Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In your horns intonation. I know I find myself over correcting for notes I know to be sharp or flat. Sometimes you just have to trust your horn is centered and in tune.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
28,920 Posts
In your horns intonation. I know I find myself over correcting for notes I know to be sharp or flat. Sometimes you just have to trust your horn is centered and in tune.
If you're talking saxophone you trust yourself because the horn ain't in tune.
 

·
SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
FWIW I play a VI and a Big B tenor, opposite ends of the intonation spectrum, I trust both.


Woody curious of your horn/mpc/reeds ?? unless it's a secret.:twisted:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,001 Posts
In your horns intonation. I know I find myself over correcting for notes I know to be sharp or flat. Sometimes you just have to trust your horn is centered and in tune.
Or is it?

I played a Balanced Action tenor for many years with good results, then played a Serie III that was the absolute worst... until I realized that the habits I had grown on the BA didn't work with the III. Once I realized that I was interacting with my III as if I were playing the BA, its intonation got a lot better. That experience showed me that for best intonation, I needed to commit to one horn. Only then could I trust that it was centered and in tune.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Or is it?

That experience showed me that for best intonation, I needed to commit to one horn.
For sure that's a ton of it. Going back to a VI from my Shadow was a bit of an adjustment. I know the sax by nature has some tuning issues, but overcompensating does too. That's really all I'm trying to point out. You have to find that mpc sweet spot and then go with it. Micro adjustments along the way OK, but it can sound really out there to over compensate. You loose that centered sound.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
FWIW I play a VI and a Big B tenor, opposite ends of the intonation spectrum, I trust both.


Woody curious of your horn/mpc/reeds ?? unless it's a secret.:twisted:
No secrets: I play a Sugal SGII (8*), Vandoren blue box reeds (#3), and an Oligature. Been on the same set-up for about 15 years. A year ago I had to get a new mpc, as mine had lost it's plating on the table and facing and no longer worked for me. I tried having it refaced to no avail.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,001 Posts
For sure that's a ton of it. Going back to a VI from my Shadow was a bit of an adjustment. I know the sax by nature has some tuning issues, but overcompensating does too. That's really all I'm trying to point out. You have to find that mpc sweet spot and then go with it. Micro adjustments along the way OK, but it can sound really out there to over compensate. You loose that centered sound.
Absolutely. Amen.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,361 Posts
I think you do have to trust your ear and the fact that you've learned your horn well enough to adjust at a mostly subconscious level, using your ear. About the only note I think about adjusting is E2 (on the tenor) which tends to be sharp.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,205 Posts
I guess I’m from the “Hear it, play it” school.
I went from playing a Mark VI, and a couple of road/bar horns I’ve had, to a 1938 Balanced Action. Everybody seems to complain about their intonation but the sound is more malleable on the BA than my Mark VI so I’ve gotten used to the quirks and can adjust.
You're heard me play. With my concept intonation on specific notes comes more into play on the few ballads I do.
Even then, imperfections in intonation become part of your sound. Gene Ammons comes to mind.
 

·
SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,394 Posts
Woody if you are back on a VI I understand, I played a few VI Tenors in my day. my current is a '68 I bought it in '81..My bar horn Big B actually has more "reliable" intonation for sure, and honestly has a sound as good as my VI..but it's not a VI. the Selmer has something for me. It's a harder horn to play, but feel and depth of sound is there on the VI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
How many here can detect a 10th of a semitone off of pitch? I can't.

(10 cents)
Nor I. I loved the comment of someone here a while back talking about adjusting two or three cents one way or the other to match others players in the band. What nonsense! (IMO)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,328 Posts
Nor I. I loved the comment of someone here a while back talking about adjusting two or three cents one way or the other to match others players in the band. What nonsense! (IMO)
I hear small variations in pitch more as light and shade. Some players play a little low and it can make them sound darker or moodier, some play a fraction high and it comes over as a part of their projection and attitude. Different horns sit better tonally at slightly different pitches - to my ear. Whatever, good intonation is something that for me is a constant focus of my practice and I can really hear when a player is really spot on. YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,675 Posts
Intonation and ear are acquired skills and you have to keep practicing both. There was a recent study that musicians compensate for loss of hearing on the level of the ear by reinforcing the auditory pathway to the brain, in other words, getting more signal from the ear to the brain. Not very surprising if you know the plasticity of the brain but still a very interesting piece of information.

Luckily, in most cases, the audience does not have the same level of listening precision and if the band is loud enough, you can get away with some less centered notes. But there is that proverbial "tone deaf saxophone player", circulated mostly across your peers / band members. I just keep recording myself during practice and listen and adjust, I think I spend about 1/4 of the time just listening to my bad intonation and then practicing over and over until it's where I want it to be. Luckily, my dogs don't mind
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,505 Posts
My Yas 82Z is fairly spot on. I've tried other horns (like a Martin years ago) and even though I liked something about the tone better it just wasn't worth the fight on out of tune notes. I have changed mouthpieces quite a bit in the last few years and thats a different story, then I'll figure out intonation and suffer through the monthes of long tones/rehearing pitch. But we are all different and needs are different. Mine is to play with a guitarist half deaf at outdoor gigs. there is that? K
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,001 Posts
How many here can detect a 10th of a semitone off of pitch? I can't.

(10 cents)
There is a difference whether you are comparing two notes either after one another, or listening to both at the same time. Critical listening becomes more effective with practice in context (ex. listening to where your note sits in a chord).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
I don't necessarily trust my horns' intonation, but I trust MY intonation. I think you have to, unless or until it becomes obvious that you're off -- or even that you're on, but you're playing with trombones that are off, for instance, and if you don't adjust to them it's just going to sound worse. I think the same way about time: I have to trust my own time, unless it becomes obvious I'm off, or the overall result will be worse if I don't adjust to someone else's time.

For sure, one of the reasons I like old Mark VIs is that I'm used to them. One of the tenors I've had for 27 years, and I'm so used to it; one I've had for 5 years, it's very similar to the other one (but not identical regarding intonation), but I'm pretty used to it too. Changing mouthpieces would be a major pain for me, it took me a long time to find replacements for the one I've played forever. Now that I've found some I still need to get them over to Mojo for re-facing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,675 Posts
There is a difference whether you are comparing two notes either after one another, or listening to both at the same time. Critical listening becomes more effective with practice in context (ex. listening to where your note sits in a chord).
Absolutely correct, especially when you are able to detect the interference pattern. Also, the normal human ear can detect the difference between 440 and 441 Hz by applying pitch sharpening mechanisms such as Mach bands (lateral inhibition).
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top