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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
even with some positive and nice feedback of my play in TOTM, I've been pointed to my pitch prob.
With some of such critical notes I got very constructive advises that I apply (one crucial was by Dave P). After last one I checked my pitch with a tuner and was shocked with the "ocean" in between of c# and d (second octave).
So, I spent couple of evenings on looking at tuner and "playing" with mouthpiece tiny movements.
After 15 min of concentration I see an amazing result... I just hitting about precisely B,C of 3 octave D of second and whole first octave without concentration.

I recorded this as an exercise and want your opinion on the pitch. Sure there are "wholes".
But what is your general judgement.

I am ready for "kicks" in the butt :)

But I know I am on right way of working on tuning the sax, what I never did (I am so bad :) )

So after long (touchy for myself) introduction of my "sufferings" :) here is my track:

https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ar0t68kb42TxhWvnE79ITzdUUowF

Thx for your opinion.
Michael.
 

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I don’t normally comment on audio threads, but your pitch (and articulation) are rather eveidently off.

I don’t have any idea why you chose a piece this difficult ( Armando’s Rumba) to showcase and talk about your pitch.

Your timing is also insecure and because you are running after the tempo your pitch may suffer as a consequence. But again it is the entire sound articulation which is suffering here too.

My guess is that you also take only a little bit of reed, which may even be too thick.

I think that you should be guided by a good teacher and start on much slower pieces with longer notes, if you want to make then another take of something like that (post here please don’t open a new thread) it will give more information on where you are .

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
your answers are "million dollar" value in my situation...

milandro,

>I don’t have any idea why you chose a piece this difficult ( Armando’s Rumba) to showcase and talk about your pitch.

looks like a "stupid" idea... but it was a natural desire (like a child that got a candy) after playing Rumba in ballad tempo and seeing on tuner that I am hitting right high and low notes.
I thought "I got it"... And after your honest and not so "harmful" :) for ego notes I am just down to Earth and understand where I am.

> My guess is that you also take only a little bit of reed

lt's not a guess... I got this advice years ago, probably it was for a particular thing... but I developed this as an habit

>I think that you should be guided by a good teacher and start on much slower pieces with longer notes, if you want to make then another take of something like that (post here please don’t open a new thread) it will give more information on where you are .

Appreciate your advises!

**********************************

soybean,
the link to the thread provided is not helpful, it is absolute turning point for my sax doing...

Thank you very much!
 

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Michael, I enjoyed listening to your take (as I did also to some of your previous TOTM submissions). :)

But... this is (as milandro already stated) not a real good way to check pitch, because it's a fast number with lots of notes. Best advice for tuning is to play long tones while watching the tuner, vary in volume (in the song your pitch shifts as soon as you start playing louder) and do it over the full range of the horn (your upper register is more sensitive to tuning issues).

Another good advice is to not play to close to the tip of your mouthpiece, because the reed bends the strongest in that part which makes controlling your pitch more difficult. Take in more mouthpiece, best is to play close to where the facing curve starts. For alto I think that's between 16 and 20 mm from the tip, so taking in about 1.5 cm seems like a good starting point.

The best advice is indeed to take a good teacher that can guide you through the process to become a better player with good intonation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Peter, thanks for advises and even compliment :)... 1.5cm cannot believe... :) . will try and look for a real teacher... there are many youtubes... one of them told as less as possible read taking.
Also will read again Dave Liebman book.

there are tons of interesting work ahead...
 

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Well... A good teacher would be VERY helpful with all of your issues.
In the meantime, slow it down. Ballads, far easier pieces at a slower tempo, and long tones taking in more mouthpiece and using LOTS of air support.
Your sound won't be quite as weak if you back up and start over from the beginning of you saxophone journey.
 

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Despite your pitch and rhythm problems, I thought the take was very enjoyable. What you DO have is a dynamic emotional drive and connected-ness to the piece that comes through IMO. That's is a hard thing to come by and some people never seem to have it. It's easier to practice timing and pitch than it is to practice sounding interesting and meaningful so just keep working on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hey, hey, hey ...
Mr. pontius you really make me feel good and encourage to fix bad habits that I developped without having a good advisor/teacher. I think my problems are fixable.
Because there is a "problem" related to the nature of the instrument that could be fixed by right work and knowledge of the "driver"(player).
 

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lt's not a guess... I got this advice years ago, probably it was for a particular thing... but I developed this as an habit
having a very “ pointy” embouchure ( which is what I would define the embouchure of people whom take in only the very tip of the mouthpiece) is not unique but it is surely a very bad habit.

I see this in may amateur older players. I have no idea of why anyone ever advised you that way but I don’t think it was a wise thing to do.

By doing this you are chocking the reed and squeezing it shut , so only that bit can vibrate.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
having a very “ pointy” embouchure ( which is what I would define the embouchure of people whom take in only the very tip of the mouthpiece) is not unique but it is surely a very bad habit.

