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Discussion Starter #1
I always have this problem with blowing my sopranos. Whenever I blow G1 and below, it tends to jump an octave before stabilizing to the proper sound. Why is this happening?

I have tried many ways to blow, double roll lips, blowing in every angle up down or left or right...

I have problems with my yani s-6 also I have problem with my friends selmer series 2. I had this horn checked, my tech even replaced the upper register pads, and he couldnt find anything wrong with it. No leaks, he checked so many times, he is very sure its just my embouchure and as some people have suggested, he said it needs time to get my embouchure right with sop.

Please give me some insights...i am almost discouraged here. I love the sound of sopranos, I have 3 at the moment (1 is on the way) and I cant play them properly.

Thanks


Just wanna add, i am using selmer moutpiece C**la voz medium soft. I tried rico 2.5 or rico jazz medium, my other mp is a yani metal 7
 

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LONG TONESSSSSSS

its almost definately to do with embouchure, you are hitting the overtones of notes. perhaps try slightly harder reeds aswell?
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SearjeantSax said:
LONG TONESSSSSSS

its almost definately to do with embouchure, you are hitting the overtones of notes. perhaps try slightly harder reeds aswell?
good luck
Ah yeah, i'll try harder reeds. But isnt softer reeds more suitable for beginner? Well I am a beginner...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hmmm improvement...I am practicing my long tones while checking in this website...

I find it that more relax embouchure results better. But the thing is the sound is very soft as in mellow. Is this right?
 

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technically, sop should be a tighter embouchure, do you find that you bite much when playing normally?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SearjeantSax said:
technically, sop should be a tighter embouchure, do you find that you bite much when playing normally?
Thats the thing...I tried to "bite" harder but the sound jump octave higher, if I play it more relaxed, it sounds ok but I have a new problem now...low D, C and Bb or B starts to gurgle. I have to lower my jaw to get it right and i cant get it right first time now...ohh another problem...

If I slur from top to bottom without tounging...i can get every notes ok.

Anyway, what is the most proper posture for holding up a straight soprano? Someone said "dont hold it like you play clarinet" I never play clarinet or actually seen anyone playing clarinet. Well I did but I forgot as It was long time ago...

Is there any picture in any website I can look.
 

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I am hardly an expert (just bought another soprano today....but it is my third one) but I read that you should hold the horn ( a straight soprano) almost horizontal , so not clarinet like at all. I thing the gurgle is only lack of breath support (but push the mouthpiece in!), you need to fill your " belly" with air, so to speak, and squeeze those muscles, that's how you get control on the air emission. Of course the obvious answer is long tones, but probably soprano is more demanding about this than other horns.
 

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Squeezing and tight are not good words to use, especially when referring to "belly muscles." You should be relaxed when you are playing your instrument, not fighting.
 

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Your problem could be a mulitude of different issues. I wouldn't discount a mechanical problem with your instruments. True, a tight embouchure is required for soprano (much more so than alto or tenor) but once you train your embouchure for the smallish soprano, those different octaves should speak easily.

If not, it is mechanical. And regardless of how many times a certain tech looks at the horn(s), if he/she doesn't recognize the problem areas, then he/she will miss it every time.

Given that your lower register jumps the octave, I'd look for a high-end leak OR look to see if the two octave pads are opening and fully closing at the right time. Watch all the keywork as you manipulate the keys and octave mechanism.

Also make sure your G# is fully closed until it is supposed to open; that the bisBb is closing, etc.

