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I finally decided to move to the Tenor sax, which was my original quest. I started with the clarinet, then the alto and now rented a tenor sax. I was concerned that it would be too difficult. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it played very much like the alto, meaning I could run the entire chromatic scale. The problem I am having is that I am getting a sort of "flutter" mainly in the lower octave. Even when trying to play long tones I could not get the steady sound. Since this is a refurbished rental low end, I don't know if the problem is me or with the Sax. I have tried different levels of breath force and embouchure. Ideas?
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I finally decided to move to the Tenor sax, which was my original quest. I started with the clarinet, then the alto and now rented a tenor sax. I was concerned that it would be too difficult. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it played very much like the alto, meaning I could run the entire chromatic scale. The problem I am having is that I am getting a sort of "flutter" mainly in the lower octave. Even when trying to play long tones I could not get the steady sound. Since this is a refurbished rental low end, I don't know if the problem is me or with the Sax. I have tried different levels of breath force and embouchure. Ideas?
A leak or some kind of acoustic anomaly that may be due to mouthpiece mismatch or not positioned at the best place on the cork. Do the overtone octaves play well enough in tune ?(1st and 3rd overtones)
 

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Tune up to standard pitch.
Tenor is harder to play the low notes than alto or baritone so its important to have a good seal at the neck joint and no leaks in the horn.
You might have to use a softer reed until you can build up to the increase in air volume required for the larger sax.
 

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Might be any of the above. I would first have the horn checked for leaks. If nothing found, and neck cork is good and m'pc stays on there tightly, then experiment with reeds....
 

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I don't know if the problem is me or with the Sax. I have tried different levels of breath force and embouchure. Ideas?
The best way to determine this would be to take the horn in to a good technician, not necessarily to the shop you are renting from, and have him check for leaks. I recommend taking it to a different place than where you are renting from, because if they rented you a leaky horn, it may be because they do not have the best repair facilities.

Also you can go to a music store with your mouthpiece and reed, and ask to try out a few of their horns, and see if the bottom end notes are any better.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Fwiw I had the same problem with the Shabby Vito. Even after a tech looked at it.
The problem was resolved with Pete Thomas's:
https://tamingthesaxophone.com/leaking-articulated-g-sharp

I don't know why the tech missed it - the screws are not lock-tighted and may have shifted. Maybe something else.
Ah well, if the tech put new cork on there it may well have been done when it left the shop and then settled in a bit. It's quite normal for the play to have to do some tweaking in that area.

(Hence the article you Kindly linked to)
 

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Ah well, if the tech put new cork on there it may well have been done when it left the shop and then settled in a bit. It's quite normal for the play to have to do some tweaking in that area.
could be. It's not a big deal. I'm always happy to learn another thing - I recon it's good to feel in-touch with the instrument, rather than just treating it as an artefact that works / doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Believe it, or not, the problem was the placement of the ligature. I was putting it even with the bottom of the reed. Moving it back so the logo was centered solved the problem. Putting it all the way down was causing to much reed to be above and thus flutter.
 

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Believe it, or not, the problem was the placement of the ligature. I was putting it even with the bottom of the reed. Moving it back so the logo was centered solved the problem. Putting it all the way down was causing to much reed to be above and thus flutter.
Probably the reed wasn't sealing well with the lig that far down.

p.s. Hey, speaking of that article on Pete's website, just recently I was having that problem with the G# key leaking and causing the F#, F, etc below to speak poorly with the G# key engaged. I generally have my tech fix any problems with the horn and was going to call him, but then I took a close look and noticed the adjuster screw that Pete's article refers to. It was sort of obvious that tightening the screw a bit would close down the G# key which I could see rise ever so slightly when depressing the F key. I tightened it and it worked! Problem fixed. I was extremely proud of myself, LOL. If I had seen Pete's article, I would have known right away what to do...
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Believe it, or not, the problem was the placement of the ligature. I was putting it even with the bottom of the reed.
Not surprising at all. I think one of the first things we learn has to be correct placement of ligature.


Moving it back so the logo was centered solved the problem. Putting it all the way down was causing to much reed to be above and thus flutter.
Well, not so much to do with logo, merely the best place for the ligature to hold the non vibrating part of the reed firmly.
 

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