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Bass Clarinet to tenor trouble

1219 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  jbtsax
hello, i have been playing tenor for about 4 months now for jazz. i have been playing bass clarinet for 6 years now, and i have recently tried clarinet and have had little trouble ajusting from bass to regular clarinet. tenor, however, is a different story.

My intonation on tenor is usually way off, and im almost always sharp in the upper register. I have tried holding a concert G on the mouthpeice, but i usually cant hold it. I still have difficutly getting low notes to sound, and when i do, it usually sounds harsh. Intonation and tone quality aside, i can play low Bb through high F sharp, and the G and D above that, although it is hard on the ears.

Other than my Embouchure issures, the sax fingurings are almost natural to me now, like clarinet. I can read fairly well, and anything i cant read i can usually work out. my main issue is the embrouchure. That, and learning how to play jazz.

i have been practicing tenor alot, the bari sax player next to me complemented my immense improvement since i started. I am mainly interested in sax for jazz, and in search of a good jazzy sound.

My bass clarinet is a Buffet Prestige, and i use a rovner dark lig and a grabner LB mouthpiece.
I have a black and silver cannonball tenor that i borrow from my school, although i discovered during inventory that we also have a Mk 6 tenor that has been overhauled at least once, once it returns from the shop for a few new pads i might try it again. Im currently using a Cannonball 5* mouthpiece that came with the horn, and im looking for an upgrade, especially after trying my friends old link (wow!) im usuing vandoran java 3 1/2s, and a rovner light lig.

any advice or suggestions or excersizes that might help would be greatly apreciated.


Edit: i forgot to mention, on bass clarinet, i play double lipped, when i started tenor, i forced myself to play single lipped. on reg clarinet, i also play single lipped, double just doesnt feel right to me
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You might check that you are not trying to use the same angle of the mouthpiece in the mouth for tenor sax that you use on bass clarinet. On the tenor, the mouthpiece should go straight into the mouth, not slanted downward. If sustaining a "G" on the tenor mouthpiece alone is difficult, try playing "E" concert on the mouthpiece and neck. This also gives you the correct embouchure tightness for the tenor. If your tenor tone is harsh and difficult to control, try taking a bit less mouthpiece in the mouth and putting a bit more bottom lip over the bottom teeth. My opinion is that you will have an easier time when doubling by using the same (single lip) embouchure on both tenor and bass clarinet. To try switching back and forth on instruments that are so similar in size is just throwing another variable into the mix to make it harder that it should be. Again, this is just my opinion.

On your tenor, if you can get a nice full sounding low Bb without honking, and then play the entire register of the sax with the same embouchure and throat, I think your tone and intonation problems will solve themselves.

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