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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again,

Post #2.
Title says it all.
I am finding my depth of tone suffers whenever I use the octave key. So I have started to not use it, (perhaps maybe using it occationally on quiet high tones). I have heard of some players doing away with it all together. Is this ok? or a no no?

Thoughts?

Hoping that this post makes complete gramatical sence to everyone however knowing my england marks in school, it may have a few mistakes :( .

Crysp
 

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Why not use it to your advantage? (the octave key). I can only understand not using it for some of the multiphonics and Altissimo
 

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The saxophone originally had two octave keys, now one. Newest thing, don't use the octave key. :shock:

Next thing you know, you won't need ANY keys.:D

But seriously, I challenge anyone to play displaced octave excercises with any facility without using the octave key.

I mean, I suppose you don't HAVE to.

I would look for other reasons that you're losing 'depth of sound'.
 

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If you are playing without the octave key, I would think the tightness required to play in the upper octaves would make your sound far worse... Plus, playing without the key would have you playing with a very bad embouchure.

Steve P
 

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I've heard practicing without an octave key helps in the long run. :?
 

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I think that what Hakukani means is that the early saxophones had two separate thumb levers that operated the two octave vents. Modern saxophones still have the two octave vents that are operated by a single thumb lever and alternated by raising and lowering the G key. Other than that I agree with everything else he said. If the octave key did not have a purpose they would not go to the expense of adding it to the mechanism of the sax.

Trumpet and flute players wish they had an octave key sometimes. (Well flutes actually do have several keys that vent and act as octave keys in the third octave but that's a long story I will leave for Gordon to tell when he reads that I said flutes don't have an octave key).

John
 

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I've done it, but it wasn't fun, and I wouldn't do it without being forced to. I have to agree that it messes up your embrochure, because of what you have to do.
Get the horn checked for leaks or just general maintance.

Longtones might help as well.
 

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I catch myself skipping it all the time on bari (without meaning too).
I find I don't need it.

On the little horns - not so much..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you are playing without the octave key, I would think the tightness required to play in the upper octaves would make your sound far worse... Plus, playing without the key would have you playing with a very bad embouchure.
I would have thought playing without it would promote a good emboshure.
And yes I was kind of thinking 'like a flute' when considering this. Maybe it's a bit harsh to do away with it all together. Because to me it essentially stabalises a note (can anyone think of any other reason?). Maybe I'm reflecting my poor knowledge of the saxophone's mechanics ad acoustics here but at least I'll learn something if thats the case!
For me, not using it forces me to use my diaphram and have a relaxed emboshure. This again, for me results in a similar tone to a the full sound of the overtones that everyone says you should match your true tone to.
I do remember a sax repair guy say 'it's not completely necessary' once.

please keep the critisim of this concept up because I havent converted to playing like that yet but thought it could be an option for melodies (not fast note runs).

Crysp
 

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I sometimes leave it out to simplify fingering in some passages, but I find my tone is better with than without (when required).
 

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Crysp said:
Hoping that this post makes complete gramatical sence to everyone however knowing my england marks in school, it may have a few mistakes :( .

Crysp
England is the country.
English is the language and people.

Sense (no letter 'c')

Just some friendly help. ;)
 

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Steve P said:
If you are playing without the octave key, I would think the tightness required to play in the upper octaves would make your sound far worse... Plus, playing without the key would have you playing with a very bad embouchure.

Steve P
I just bought a new neck(silver plate) and the octave hole in the neck was clogged with silver polish. The upper register was very, very flat, but the notes did sound. No way I would do that intentionally.
Martin
 

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58tenor said:
Well,next thing you know someone will wanna do a awy with THE HIGH F-SHARP KEY. :)
And who needs that front F. I can do altissimo fine without it--it just adds weight to the horn.:D
 

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Steve P said:
If you are playing without the octave key, I would think the tightness required to play in the upper octaves would make your sound far worse... Plus, playing without the key would have you playing with a very bad embouchure.

Steve P

Actually, if you do it right you can do it all with throat and tounge. It is good practice for doing overtones and altissimo, or so I have been told by other instructors. Of course, you only want to do this for practice.
 

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When I practice harmonics (long tones), and overtones (again long tones), I do this without the explicit use of the octave key. I think this helps learn control of the instrument, and in general has helped me more to achieve my sound than just long tones alone (practicing harmonics/overtones).

I've mucked around at playing without the octave key sometimes when soloing with varied results, and mostly to do overtone related things, or just to get a bit of a different sound like a false fingering (like going from LH middle finger C to Long C).

If you are just starting to learn the instrument, I suggest that you worry about things like standard practice of long tones, and proper technique. If you have a private instructor that says it would be a good thing to develop your tone of course listen to her/him, for they know your ability and potential much better from just sitting with you once, than I do from reading a quick internet posting.
 

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just fyi......Gary Thomas used to play with his octave keys taped closed. As well as do/did some of his student. Maybe he still does, but I know he use to not even use it. It will definitley strengthen your chops up there. As far as tone I think it will change it, but Gary is not about playin' sweet and mellow!
 

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dburlone said:
When I practice harmonics (long tones), and overtones (again long tones), I do this without the explicit use of the octave key. I think this helps learn control of the instrument, and in general has helped me more to achieve my sound than just long tones alone (practicing harmonics/overtones).
I agree that this sort of practicing is indispensable for developing good voicing for a strong upper register and altissimo. I can't see the advantage of playing this way all the time though. In what ways does it make your sound better Crysp?

A note: the embouchure shouldn't change much while doing this. Playing harmonics without an octave key should be possible without modifying your embouchure and is good practice for altissimo as I mentioned. The only change I could imagine would be the need to provide more support from the lower lip and chin muscles, but that is only slight.
 
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