Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm in High School and I've been trying to make my tone brighter than my usual sound, which is naturally very dark according to many of my peers. I even got a Jumbo Java A45 to brighten my tone. I don't know if it's just me, but for some reason, I can't seem to get a bright tone, even on the Jumbo Java. What is wrong with me? :(
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
5,160 Posts
I found going down 1/2 a reed strength will brighten up the sound. You may also try sanding down the heart of the reed. It also may actually be brighter then you thing. Try practicing facing a wall or recording yourself. Just some suggestion - I've been down this street and found the softer reeds not only brighten up my sound but allow much more flexibility. Good Luck
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,268 Posts
+1 for adjusting the reed. I use a sharp pocket knife to scrape some sawdust-like material off the reed's vamp, rinse and test; repeat until the reed frees up. I keep the reed clamped on the mouthpiece with the ligature, brace the top of the mouthpiece against the edge of the kitchen sink while it is on the neck, and scrape away. It works almost every time for me. be careful not to gow up the edge or tip of the reed. I've made really hard (for me) #3 reeds play like a dream. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I am going into my senior year of highschool this fall and was in the same situation a couple years back. I thought that a high baffle piece was going to solve all of my problems. It did. I just didn't know what the real problem was. It turned out to be my ligature. If the ligature doesn't hug the mouthpiece tight the sound will become dull. Make sure the screws are done somewhat evenly and that the lig is placed the right distance down the reed. Also the bigger the tip the brighter the sound. T45 is the lowest opening for the Jumbo Java line. If you still have trouble do the following. Buy Vandoren Java or V16 reeds 1/2 a strength lower than what you're used to, then tighten the screws until they're on really good. Then loosen the back screw 1/2 to a full rotation. If it is a single screw lig (especially a cloth one) that could also contribute to a darker tone. Just personal experience.


Sent from my Undisclosed Apple Related Device using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
You may try taking in a bit more mouthpiece. "Hangin'" off the tip can darken up a sound IMHO. Work some long tones like this until it feels more comfortable. It could work...
You could also try slapping on a Rico plasticover reed in the same strength you already like. I use these for Rock and Roll and it adds all the brightness I need (and at my age, I can use a little brightness lol).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
How long have you been playing? It may just be a case of inexperience and underdeveloped tone. I can play brighter on a dark setup that I could 10 years ago on a bright setup. I recently sold a bright mouthpiece to a high school student and when he played it, it sounded somewhat dark and it reminded me of how I sounded when I was his age. I really think it's just a matter of putting in the time on long tones, overtones, and transcribing and playing along with the masters, trying to imitate their sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Find people with bright tone that you like and try to imitate them. Playing bright is only partly the mouthpiece's job, the rest is on you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
Often not mentioned are the Claude Lakey hard rubber mouthpieces. For a long time they were pretty standard especially for lead alto stuff because of it's projection and also bright tone that you can achieve. Lakeys were my first jazz piece for both tenor and alto and although I've tried many others, I always find myself coming back to the lakeys because of how great they feel and more importantly sound.

For alto I think I'm using a 7*3 with vandoren java 3.5 reeds and I feel I get a pretty bright but also robust sound from this set up. Going with a lakey could be a cheaper and efficient way of brightening up your tone as opposed to buying a metal piece for more often than not double the price.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,811 Posts
indeed one of the most influential factors on the brightness of the sound must be the reed. I completely agree on working on the reed rather than simply going down to a lesser strength because you will have more control (although you need a bit of experience in doing so and many will use different methods to work on the reeds) on it. Also think that when you prepare a reed this will go softer in time so , maybe better to have a little resistance more in the beginning because other wise in a few weeks (or days for some) you will end up with a reed that is going to be too soft. Also working on reeds serves the purpose to make reeds more uniform than they are. Remember, reeds are made in different thicknesses but they come from different plats or part of the plant so they can have variation. I normally take a few and identify the best and try to work towards making that ideal (to me) I normally start with a ticker reed than I would normally play (so say I need a 2,5 I star on a 3 or even a 3,5).