I see this in may amateur older players. I have no idea of why anyone ever advised you that way but I don’t think it was a wise thing to do.

By doing this you are chocking the reed and squeezing it shut , so only that bit can vibrate.

Good Luck!
what I am currently doing is checking our Montreal's sax teachers force... sure I will find one.
Just got an answer from one.

I must to overcome the challenge... Also, last recording is just quick mess may be. Sure, I have/had some successful beautiful (I felt) stuff and enjoyed playing (don't talk about general public, for which a saxophone is a favorite instrument :) and K.G is the best jazz saxophonist)
May be when played 5 days a week cocktails (was younger) in a nice surrounding hall with a soft acoustic, my sound was just melting after first tune.

I enjoy my sax every moment (even that I don't touch it) and whole music universe (hope you understand me even as a pro).

Finally, I am happy that by chance, yesterday I decided to post this (what you called "I have no idea why you selected this for talking about the pitch" :) ).
It just again put me under a "freezing rain" with each drop saying "pitch, quality of sound..."

Again thanks to all that gave friendly advises. I will take a teacher, I must to fix to my maximum possible point the Quality of sax sound. Point.

Hope I will return to this tread (what you suggested) in a while with real improvement. And I am not restricted to participate at TOTMs (at least Peter gave me some brownie points :) ).

In the mean time here is my Smoke... posted in Ballad forum here a year ago. Probably you'll find "oh no" hits... :) too. But at least not a tempo thingy that I posted for my "great" pitch discussion :)

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”

https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ar0t68kb42TxhSnLfzmer69uypqs

Merci!
 

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very nice rendition of Smoke gets in your eyes, tone, articulation, expression, dynamics and everything else is very nice.

In that take you use the same embouchure as you did with Armando’s rumba? I can hardly believe it!

Perhaps only the higher notes sound a little forced. I too have the tendency to scoop and shouldn’t.

Well done.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ooufff, so you kind of saying that I am capable :)

It is the same Berg and the same my Yamaha 62 that I bought in 1990. The reed that I am playing on is very old. Have others that are ready but for some reason the last week I pick this for my hour daily practice.
and I am just going crazy with discovering tuner answers... I should probably put in the garbage the read and play on normal even for practice. Even you (that usually not participating in recording discussions :) )
reacted on my sh... :). Everything is for a reason in our life :). So I am going to find a teacher for getting back my sax mojo :).



Thanks!
 

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If your reed is very old this may be the reason why you were bending it closed ( chocking) and are having intonation issues.

On thee second recording you have none of those so I think that a new reed would cure all of it.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you very much Dr. milandro looks like you can virtually cure without seeing a "patient".

So from just this thread I got: don't play on edge of the mouthpiece, don't use bad reed (even if it plays).

Dave P. mentioned once that I have to try to tighten embouchure and it should not affect my kind of relaxed manner of playing.
I forced myself to play on completely loose embouchure (got some old advice long time ago. ?).
That surely can cause incorrect pitch stuff (I am not Sonny Rollins :) ). And plus the reed and plus not proper mp position and etc can create the "chronical illness" of the sound.

After your last post it looks like I may not need a teacher... funny. But I will dig in in this and will try to find one. Face to face 3-5 lessons with a real teacher may discover my other glitches I believe.

Like I mentioned, I never had a sax teacher and never tuned the sax before performance. How s t u p i d not to apply the basic things.
Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
little update...
the main advice of TOTM members for taking a GOOD teacher is in action :)

I scheduled first lesson for next Saturday... the lesson (hope lessons) will be with the holder of DMA Jazz Performance degree.
I think the words "good" and "teacher" are not applicable here especially for so called sax player as myself.

His career and current activity as a player and prof are pretty impressive...
As a demo I sent him the link to my "Smoke..." for which Mr. milandro gave a "green light" pitch wise and general OK.

He liked my tune :)... I explained my problems and whole story as a sax player and mentioned participation on SOTW where I got a suggestion for a good teacher.

So I am excited and hope to get some real boost as a person who blows in the sax.
First lesson should show the future of my sax development and the sense of continuing.

Thanks to all who supported me with advises and opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you, Peter!
 

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Hello Michael,
One thing you always have right is your attitude, being ready to learn. If you always keep this attitude and keep working, you will one day be a very nice player. You have plenty of music in you waiting to get out when you master the technique of playing the instrument. You are on the path so keep going!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks mascio.

I have just relax after "the stress" to my very fair freaking pitch pointing. I know that I have a very good instrument.
Some adjustments on hardware level may be needed, then my right work on improvement and fixing personal sax development that brings me a joy... Not too concentrate on tuner (found that it is not good habit).
Buy new box of reeds.
And go to my first sax lesson in life :).

Yes... to warm up and check the tuner before recording :)
 
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