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Discussion Starter #1
Ive played bass clarinet for 6 years now, and tenor sax for almost a year.

Im really getting frustrated with tenor because im usually rediculously sharp.
i also get even sharper when i play softer, and i can sometimes play intune if i overblow the note flat, but still, i can never seem to get intune. Ocassionally ill lock in with the rest of the band and be intune, and then later i find myself super sharp again.

Whats even more frustrating is my tuning is usually right on on bass clarinet.
Im just not sure what im doing so wrong on tenor thats making me sharp.

My horn is a selmer Mk VI and im playing on a cannonball 5* mouthpiece and a legere 2 1/2 reed and a rovner light ligature.
 

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I understand your difficulty.

The saxophone is sadistically similar but different compared to the clarinet. Saxophone requires a much looser embouchure according to popular wisdom.

It is certainly possible to play both. So don't give up!

As difficult as it may seem, you need to approach the saxphone as a completely different instrument. Then you can make you own observations about the differences.

May I suggest that you look at Dave Liebman's book and look for a teacher who is familiar with Joe Allard's teachings? It can make a world of difference for you . It has helped me a great deal.

Good luck!
 

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You're used to the tighter embouchure of the clarinet, relax the lower lip.
You say it get's sharper when you play soft, you're probably bitting down to compensate for the reduced air flow.
Practice octaves with a tuner.
 

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This is a controversial topic on SOTW, but I've had some success/ improvement with my intonation on tenor since I started doing mouthpiece only drills as a warm up and since I began carefully tuning my mouthpiece and neck to concert E before starting to play.

Rory
 

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Yeah, mpc only drills are great for larynx positioning.
I've never heard of tuning the neck thought, i'll try that.
 

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I have found these ideas helpful in my teaching experience:

-Be sure that the mouthpiece goes straight into the mouth, not down at an angle (like the bass clarinet). Loosen the neckstrap if necessary.
-Place the top teeth approximately 5/8" back from the tip of the mouthpiece.
-Set the embouchure to produce a G concert on the mouthpiece alone and an E concert on the neck and mouthpiece.
-Play with warm air and the throat open like the first part of a yawn.
-Do not tighten or bite as you go higher. Play the entire range of the sax with the same embouchure.
-Place the mouthpiece on the cork to where the 3rd line B is in tune and also the low B fingering overblown to play an octave higher (without the octave key).

Good luck. Hope some of this helps.

John
 

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Sax and clarinet use very different embouchures. Check out Larry Teal-"The Art of Saxophone Playing", and Dave Liebman- "Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound", TO BE TOTALLY CONFUSED about saxophone embouchure!!! LOL That said, YOU CAN'T use a clarinet embouchure on sax!
 

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Yup, Try everything these guys say.
I'm a clarinetist too. When I started playing tenor about 10 or so years ago I felt like a slack jawed drooler. Ya gotta be loose as a goose but without the honk.
Another option, although controversial, is a double lip embouchure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
daigle65 said:
You're used to the tighter embouchure of the clarinet, relax the lower lip.
You say it get's sharper when you play soft, you're probably bitting down to compensate for the reduced air flow.
Practice octaves with a tuner.

i tried that today, and yeah, i find myself doing that, now how to fix it.

what i find myself doing is i start practicing with my lower lip almost completely loose, and then as i get tired, i find myself tensing back up and getting sharper and sharper.

i used to play double lipped on bass clarinet, but, now im back to single lip on all of my horns. (clarinet, bass and tenor)


"When I started playing tenor about 10 or so years ago I felt like a slack jawed drooler. Ya gotta be loose as a goose but without the honk."

thats the trick. from the marks on my mouthpiece i take in a little less than 5/8s, which is just just behind where the reed and mouthpiece seperate. if i take in more i start honking even worse! :shock:

ahh serious shed time is what i need, which is hard to come by during marching season. but thanks for the tips, now i have a better idea of what to practice.
 

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err... how do you tune your instrument? (I mean, how do you determine where exactly to place your mouthpiece on the cork?)

If you have only little cork left, it might be you're sharp because your mouthpiece is pushed too far on the neck.
 

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ahh, today i stuffed some paper on the cork so i could pull out farther, and bam, tuning suddenly started getting closer and closer to 0.

i tried to tune the middle B and the low B overtone, but the low B overtone was always about 10 cents sharper, but where i have it now, everything else is fairly close to in tune.
i was pushed in a centimeter too far because thats where the cork was big enough to hold the mouthpiece.

the mouthpiece i can never seem to get a consistant pitch on, but the neck i get a concert E.

If the plumbers tape i used doesnt hold, i may get it recorked. or just recork it myself. ive been toying with the idea of taking it apart and cleaning it, oiling it up, and putting it back together, but im pretty sure i wouldnt be able to with out help from my teacher.

Edit: i tuned to Concert E, both octaves, F, Bb, and A.
 

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Just get it recorked, saves you the hassle and holds better in the long run.

And taking your sax apart is a very bad idea if you have no clue about regulation. A sax is a mean beast : a little problem in the mechanism can effect a lot and completely different notes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yeah, i might, the tape seems to be fine for the mean time

i understand some of it, but not all, ill leave it in one peice.
 

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Clarinetdude108 said:
ahh, today i stuffed some paper on the cork so i could pull out farther, and bam, tuning suddenly started getting closer and closer to 0.

i tried to tune the middle B and the low B overtone, but the low B overtone was always about 10 cents sharper, but where i have it now, everything else is fairly close to in tune.
i was pushed in a centimeter too far because thats where the cork was big enough to hold the mouthpiece.

the mouthpiece i can never seem to get a consistant pitch on, but the neck i get a concert E.

If the plumbers tape i used doesnt hold, i may get it recorked. or just recork it myself. ive been toying with the idea of taking it apart and cleaning it, oiling it up, and putting it back together, but im pretty sure i wouldnt be able to with out help from my teacher.

Edit: i tuned to Concert E, both octaves, F, Bb, and A.
Take it to a tech and have it recorked to fit your mouthpiece. It's a very cheap fix, but worth having done right, unless you know what you're doing.
 

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Try unrolling your lower lip and angling the tenor mouthpiece down at about 10 degrees coming out of your mouth. Also, try taking more tenor mouthpiece into your mouth when you play.
 
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