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alto squeek on occassion

2658 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  HSkid
Newby looking for advice. 20+years w/tenor, high school-college and beyond. Tenor is H-couf Superba I with Couf 8* mouthpiece. Never an issue with the horn. THe band I'm playing with needed a new alto player. Took my son's horn, Rampone & Caz Jazz 1 silver w/Meyer Teney 6M mouthpiece. Every once in a while I'll get a "squeek". Am i overblowing the horn? Need a harder reed? Never had this issue w/tenor. I'm playing the alto @ 15 hours/week for the past 8 months. Looking for advice. Thanks!
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I'm a tenor/bari player who took up alto for the same reason you did. Never a squeek on the big saxes, but I sometimes squeek on alto if I'm not careful with my cheeks and the area below my lower lip. I think I puff them a little to get a fuller sound on tenor and bari, but the alto won't tolerate that abuse. This may or may not be accurate (i.e., it may be total BS), but that's what it feels like to me. At least when I concentrate on it there's nary a squeek on alto.
my low notes are squeaking a bit too right now when I try to subtone attack. Someone recommended taking in more mpc.
Actually it can be a ligature problem. Squeeeeks are often caused by the reed not being lined up exactly on the mouthpiece or not being clamped down on the table.
Making note of which........notes.........are squeaking can help narrow down the causes. I squeak on 4th line D a bit if I don't get my fingers all down at the same time. I also find that switching between the A above the staff to the 4th line D can squeak often because of the changing octave keys - from neck to body tube.

If it's just squeaking randomly, there may be mouthpiece/reed interaction issues. Using too hard or soft a reed for any mouthpiece tip opening can cause squeaking or octave jumping.

Check if the squeaks are consistently on the same notes, check your octave holes and mechanisms are free of debris, and experiment with reed strengths.

And, if all else fails, go fishing.....................

Old post but it seemed like an appropriate place to ask my question... hopefully I didn't miss anything too obvious when I searched.

I got a metal mouthpiece for the first time recently (coming from a Meyer 6). Now I'm playing this guy in a size 7|66:3|65:12|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

I've played for several years and I'm not amazing but I do know what I'm doing.

Anyhow, this new mouthpiece is great and has eliminated most of the issues I had with my old one. Except it's created new ones!

1) Whenever I tongue hard (which I like to do) in the upper register, it squeeks BAD. It's more of a chirp really. But switching reeds isn't helping - although right after switching it seems to happen less often.

2) The low register feels very airy and is especially difficult to play in the extreme low range.

Other than that I love it... much easier to bend notes, feels much more open, a more biting sound.

Any help?

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It could be the rails, tip or table are "goofy" - not completely flat or even. Maybe your lig is not "clamping" the reeds tight to the table, allowing air to get through between the table and the reeds. Maybe the size of the reeds and opening of the mouthpiece aren't compatible with your embouchure yet.

Some of the airy-ness could be the size of the tip opening vs the strength of the reed, perhaps your reeds are a little to stiff yet for your embouchure and that particular mouthpiece.

Brent -- I've never played that particular mouthpiece, but will just say there there is a whole lot of badly manufactured junk sold on ebay, most of which the seller calls "pro". Although dave could be right about a reed strength concern (try a few different strengths to see), I agree with his suspicion that it is an issue with mouthpiece or ligature.

The best thing you could do is try a bunch of mouthpieces -- is there a store in your area that has a good selection? (If you post where you live, someone may be able to recommend a shop within a few hours drive.) Its worth driving somewhere, spending a few hours blowing on different pieces, and see what works for you. You may find that you are squeaking on a lot of different pieces -- that would suggest an embouchure problem, which a good teacher can assess and fix. You may find that you don't squeak on any (or few) mouthpieces made by the major manufacturers (Morgan, Meyer, Otto Link, Berg Larsen, etc, etc). If that happens, ditch the ebay mpc as soon as you can afford. Good luck!
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A squeak is created when one side of the reed vibrates and the other side does not. Some common causes are:

-reed chipped or broken on one corner
-one side of reed (rail) thicker than the other
-uneven mouthpiece tip rail or side rails
-biting with the embouchure resulting in more pressure on one side of the reed than the other (uneven top or bottom teeth) (mouthpiece not parallel with lips)
-taking more mouthpiece in the mouth than the embouchure can control
-moving the jaw when tonguing

My suggestion would be to play only on the mouthpiece and neck. Keep making changes and adjustments to deliberately get it to squeak. When you have identified what you can do to make a squeak---stop doing that when you play. :)

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what is your sons horn and is it in good working condition?
what is your sons horn and is it in good working condition?
He says its a modern R&C Jazz 1. Valid question about working condition, although IMO squeaks are more often mouthpiece than horn problems. Not always, but more often....
I'll try the different tips suggested to see. I've never had any big squeeking problems on my Meyer or any of the other saxes/mouthpieces I've used... :(

It seems to work a little better up top when I put a bit less of the mouthpiece in and when i play more from the belly, so it could just be me. It's odd when I've never had this problem before though. It also seems to work a bit better when I put the tip of the reed out slightly farther than the end of the mouthpiece, which is the opposite of what I normally do. In the lower register, it wants to be in a completely different position in my mouth to play right...

In the meantime, I live in Provo, Utah if anyone knows any good shops around here.

seeing as you are a tenor player i think a bigger tip to make the mpc air consumption feel more like a tenor could help.
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