I don't think reed-strength is the issue. However, your placement of the mouthpiece on the neck-cork could be a problem. I'd make sure your piece is shoved on far enough so the whole horn is in tune with a known source (a tuned piano - by ear; or a tuner). Newbie soprano players often don't shove on far enough (this issue was already addressed in an earlier post, too). DAVE
 

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When the notes jump up, are you using the selmer piece or the yani? I have the same selmer mpc and always struggled playing low notes on it...I later realized it was because the opening was too closed for me. I switched to something more open and the problem was fixed. How tight is your embouchure? if its too tight the low notes will jump.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Cranky Bear said:
When the notes jump up, are you using the selmer piece or the yani? I have the same selmer mpc and always struggled playing low notes on it...I later realized it was because the opening was too closed for me. I switched to something more open and the problem was fixed. How tight is your embouchure? if its too tight the low notes will jump.
Yeah I use selmer C** and thats it, if I tried to have tight embouchure, the low notes will jum...and the mp itself is tight opening yeah...and or but the yani metal I have has size 7 opening, and it does better...but still it jumps sometime...

One thing that got me mad...is that sometime I can do them smooth (blow the low notes smooth) and sometime using the same embouchure, they jump 1 octave.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dave Dolson said:
Your problem could be a mulitude of different issues. I wouldn't discount a mechanical problem with your instruments. True, a tight embouchure is required for soprano (much more so than alto or tenor) but once you train your embouchure for the smallish soprano, those different octaves should speak easily.

If not, it is mechanical. And regardless of how many times a certain tech looks at the horn(s), if he/she doesn't recognize the problem areas, then he/she will miss it every time.

Given that your lower register jumps the octave, I'd look for a high-end leak OR look to see if the two octave pads are opening and fully closing at the right time. Watch all the keywork as you manipulate the keys and octave mechanism.

Also make sure your G# is fully closed until it is supposed to open; that the bisBb is closing, etc.

I don't think reed-strength is the issue. However, your placement of the mouthpiece on the neck-cork could be a problem. I'd make sure your piece is shoved on far enough so the whole horn is in tune with a known source (a tuned piano - by ear; or a tuner). Newbie soprano players often don't shove on far enough (this issue was already addressed in an earlier post, too). DAVE
No leaks Dave, my tech checked it out like dozens of times. I did check it out with my leak light at home. I tried to search and examine every tone holes and found no light leaking out. (in dark room)

The mouthpiece is inserted far enough, I even did put it too far it was out of tune...

Mechanism was checked by my tech, and it is perfect. I am sure this is just me. I had trouble with yanagisawa tenor T880 before, the same problem gurgling D and C. I always have problem with yani.... I dont know why...

However...what you said above actually interests me...

"OR look to see if the two octave pads are opening and fully closing at the right time. Watch all the keywork as you manipulate the keys and octave mechanism. "

What is the right time? Can you tell me? Do they open and close together at the same time (supposedly?) I am sure my tech went through this but I am intrigued to now this.


Oh just wanna add I have the same problem with my buescher TT (it is doing a full overhaul at the moment, the problem I had was when the TT hasnt been dissassembled =) )and also selmer series 2 although the notes dont jump 1 octave but D and C always gurgle. I can sometime manage to get the notes ok except the D and C now, they always gurgle and I can blow them properly only on the 2nd or 3rd blow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guys I have made a video recording with sound of me playing yani soprano. I put it in youtube so you can hear and see my problems. i really need help about this.

Thanks in advance
 

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mjs: When one presses the octave touch and fingers between G#2 and A2, the two octave vents switch . . . the lower vent should be open for G#2 and below. When the G#2 closes and the A2 is fingered, the lower vent closes and the upper vent opens. Many players and even some techs miss these little nuances.

For instance, I recently bought a used Yanagisawa S901 and experienced some difficulty on all notes played with the upper octave vent. Another SOTW poster had experienced the same thing. I began a study of my horn and found that the lower octave vent was not closing tightly when it should - it remained open a VERY small amount - hardly noticeable to my eye. I moved it by hand several times and worked out some sluggishness in the lower octave mechanism. NOW the horn plays right to the top (and so does our fellow poster's S901).

Another often-missed operation is the G# pad - it should remain closed when playing any of the notes below it. It is also designed to open when one uses any of the touches on the left pinky table - it is held closed by a cork pressing on it. It will rise when certain other notes are opened. Look at that closely to ensure that when it is closed IT IS CLOSED and not moving AT ALL.