If the reed sounds too resistant (I soak them before and in between this process) I lessen the resistance by working left and right (scraping with a scraping knife) of the vamp. once I get it to the right resistance ( a little bit more for future development) if I want a brighter sound I work the vamp with some very fine emery paper, you really need to be gentle here , take away too much and the reed is not going to be controllable anymore. once you are ok with this you might (but this is very dangerous) also very gently file towards the tip, this makes for a very edgy sound but you can easily ruin the reed.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,811 Posts
yes , but wat's too bright? It is a personal definition, an unresponsive and dead sound is not dark is just dead
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I second the Lakey. For the price it can't be beat. Even possibly for double the price.


Sent from my Undisclosed Apple Related Device using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
One thing I do that I haven't heard of anyone else doing, is actually changing the position of the reed on the mouthpiece. I find the further out the tip of the reed from the mouthpiece, the darker the sound. If you pull the reed back a little so you can see a line of black, it makes the sound brighter.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,204 Posts
I am going into my senior year of highschool this fall and was in the same situation a couple years back. I thought that a high baffle piece was going to solve all of my problems. It did. I just didn't know what the real problem was. It turned out to be my ligature. If the ligature doesn't hug the mouthpiece tight the sound will become dull. Make sure the screws are done somewhat evenly and that the lig is placed the right distance down the reed. Also the bigger the tip the brighter the sound. T45 is the lowest opening for the Jumbo Java line. If you still have trouble do the following. Buy Vandoren Java or V16 reeds 1/2 a strength lower than what you're used to, then tighten the screws until they're on really good. Then loosen the back screw 1/2 to a full rotation. If it is a single screw lig (especially a cloth one) that could also contribute to a darker tone. Just personal experience.


Sent from my Undisclosed Apple Related Device using Tapatalk
No, the smaller the tip, the brighter the sound, all other things being equal. I play a .120 rather than a .105 because a .105 is too bright.

I've never seen a lakey in hr. If it has that white 'biteplate', then it isn't hr.

Work on the shape of your tongue. Experiment with long tones with different 'vowel' sounds. An open throat with a high tongue arch and plenty of air will brighten your tone. At least, it worked for me.:)
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,005 Posts
No, the smaller the tip, the brighter the sound, all other things being equal. I play a .120 rather than a .105 because a .105 is too bright..
+1. Larger tip = darker sound, unless you raise the baffle. It's a combination of baffle and tip size. High baffle mpcs can be 'balanced out' by going to a larger tip. Otherwise they can be too bright and shrill.

Back to the OP, are we talking about tenor or alto? I'm not familiar with the designations for Jumbo Javas, but my understanding was they are pretty bright mpcs. The reed does make a difference. You didn't say what type of reed or hardness of reed you're using. Based on some of the posts on here, some high school kids use reeds that are way too hard (for some inexplicable reason), resulting in a dead sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Cool. I learned something new. Most of the large tip pieces whether they were baffled or not have been very bright. It's probably just me and the reed.


Sent from my Undisclosed Apple Related Device using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. I'm definitely learning alot. I'll try most of your tips and see if it works.

One thing I do that I haven't heard of anyone else doing, is actually changing the position of the reed on the mouthpiece. I find the further out the tip of the reed from the mouthpiece, the darker the sound. If you pull the reed back a little so you can see a line of black, it makes the sound brighter.
I have tried this before in the past, I don't recall actually making any difference my changing the position of my reed...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,640 Posts
How long have you been playing? It may just be a case of inexperience and underdeveloped tone. I can play brighter on a dark setup that I could 10 years ago on a bright setup. I recently sold a bright mouthpiece to a high school student and when he played it, it sounded somewhat dark and it reminded me of how I sounded when I was his age. I really think it's just a matter of putting in the time on long tones, overtones, and transcribing and playing along with the masters, trying to imitate their sound.
I think this speaks very true to most young players. This is also why they can play a note in tune and it still sounds flat. You have to learn how to focus your airstream to get the high harmonics to resonate in your sound. Overtones is a good place to start. Your mouthpiece is plenty bright to begin with. A lot can be done with reeds to make them brighter too but it takes practice to get it right.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,640 Posts
No, the smaller the tip, the brighter the sound, all other things being equal. I play a .120 rather than a .105 because a .105 is too bright.

I've never seen a lakey in hr. If it has that white 'biteplate', then it isn't hr.

Work on the shape of your tongue. Experiment with long tones with different 'vowel' sounds. An open throat with a high tongue arch and plenty of air will brighten your tone. At least, it worked for me.:)
Yes sir, that is what it is all about.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top