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hi - what is your setup?
It doesn't sound too bright, if anything it could be a little brighter maybe, but that could be the recording.
 

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I'm not sure if I've even ever heard a bari tone I'd consider bright. With bari's, its more about the degree of edge or buzz it has and your sound seems to be somewhat in the middle but on the "less buzzy" side.

I'd work on just keeping the tone consistent throughout the range of the horn. Also, pay attention to your intonation, especially on the ballad. Avoid the scoops and lighten your tonging a bit.

I've judged region jazz sax auditions before. Not a lot of bari sax players try out. Work on what I said and you stand a good chance at making the band.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Hello, i have recently tried a new setup for my Bari and i cant tell whether it is too bright for jazz or not or whether i should change it for my Region jazz audition.
No, your sound is good. Work on phrasing and timing and don't worry about the setup at this stage: just think about the music.
 

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nice tone!..a bit more projection on the sound, ie dont be afraid to push it would help your phrasing stand out better!,you may think if you put more edge" into your sound it may sound too much but it does not usually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help guys! A majority of you are saying it is good, so im gonna keep it. I just thought it sounded a bit like the bari's i hear in the old pre 1950 recordings. Im gonna work on what you guys said and hopefully i can stand a chance.
 

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Tone's fine, but spend some time working on your intonation.
 

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Yeah, intonation is your most important thing to work on here.

Back to what you asked about, however, your tone is "acceptable", but to me it's a little thin and buzzy -- which shouldn't be confused with "edge". Sounds a bit like you're biting. Curiously, one thing that might help is a softer reed that forces you to relax the embrouchure a little. The big horns can get away with softer reeds, and I use a Rico Jazz Select 2M on a Strathon 8.

I noticed a few tonal control issues present themselves as you move across harmonics (e.g. G2 to D2), and that's pretty typical with a small chambered piece. Harder to control. Might want to think about a larger chamber piece -- which will probably also help with the intonation, as you tend to go a bit sharp as you go up in the upper register. Opening your throat a little more might also help.

You didn't say what your setup and horn were.
 

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Sorry, not intending to be mean, but trying to be helpful.

So the Link 7 is a good piece, but definitely loosen up a bit. I also think you'd be better off with a #3 or even a 2.5 cane reed to promote that. This will also help with the sharpness in the upper register.

The plastic reeds tend to sound thin and buzzy on bari, and also run a bit stiff and promote biting -- something you really don't want on bari. Unless you're playing on an old "pickle barrel" mouthpiece from the 30's/40's the bari tends to punch through regardless, and will normally cut through in the upper registers.

Getting a full sound out of it is what really rocks. Let the alto's cut the concrete, the bari is all about providing the foundation that the rest of the section sits on. You need to provide a good, solid, foundation.

There's also the "bari exception" in most big band work. In short, you play a bit louder than marked, as opposed to the other horns that need to play a bit softer than marked. This too cries out for a good round sound, rather than a thinner, edgier note, as you're the foundation for the rest of the band. You don't want to stand out, rather make the rock-solid base.

It will take a little time to get used to, but you'll find your sound is fuller and still punches through when you want it to.
 

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The best bari tone I think I've ever heard came from Serge Chaloff. Power and edge when he wanted, soft and full-bodied when he didn't. Worth taking a listen to on Youtube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I really enjoy my setup right now, the low end is insanely powerful. Do you think moving up a reed strength would help the tuning?
 

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I really enjoy my setup right now, the low end is insanely powerful. Do you think moving up a reed strength would help the tuning?
Nope. I think it will make it worse. Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but a softer reed will force you to relax the embouchure and lower the pitch in the upper register -- otherwise you'll squeeze it off and the palm keys won't speak. That will have the effect of broadening your tone, and make the horn more responsive on the bottom.
 

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Two different things.

I use a Rascher mouthpiece and a #4 Vandoren reed for classical. Huge chamber piece with a very small tip. Sounds like a cello and gives you incredible control (no cracked notes) and consistency in tone across the registers. However, it's not something you'd ever want to use in a big band setting.

If you're thinking about the difference between your Link and something like a Yamaha 5C, then yeah, I personally would prefer the Link, but the 5C isn't bad, just a little dull. That said, I actually use a Strathon 8 for Big Band, Rock and R&B. Same concept though -- high baffle, medium chamber, though that's adjustable on the Strathon.

However, you and I would sound quite a bit different on that Link, which is part of the notion of "tonal concept". Within the parameters of the mouthpiece, it's quite possible to play quite dark on a Link. It's also possible to play quite brightly and powerfully. Has as much to do with how you adjust your mouth and throat to get the sound you perceive to be your voice as it does with the setup.

I keep going back to something.... You have three things that popped out at me in your playing. 1.) You're struggling a little with control of the piece and are occasionally cracking notes on the low end of the upper register. 2.) Your tone is inconsistent across the registers and might be "powerful" down low, but even your low notes tend towards the upper partials and it tends to get thin and reedy as you go to the top of the horn. 3.) You get quite a bit sharp as you go up.

This isn't a criticism and it's not a "is this better than that" scenario. Different music requires different approaches, and sometimes requires different setups.

Bari is a beast to play and these three things are the hardest things to get under control with these horns with a setup like yours -- particularly if you're coming off a smaller instrument like an alto. You intuitively want to use a plank and a very firm embouchure, but in fact, the things you're working towards now are actually enable by a softer, natural reed and a relaxed embouchure on this kind of setup on a "big horn".

BTW, I do think your playing is pretty good. These are simply intended as helpful suggestions. Merlin may have some other thoughts. He has an even bigger horn in his avatar.... :)
 

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Usually this makes things worse.
Unless you're playing flat in the palm keys, in which case, a harder reed might help. FWIW, you're going sharp, and going down in reed strength will help that.
 

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Unless you're playing flat in the palm keys, in which case, a harder reed might help. FWIW, you're going sharp, and going down in reed strength will help that.
I think possible that depends why you are flat. If it's because you are slackening of the reed, or blowing hard without diaphragm support then yes, a harder reed might help (not necessarily as a cure though, more a band-aid). However it could be that you need more flexibilty to bring those notes up, in which case a softer reed could help.

In the end nothing helps as much as (a) improved aural abilities and (b) improved diaphragm support and embouchure. If changing reed helps with intonation, I wouldn't betting that 9 times out of 10 something else is the actual root cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unless you're playing flat in the palm keys, in which case, a harder reed might help. FWIW, you're going sharp, and going down in reed strength will help that.
Maddenma, i am considering switching to canes, maybe Rico Plasticovers size 2 or 2.5?
 
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