The third problem area is in the bisBb and cross-fingered Bb fingerings. The bisBb may move slightly and that will be trouble. You must watch this very closely to see troublesome movements. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Dave Dolson said:
mjs: When one presses the octave touch and fingers between G#2 and A2, the two octave vents switch . . . the lower vent should be open for G#2 and below. When the G#2 closes and the A2 is fingered, the lower vent closes and the upper vent opens. Many players and even some techs miss these little nuances.

For instance, I recently bought a used Yanagisawa S901 and experienced some difficulty on all notes played with the upper octave vent. Another SOTW poster had experienced the same thing. I began a study of my horn and found that the lower octave vent was not closing tightly when it should - it remained open a VERY small amount - hardly noticeable to my eye. I moved it by hand several times and worked out some sluggishness in the lower octave mechanism. NOW the horn plays right to the top (and so does our fellow poster's S901).

Another often-missed operation is the G# pad - it should remain closed when playing any of the notes below it. It is also designed to open when one uses any of the touches on the left pinky table - it is held closed by a cork pressing on it. It will rise when certain other notes are opened. Look at that closely to ensure that when it is closed IT IS CLOSED and not moving AT ALL.

The third problem area is in the bisBb and cross-fingered Bb fingerings. The bisBb may move slightly and that will be trouble. You must watch this very closely to see troublesome movements. DAVE
Hi Dave, thanks for this, yeah I see some slugishness in those 2 octave vents. I'll bring it to my tech and show him that. Also whats bisBb??? Is that the very low Bb and B?
 

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Three more things:

Have you checked the sax with a leak light? Make sure all pads seal correctly.

It looks (and sounds) like the ligature may not be holding the reed to the mouthpiece tightly enough.

Does the same thing happen with different reeds?
 

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mjs: I watched the video-clip.

Have you had anyone else play your horn? If so, what results did they achieve?

Betelsax hit on something - reeds. They vary greatly, even among the same brand, cut, and strength. Does this happen to you with all reeds?

Seemed to me you had more trouble on the low notes (like C1 and D1) then in the middle. Often times, low end problems are caused by high-end leaks.

BisBb is the little secondary key just below the B2 pearl (L1 finger). It is an alternate Bb fingering.

I suspect something is wrong with your horn. But, a strong embouchure can often blow right through small leaks, so if your embouchure is not strong, ANY leak will be magnified. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dave Dolson said:
mjs: I watched the video-clip.

Have you had anyone else play your horn? If so, what results did they achieve?

Betelsax hit on something - reeds. They vary greatly, even among the same brand, cut, and strength. Does this happen to you with all reeds?

Seemed to me you had more trouble on the low notes (like C1 and D1) then in the middle. Often times, low end problems are caused by high-end leaks.

BisBb is the little secondary key just below the B2 pearl (L1 finger). It is an alternate Bb fingering.

I suspect something is wrong with your horn. But, a strong embouchure can often blow right through small leaks, so if your embouchure is not strong, ANY leak will be magnified. DAVE
Guys problems fixed on the D and E but C is still gurgling, its mechanism...the hinges were a bit stiff. The keys were closing slugishly (especially around the octave G2 and A2) I lubricated all of the hinges with WD40 pen. And it plays nice now.

The reason was I noticed that when I pressed those octave holes with my fingers, the problems gone...but when i play for about 1 minute, especially if I use the octave keys, I started to jump on the low notes again.

Now C is the problem, it still gurgles a bit sometime it blows smoothly. I think it is my embouchure. But I would still bring it to my tech...

Thanks for your opinions and keep on firing guys, who knows I am wrong here...

PS: i have problem with reeds 2 royal , 2.5 royal, 2M (la voz), 2.5 hemke and 2 soft rico jazz

I'll make another clip and post it in youtube later and maybe you could tell me the difference now.
 
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