Sax on the Web Forum banner
41 - 60 of 67 Posts

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,688 Posts
So your issue was the mpc, not the horn. Not surprising...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,746 Posts
Regarding air supply, air support, etc, the solution is to keep playing and practicing. Work with long tones, ballads, and air support with the diaphragm. That is what will solve air stream issues...
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Darrell, are you using air support from the diaphragm as JL describes? That is key to so many things.

You've probably seen comments that a good player may often not notice leaks as they develop because they blow right through them. The corollary of this observation is that solid support will make you more impervious to niggling mouthpiece and reed sensitivities. Of course, the correct answer is to have it all - good gear in good condition as well as solid air support and a well-controlled air stream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
It appears so, JL. A lesson learned.
George, I guess you could say my air support is still a work in progress. Though I love my sound in the low register, my upper notes, from middle C up, is kind of weak by comparison. I'm going to have to really concentrate on those notes, a lot more than I have been. I don't play in the high register nearly enough, and it shows.
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I feel stupid for running around in a circle, ending up back where I started, but I guess that's how life is, sometimes?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
27,265 Posts
George, I guess you could say my air support is still a work in progress.
You need to brace your gut as if you're about to take a punch there. That's what's meant by air support from the old diaphragm. That's how you need to get used to playing; to the point of not realizing you're doing it anymore... while you're doing it. When you don't do this, your airstream will rush out and quickly lose steam. But when you do... you'll find you can hold a note longer, much more so. Then comes your tone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Thanks for the physical visualization, Grumps. That makes it a little more demonstrative. I'll give that a try.
This morning I went to a 2.0 reed with the 7* and it made a world of difference. I'm sure I had tried that before, but something about it didn't work (probably was closing off), but today it seems like a good move. It certainly smooths out the tone, crossing over from the high to low registers, which was a big stumbling block for me. There was always such a glaring difference in tone going from middle C to middle D. Today, with the reed change it's much less noticeable.
Horn position seems to make more of a difference with the 10M, too. I've been playing around with that a bit, lately, raising the strap hook higher than I usually do.
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,823 Posts
Thanks for the physical visualization, Grumps. That makes it a little more demonstrative. I'll give that a try.
This morning I went to a 2.0 reed with the 7* and it made a world of difference. I'm sure I had tried that before, but something about it didn't work (probably was closing off), but today it seems like a good move. It certainly smooths out the tone, crossing over from the high to low registers, which was a big stumbling block for me. There was always such a glaring difference in tone going from middle C to middle D. Today, with the reed change it's much less noticeable.
Horn position seems to make more of a difference with the 10M, too. I've been playing around with that a bit, lately, raising the strap hook higher than I usually do.
.
Conn 10M and 12M require a much shorter strap than most saxes. You will need to set the strap so that the MP enters your mouth, when you're standing up comfortably straight, with at most a very slight reching forward and down of your neck. You DO NOT want to be craning your neck down to reach the MP. And you certainly do not want to be trying to lift the horn into position with your right thumb. This will be a very different strap adjustment than you are probably used to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,599 Posts
"Breath support" simply means to play using "pressurized air". I wish folks would start using the latter expression that I believe conveys the concept more clearly. To this day I am not sure what using the "diaphragm" or "playing from the diaphragm" even means. I can't feel my diaphragm, nor do I know how to move it. :scratch:
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,102 Posts
To this day I am not sure what using the "diaphragm" or "playing from the diaphragm" even means. I can't feel my diaphragm, nor do I know how to move it.
That's fine, but should not stop other people from using it if it helps them. Everyone can use their rib cage to exert pressure, but by being able to give support from underneath the lungs, you can add an extra layer of control, support and also capacity, which is possibly the most relevant thing in this thread if you look at the OP.

Admittedly it is a difficult concept because the diaphragm is not a muscle you can consciously move as you can with the muscles surrounding your ribcage. Those of course people can also subconsciously move (otherwise they'd die if unable to inhale and exhale. I believe rather than actively moving the diaphragm up and down, it is connected to your abdomen muscles which you definitely can move consciously. As you push your stomach out air is forced into the lower part of the lungs and the diaphragm underneath your lungs goes down downwards. So adding this after doing a breath by expanding ribcage can add an extra dimension to the breath - Yoga masters discovered this thousands of years ago, and I believe some animals will do it naturally. However most humans it seems need to work at it.

