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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
i've bought an old Conn 10M (underslung) in good overall condition, but don't succeed to play when octave key's pressed, any note below A (so, below 2d A).

i'm new on satw, and must say also on sax! total beginner... i'm a guitarist first, but i can play clarinet, & also make sound my sax in low register, & on 2d octave by modifying embouchure! (that's seems not to be a right way...is it?).
Of course, if i don't suck too much, i think about a mechanical problem i'll have to fix, and will need to send the sax far away if nobody can help me to fix by myself.

The affected notes (with octave key) doesn't sound or do not without a lot of disgracious higher & louder harmonics. I've spent hours to find the point, without success... i'm not totaly lost, i've already found and fixed some on clarinets & flutes, but here... i just can't begin learning.

Low register seems ok, octave key opening ok... highest notes seem ok, and i can play the second octave D-E-F-G with low register fingering without octave key, using a thinner embouchure! (biting a little).

Does someone see where i have to concentrate my attention to find the bug? (please don't say on another instrument! :D )

Ask me all details you need, & please help!
 

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It sounds like the body octave key is not opening or the octave tube might be plugged. While looking at the instrument with the neck in position, try going back and forth between high A and high G. When you are playing high A and above, the neck octave key is open, and from middle D to high G, the body octave key should be open. Try trilling back and forth between high G and high A. Let us know what is happening.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, yes....Jerryjam, there's something here!
i've changed settings very approximatively to have only body octave key opened for 2d octave D to G, & only neck octave key opened for higher... that's giving me something much better, not yet easily wright in tone, but seems to be possible now!

I've just removed a cork allowing G mechanic to open more the body oct K, & less the neck one, must i try to set finely in that way with cork & fine tuning?
Then the mechanics interacting beetween the 2 octave holes-keys are a little complex, & i think that will not be so easy to set very well.

Before you put' me on this point, both octave holes were opened from D to G, & then only the neck one for highest notes... so do you think that could have been the only big bug?
Also, is it normal that i can easily play middle D to G just by a little embouchure change (thinner air flow & more pressure), without octave key?

Thanks a lot!!!;)
 

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I can't say it is/was the only bug, but it was a major one to start with. Yes it is fairly normal to be able to play middle D to high G (without using the octave key) with a change in embochure and/or air velocity, with practice.

Glad to be of assistance. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a lot Jerry!
Fast answer!

Yes it is fairly normal to be able to play middle D to high G (without using the octave key)
Yes i was wondering if i'm normal (no, just thought that was perhaps a problem on the sax)!... but is this usefull or are there intonation problem without the oct key?

You see, this is my very first steps with sax so i didn't know what was the good work of the 2 octave keys...
So i think you & sotw permit me to fix the problem by myself... & not sending my sax for a dangerous & expensive travel...
Now i'll be able to learn & pass first steps.

SATW seems to be one of the best companions in that way...

Thanks & greatings from Corsica.
:wave: :wave: :wave:
 

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In some instances the intonation is better w/o the octave key, expecially if you're playing just one long note. But if playing a passage it's a lot easier than wrenching your jaw around fighting the turbulance than it is to adjust your embochure more slightly for intonation difficulties using the octave key. These are subtile things you will learn and discover the more proficient a player you become. (I'm not assuming anything here).

Does this make any sense? I'm sometimes not good at putting thoughts into words, especially typing it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's because putting thoughts in words is not always possible that we also use music instruments...

OK, now i'll begin to go to far wild places to play sax (not so far, a chance), away from neighbours !!!
That's the bad side of sax for practice:
Too loud! & pppp very unstable & uneasy for beginers!


So, we'll see if wild boars do appreciate!
beware, wild animals.... close your ears, i'm coming with my big bell:!:
:D
 

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"I've just removed a cork allowing G mechanic to open more the body oct K, & less the neck one, must i try to set finely in that way with cork & fine tuning?
Then the mechanics interacting between the 2 octave holes-keys are a little complex, & i think that will not be so easy to set very well."

Definitely, the neck key should be fully AND leak-proofedly closed while playing second octave notes below 'A'.

I suspect there was nothing wrong with your G key cork, unless it has been malfunctioning ever since somebody installed an over-thick cork there.

It is more likely that the thumb lever was travelling too far, hence lifting the neck key too far, hence the travel of the G key was insufficient to re-close the neck key.

However this complex mechanism has many ways in which it can malfunction, and you may be only scraping the surface.

Temporarily use a rubber band around the neck key to keep it closed while playing
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Definitely, the neck key should be fully AND leak-proofedly closed while playing second octave notes below 'A'.
Yes, i've understood that now! and knowing that i'll be able to set this mechanic, i'm sure. of course i've tested with a rubber band ;)

And i'm very happy to have found the bug i've looked for... for a long time... you can imagine how much i did concentrate myself on any G key leak! :D

Thanks a lot for precisions !
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ya, Gordon, this thread you linked is very helpfull, i've not be able to find it before havin posted my question, otherwise i would'nt have!

Very clear also about what hapens playing middle-high notes without octave key or after having released it...

I'm just less wondering about all that, & other questions soon come after improving a little more...:cool:
 

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What you really need to do is find an experienced player/teacher in your area to help you out. This site can be most helpful, but you'll need a basic understanding of the instrument that only hands on guidance will give you before you can really take advantage of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, first questions come like air flow!
So first step must be very faster with a guide, of course, but now i only have SATW surfin'... the wave is good!
:) :) :)
 
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