about it today, but he didn't have any immediate answers.:scratch:
Here's a solution that's guarranteed to work: Sell your Conn and get a Buescher. I highly recommend the Super 400 (Top Hat and Cane) for incredibly easy blowing altissimo up into the stratosphere. Rascher was a Buescher man. I personally am not really into the kind of music that needs the altissimo edge. Not anymore anyways, so I am going to sell my Buescher Top Hat soon. I prefer the 10M tone, even though the altissimo range is much more difficult on 10M's and Conns in general for some reason. But vintage Bueschers still have amazing tone and many people prefer that sound, so it's just a preference thing for me. The Buescher actually has a much wider, fuller, more resonant sound. The Conn just has a really deep and ballsy gutbucket tone that for whatever reason pumps my juices. But for alto I prefer Martin.

In my experience, Bueschers of all types have very easy blowing altissimo with typical Rascher fingerings. Even the Bundy I. I found one at a thrift store for fifty bucks and when I test played it I was popping out the altissimo range all the way up effortlessly. Couldn't believe it. But the Bundy I was basically a rebranded Buescher.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The book by Robert Luckey has several suggestions for each sax size along with intonation changes he has measured.
I've ordered it. Thanks!
 

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Or you could just switch to a The Martin Committee. The easiest altissimo on tenor I've ever experienced on any make/model. ;) :D
 

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Or you could just switch to a The Martin Committee. The easiest altissimo on tenor I've ever experienced on any make/model. ;) :D
I concur completely. It amazes me how perfectly set up modern horns dont hold a candle to my The Martin Tenor in the altissimo department...as well as tone, volume, and intonation. Keywork is better on modern horns, but the keywork on my Martin is pretty freaking easy too.

- Saxaholic
 

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So in your experience the 400 tenor shares that "easy overtones that are perfectly in tune" characteristic with the earlier Bueschers?

[Grrr, I meant to quote "Sax Bum"s comment]
 

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I prefer the 10M tone, even though the altissimo range is much more difficult on 10M's and Conns in general for some reason. But vintage Bueschers still have amazing tone and many people prefer that sound, so it's just a preference thing for me. The Buescher actually has a much wider, fuller, more resonant sound. The Conn just has a really deep and ballsy gutbucket tone that for whatever reason pumps my juices. But for alto I prefer Martin.
Odd how we all seem to have different opinions. I've had 10M, The Martin and Buescher 400. Overall the Conn is the winner for me - both tone and intonation. maybe it's just a player difference thing, maybe mouthpiece. Who knows.
 

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For all you folks using alto fingerings on tenor, what make/model do those work on? I've never run across such an animal in my 40 years of playing. I memorized different fingerings for different horns years ago and never had any trouble. I don't one common set of fingerings will ever work unless you're some sort of prodigy who can pop out any altissimo note regardless of the fingering. The only time I can do that is way up high, well beyond F#-D.
 

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For all you folks using alto fingerings on tenor, what make/model do those work on?
Tenors: Mark VII, Conn 10M, Martin Handcraft, King Silversonic
Altos: SBA, Selmer Signet, Buescher True Tone, King Zephyr
 
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