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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya, this is the current situation I am in. I find high notes to be very easy blowing and can get them out without sweat. but anything under a low F begins to cause troubles. Is this something long tones can fix or do some people specialize in different areas when starting out?
 

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I would have the horn checked for leaks if this hasn't been done so far. That's a significant possibility for issues with the low register.

Even as a beginner, you shouldn't be struggling until low C# or low C.



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Ahh I see, it looks like i've just got to use the screw adjustment to get that working correctly, Thank you Bruce!
 

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Ahh I see, it looks like i've just got to use the screw adjustment to get that working correctly, Thank you Bruce!
By your question you sound like a beginner at this, therefore the best thing that you can do is not trying to adjust the horn yourself, unless you are a very talented mechanic that is, but bring it to a shop.

A friend at a shop told me how a certain brand of flute at some point started offering screwdrivers with the flutes, and almost immediately lots of people came to the shop with flutes that have been tampered with.

Buy a leak light and see if there is a problem.
 

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Once the instrument is properly adjusted, it's critical NOT to drop the lower jaw and blow harder in order to get the lowest notes to come out. They'll come out all right, but they'll sound horrible and you'll develop a bad habit. The key to good tone and easy facility in the low register is proper breath support.
 

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Once the saxophone is airtight this is an exercise I used with my beginning sax students to achieve control in the low register. Two comments before you start 1) It helps to blow more air as you go lower. 2) It is important to not loosen the embouchure for the low notes---all notes on the saxophone from low Bb to high F use basically the same embouchure. (When you become more of an advanced player, you may find the palm key notes require a little more "encouragement" from the embouchure and the airstream.)

1. Start on low G and play with lots of air getting a big full tone.
2. Once the G sounds good, slur quickly down to low C.
3. If it jumps an octave before getting to low C, sing "AHH" on the lowest note you can hit and use this shape and feeling inside the mouth and throat.
4. Once you can get the low C to sound, hold it as a long tone for as long as possible. Keep repeating till you can get and sustain a low C every time.
5. Use the same method to add low B, and when that is successful go to low Bb.
 

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As others have said, first step is to make the sure the horn is in working order. Have an experienced player or tech check this, and get a professional to make any needed adjustments.

After that, it's just a matter of practice. Long tones definitely help. Hang in there! Many new players have trouble getting the low notes to sound good.
 

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It isn’t , generally, a problem to read D or C, lower than that there are many factors at play.

The trength of your embouchure, the fact that you may be playing a reed too thick, the fact that may combine this with a embouchure which takes in just few mm of the reed mouthpiece and by squeezing too much (and blowing too forcefully) they end up chocking the reed...

Any ad or all too difficult to analyze at a distance without knowing first if the horn seals throughout.

Get yourself a teacher to , at least, take you through these early stages.
 

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When I was starting out, I remember that using too hard of a reed would create exactly the conditions you describe. I could play high notes for days, and anything below about an F......nada, or at least not without a struggle. along with adjustment, you might want to take a look at that......
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right now i'm using a 1.5 reed strength
 

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Right now i'm using a 1.5 reed strength
Those are ok for starting campfires. :) All reeds that soft do is to teach you how to make sounds without developing an embouchure. I would recommend going up to #2 Rico or the equivalent right away and then moving to 2 1/2 as soon as your embouchure develops better muscle tone. If you can play an entire half hour without having to stop is a good indicator that the embouchure is strong enough to move up a reed strength. All of this of course is dependent upon the mouthpiece you are playing on. My assumption is that it is one of the student mouthpieces with a smaller tip opening that most players starting out have available.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The mouthpiece I am currently playing on is a Vandoren S25 .60 Tip and using a Vandoren Optimum ligature.
I'll have to find a sax shop that supplies something better than rico because i've always found serious inconsistencies which is why I switched over to Vandoren when playing alto sax and tenor.
 

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For now, try putting rubber bands around BOTH of the octave pips, try the low end and if it is fixed, you need a tech. Take the rubber bands off so you don't ruin the finish.
 

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Hi, let me just make sure; you’re playing a very closed mouthpiece with 1.5 strength reeds (which Rico exactly?)? Did anyone suggest that you should either play a slightly more open piece, say an .064 opening, or at least play 2.5 strength reeds if you actually like the S25? Personally, I had an S25 years ago (it’s a classical piece) and the Selmer C* is a better playing closed tip piece for most people; I play a variety of sop pieces but I kept the C* that came with my series II years ago, it’s about .060 if I remember, and V12 3.5 reeds work well for me on such a closed tip.

The mouthpiece I am currently playing on is a Vandoren S25 .60 Tip and using a Vandoren Optimum ligature.
I'll have to find a sax shop that supplies something better than rico because i've always found serious inconsistencies which is why I switched over to Vandoren when playing alto sax and tenor.
 

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Right now i'm using a 1.5 reed strength
well that may be too soft if coupled to a very pointy embouchure because you can easily (in your efforts to play) close it to almost nothing (and there fore not playing at all) if, as I suspect, you are “ pushing" while hanging on the mere tip of reed and mouthpiece.

We can make any kind of hypothesis but nothing can actually substitute a teacher and a tech watching what you do and how you do it and correcting.

Try to relax your embouchure while taking a bit more of mouthpiece. Don’t squeeze and push, it will choke the reed.

At this stage the “ inconsistenties “ of any reed may not be the main problem, I am inclined to think ( provided there is nothing wrong with your horn) that your “ technique” (albeit the lack of it) may be way more important , at this stage of your development, than any equipment. There is nothing wrong with the brands that you are using.
Changing equipment is the easiest thing to do, change yourself take actual work, changing equipment makes vendors rich, they will encourage this because this is what they live of.

Good Luck.

the Selmer C* is a better playing closed tip piece for most people; I play a variety of sop pieces but I kept the C* that came with my series II years ago, it’s about .060
Actually no, a Selmenr S80 soprano C* is only 47

http://www.egakki.com/sopranoopening.pdf
 

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My bad, Milandro and Aizen’s chart is excellent. I was thinking S15 and not S25, compared to the C*, it’s been almost 30 years and .067 is more like C* alto territory. Thanks again, bro. Still though, soprano .060 is not open enough for a 1.5 reed for most players with developed chops. We can somewhat agree to that as there are exceptions to everything.
 

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If a player is making their first explorations into the lower register to me it's obvious they don't have developed chops.

For what it's worth, on Soprano with a horn that isn't leaking the low register was never an issue for me. On the other hand I'm still working on the palm keys for a better tone. I likely will always be working on that ;)

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Man you must be lucky! I change my embouchure on basically every single note
Of course experienced players make minute adjustments to the pitch as they play to match pitch with other players in an ensemble or when playing with a fixed pitch instrument. My teacher in college referred to this small nuanced adjustment of the lip pressure as "humoring" the pitch. Since the large muscles of the embouchure do not change when making these small lip adjustments, in my opinion it would be a stretch to call them embouchure changes. In addition, adjusting individual notes is not possible when playing fast eighths or sixteenths, nor is it necessary since the short duration of each note makes the pitch of each individual note difficult to pick out. My comment was in reference to the fundamental concept in saxophone pedagogy---especially in classical playing, that the embouchure doesn't relax for the low register and tighten for the high register, nor does the jaw move forward and back. These are poor playing habits beginners often develop that creates a myriad of intonation and tone production issues as they continue to progress. The use of a "subtone" for low notes that is common in jazz playing is a "tonal effect" that is different from the classical style and as such could be considered an exception to this concept.
 
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