I find the best way to breather is a three part system: din to lower lungs (expand abdomen and diaphragm, then lower/main ribcage, then upper ribcage (shoulder). Exhale in the same order. This can give you a huge capacity and control if you build it into a regular breathing exercise routine (especially along with aerobic exercise or swimming)

But of course it's not compulsory, you can still play without having to do that ;), it's just that it's something a load of people find useful.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,688 Posts
I believe rather than actively moving the diaphragm up and down, it is connected to your abdomen muscles which you definitely can move consciously. As you push your stomach out air is forced into the lower part of the lungs and the diaphragm underneath your lungs goes down downwards.
+1. Exactly. It may be true you can't exactly 'feel' your diaphragm or move it consciously, but you definitely can expand your stomach outward (kind of the opposite of what those with a beer belly would do while posing for a photo :)), forcing the diaphragm down and allowing the lungs to fill to maximum capacity. Once you get used to breathing this way, it will happen naturally and become largely subconscious while playing the horn so you can concentrate on the music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
"Breath support" simply means to play using "pressurized air". I wish folks would start using the latter expression that I believe conveys the concept more clearly. To this day I am not sure what using the "diaphragm" or "playing from the diaphragm" even means. I can't feel my diaphragm, nor do I know how to move it. :scratch:
Well, since all breathing requires a moving diaphragm, I think you're already a good amount of the way there, just by being alive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Conn 10M and 12M require a much shorter strap than most saxes. You will need to set the strap so that the MP enters your mouth, when you're standing up comfortably straight, with at most a very slight reching forward and down of your neck. You DO NOT want to be craning your neck down to reach the MP. And you certainly do not want to be trying to lift the horn into position with your right thumb. This will be a very different strap adjustment than you are probably used to.
That's what I started doing, the past few times I've played. Typically, I do tend to reach down a bit with my neck and mouth. I noticed that my air seemed to be more effective with the piece raised up, so I'm not doing that. The 10M's neck angle is a bit different than most horns, and that got me thinking.

Thanks for all the pointers, everyone.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
7,356 Posts
The big question I think Darrell is posing in his OP is about Stamina. I'm some what on the low end when it comes to this because I'm often emptying my lungs pretty quickly to move a lot of air through the horn. When I dial it back a bit my stamina (being able to play longer phrases without breathing) goes up. This doesn't really matter too much to me. I just take another breath.

And I suspect there are quite a few players out there who have an excellent stamina because their gear won't actually let them expel all the air in their lungs quickly and they probably play a set up that facilitates that more. EDIT: And of course we all know they "could" dump their lungs on what they are playing but it would not translate into sound in an efficient way.

However, I think when anyone on this forum is asking about getting a bigger, brighter sound and looking into gear this is something that maybe should be taken into consideration. Do you think you could move more air through the horn or is your set up stopping you from doing that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,561 Posts
That's a great point. I'm one of those who sometimes has to dump through the corners of my mouth because I'll run out of oxygen before I run out of air, especially if playing softly. So getting more sound out of the air you've got should be the primary goal (building efficiency). Building lung capacity should be secondary and possibly even unnecessary if you reach your primary goal.

