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Discussion Starter #1
So I tell the tech that I think it's the G# pad. The pad looks bad and this makes sense to me. As soon as I get some moisture on the pads, the G2 starts to sound like multi-phonics. The tech says no, the G# pad is fine. So I'm playing at home at the G2 starts screwing up. I immediately clean the G# pad with a bit of saddle soap and the problem is almost completely gone. I have to be right, right?
 

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If you are playing at a loud dynamic level, and the multiphonic is the G an octave lower sounding in addition to G2, it may be an issue with the octave vent. A slightly leaking G# key will generally make the G sound stuffy. It should not produce a multiphonic AFAIK.
 

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I came across this issue with s couple of students and was nothing to do with G#. Seemed to be fixed either by a different mouthpiece or different mouthpiece position on the cork and/ or some embouchure adjustment.
 

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If, on the other hand, the "multiphonic" involves harmonics above the G2 it could be a "voicing issue" where you are pulling out the 2nd partial of low G which is palm D. Some tenors do this more easily than others. It helps to keep the back of the tongue down to prevent this from happening.
 

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How experience a player are you.
The most likely cause IMO is inappropriate embouchure or breath pressure.
The octave vents cannot do all the work of stabilising which harmonic comes out.
If it is a leak, it is likely to be a lot further up the instrument.
 

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Is this a new development? Have you been using the exact same setup, including reeds? As mentioned by others above, when I've had this problem it was usually due to embouchure/breath support, however, I have had certain mouthpieces do this on certain horns so I'm guessing that there are such things as bad mpc/horn matches.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If, on the other hand, the "multiphonic" involves harmonics above the G2 it could be a "voicing issue" where you are pulling out the 2nd partial of low G which is palm D. Some tenors do this more easily than others. It helps to keep the back of the tongue down to prevent this from happening.
I've been playing sax for 12 years. At one point several years ago, five or six of the 2nd octave notes did this and I finally fixed it by having six pads replaced. I'm always using the same set up except for reeds. I rotate between 10 reeds and then I have four extra reeds which are my A-list reeds. Although the problem is somewhat reed dependent - it happens more with my B-list reeds than the A-list reeds - it doesn't appear to be reed related. I can play though this problem, but it is really inconvenient.

So you think that the palm D could be leaking.
 

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I've been playing sax for 12 years. At one point several years ago, five or six of the 2nd octave notes did this and I finally fixed it by having six pads replaced. I'm always using the same set up except for reeds. I rotate between 10 reeds and then I have four extra reeds which are my A-list reeds. Although the problem is somewhat reed dependent - it happens more with my B-list reeds than the A-list reeds - it doesn't appear to be reed related. I can play though this problem, but it is really inconvenient.

So you think that the palm D could be leaking.
First place I'd go would be one or more of the palm keys. Also the top couple pads in the upper stack. These are the ones that get all the water so they're getting harder and dryer by the day, plus they are constantly swelling and shrinking as they get wet and dry off. Shove a light down there and have a look.

Of course, voicing will counteract all sorts of leaks, which is why experienced professionals can play horns full of leaks and make them sound good.

In the end, all saxophones have leaks, whether small or large, once they come home from the shop and get played a couple times. So you have to be able to play the thing even if it's imperfect; the real thing is where its imperfection becomes great enough that you need to do something about it.

Anyway, I would check out both vents and the uppermost pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you are playing at a loud dynamic level, and the multiphonic is the G an octave lower sounding in addition to G2, it may be an issue with the octave vent. A slightly leaking G# key will generally make the G sound stuffy. It should not produce a multiphonic AFAIK.
It's an octave lower, but it doesn't necessarily happen at a loud dynamic level. It mainly happens during the attack. And you are right about the leaky G# key.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is this a new development? Have you been using the exact same setup, including reeds? As mentioned by others above, when I've had this problem it was usually due to embouchure/breath support, however, I have had certain mouthpieces do this on certain horns so I'm guessing that there are such things as bad mpc/horn matches.
It's a consistent setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
turf3 says. "In the end, all saxophones have leaks, whether small or large, once they come home from the shop and get played a couple times. So you have to be able to play the thing even if it's imperfect; the real thing is where its imperfection becomes great enough that you need to do something about it."

This is true. I've gone back to working on overtones (which I gave up on several years ago). Although I'm getting almost nowhere, they are improving a bit and it is making a difference.
 

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Is the G breaking to D? Try trilling between palm D and G. This is one that is difficult even if everything is sealing fine. If the neck tenon or octave pip has the tiniest leak, it can make G unstable and even break to D. Try the bit of water and saddle soap on the octave pip pad. Does that help? Remove your neck, put the neck tenon against the ball of your thumb and blow through the neck to check the pip pad. If you see bubbles forming on the octave pip you have a tiny leak on the pip pad. It doesn't take much of a leak to affect G, as it is already an unstable note.

Mark
 
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