So try not only long tones, but do them very softly, using as little air volume as possible to make a sound, but still support with plenty of pressure from the diaphragm. This will train you to use very little air very efficiently. Then slowly work your way up volume-wise while maintaining a good tone and conserving air volume.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,199 Posts
Well, much as I hate to say, the STM NY is on its way back to WWBW. For starters, it wasn't the new piece I paid for, it was used. Next to that, it caused a gurgle in the low end that took two wine corks to quiet down, and even that wasn't enough, at very low air.
On my end, I just plain sound better on the HR 7* Tone Edge. I was beginning to hate the 10M, and it was all due to that piece. Once I put the TE back on, I was looking at life through rose-colored glasses, again. I don't think I'll ever again think I can do better, than what I get from that HR piece! Playing is a joy, again, and the M is back to sounding great, and problem-free!
Slap me, next time I talk about changing my set up, will ya?!!
That makes sense with that huge chamber in the NY Link. What I don't understand is that in the first post you said it was happening with one horn and not the other. If it was just the mouthpiece wouldn't it have been happening on both horns?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 ·
That makes sense with that huge chamber in the NY Link. What I don't understand is that in the first post you said it was happening with one horn and not the other. If it was just the mouthpiece wouldn't it have been happening on both horns?
Steve.....what started this whole "air" problem was the use of a 7* Tone Edge on both horns.......one easier than the other. The original premise was that there was a difference in the amount of air each horn needed.
I believe the NY 5* Link has an even larger chamber than the TE? I thought the smaller tip would be all that mattered, in regulating my air supply, and the larger chamber would only help to darken the tone.
In reality I think I shot myself in the foot with the larger chamber. The NY Link did nothing to help lessen my air needs, despite the .020 smaller tip.
Now, I'm back on the TE, and have no plans to change up anything, anytime soon, if ever!
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,199 Posts
Steve.....what started this whole "air" problem was the use of a 7* Tone Edge on both horns.......one easier than the other. The original premise was that there was a difference in the amount of air each horn needed.
I believe the NY 5* Link has an even larger chamber than the TE? I thought the smaller tip would be all that mattered, in regulating my air supply, and the larger chamber would only help to darken the tone.
In reality I think I shot myself in the foot with the larger chamber. The NY Link did nothing to help lessen my air needs, despite the .020 smaller tip.
Now, I'm back on the TE, and have no plans to change up anything, anytime soon, if ever!
So is the issue still there when you switch horns? It sounds like the original question is still valid and it wasn't all due to the NY Link then? Chamber size, baffle and sidewalls all make a huge difference in regards to a mouthpiece. I remember I was playing a metal Vandoren T75 years ago that has a pretty high baffle, straight sidewalls and a small chamber. I bought a NY link because I was curious and going to that piece felt like just blowing in the neck without a mouthpiece. My air was just gone and my sound was anemic. I ended up putting a bit of a baffle in that piece that made it perfect for me. I still have that piece........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Discussion Starter · #58 ·
So is the issue still there when you switch horns? It sounds like the original question is still valid and it wasn't all due to the NY Link then? Chamber size, baffle and sidewalls all make a huge difference in regards to a mouthpiece. I remember I was playing a metal Vandoren T75 years ago that has a pretty high baffle, straight sidewalls and a small chamber. I bought a NY link because I was curious and going to that piece felt like just blowing in the neck without a mouthpiece. My air was just gone and my sound was anemic. I ended up putting a bit of a baffle in that piece that made it perfect for me. I still have that piece........
To be honest, I'm afraid to try the TE on my Cleveland, again. If it were to still play easier, I'd be left with a real problem, after having just spent money on the 10M, in hopes of getting a better horn. I can't keep both horns, and the 10M really is a much better horn, in a number of ways.
Since this all began, I've been playing the heck out of the M, and I truly believe that the air supply issue is less of a problem now that the NY Link is gone! My thinking was all screwed up, on that one, by thinking all I needed was a smaller tip. Of course, I was under the belief that the Tone Edge and NY STM had the same size chamber, so my whole experiment was flawed, from day 1.
It's very encouraging to hear someone like you say that they experienced the same difficulty as I did, first time on an NY Link.
As I said, in the past couple of days I've made some progress, using the 7* TE on my 10M, so I'm going with that, building on the positivity, and figuring it's all up to me to make it work.
Thanks for your input. I don't feel quite so inept, now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Admittedly it is a difficult concept because the diaphragm is not a muscle you can consciously move as you can with the muscles surrounding your ribcage. Those of course people can also subconsciously move (otherwise they'd die if unable to inhale and exhale. I believe rather than actively moving the diaphragm up and down, it is connected to your abdomen muscles which you definitely can move consciously. As you push your stomach out air is forced into the lower part of the lungs and the diaphragm underneath your lungs goes down downwards. So adding this after doing a breath by expanding ribcage can add an extra dimension to the breath - Yoga masters discovered this thousands of years ago, and I believe some animals will do it naturally. However most humans it seems need to work at it.
I used to talk about this with my students way back when I was teaching. I'd tell them not to raise their shoulders or expand their chest when taking a breath, but to stick out their belly instead. I'd put my flat hand on their belly and have them play a long tone, with instructions to push my hand away with their belly. I'd tell them that when people said 'breath with your diaphram' that's what they meant. Interesting tip you have about first doing that, then expanding your chest to increase capacity, I'll have to try that out. I'd think it'd make it take longer to get a full tank of air, I'm used to breathing in really fast, almost like a gulp, to try and get a full tank as quickly as possible - it might take some time for me to change my way of thinking about that, it's kind of a muscle-memory kind of habit, for good or ill.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
27,265 Posts
Do you think you could move more air through the horn or is your set up stopping you from doing that?
Poorly matched equipment to the player will always be a hindrance. But the equipment issue is the least of the problems here. It's about air support and bracing your gut to get more economy from your air stream, and ultimately, a better tone.

The experiment is easy. You can do it while you're sitting at your computer. Pretend you're holding your horn and without doing anything to your stomach muscles, blow out like you would play an extended note. Doesn't last long, does it? Now brace your gut as if you're about to get punched and try again. Voila. See the difference?
 
41 - 60 of 67 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top