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Let me explain my position quickly. I bought the D'addario jazz select marble, and it is the mouthpiece of my dreams, the search seems to be over. However, I have a jazz camp this week, and the mouthpiece barely plays high enough. A cold start leaves my horn flat, a little warm up gets it back up to in tune. My cork is already quite small, and I won't be able to get it recorked this week (if that would even do anything?). So, is there any possible temporary fix to make my sax sharper?

Thanks,

Emmet Fettig
 

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A quick picture would help - are you saying that the mouthpiece will not go on far enough?

If a little warmup gets in tune, isn’t that where you want to be?

It sounds like you need to sand the cork - if that’s the case you don’t need to recork. Just put masking tape on the neck beyond the cork (to prevent scratching the finish, then sand it down, making sure to maintain a cylinder, not a cone.

P.S. and OBTW: Congrats on finding the mouthpiece of your dreams so early. Many here are still looking after decades.
 
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I dont think it is the mouthpiece if it eventually gets in tune. If the chamber was wrong it would be wrong all the time. Id it were dead winter Say maybe…and if it were a metal mouthpiece maybe. Now if your tuner says your flat you might need to modify something.
 

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@Emmet Fettig If you are at jazz camp, talk to one of the sax instructors. If you came to me with this problem, I would take my lil’ fixit box out of my gig bag, and get the strip of sandpaper that is reserved just for this issue. I try to maintain my horns at home, but it wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve helped someone else at a rehearsal or at a gig.
 

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A quick picture would help - are you saying that the mouthpiece will not go on far enough?

If a little warmup gets in tune, isn’t that where you want to be?

It sounds like you need to sand the cork - if that’s the case you don’t need to recork. Just put masking tape on the neck beyond the cork (to prevent scratching the finish, then sand it down, making sure to maintain a cylinder, not a cone.

P.S. and OBTW: Congrats on finding the mouthpiece of your dreams so early. Many here are still looking after decades.
Afraid to say I just put my horn away, but I can describe it. It is as though the mouthpiece simply does not go any further towards the neck, perhaps it is being stopped as the chamber narrows? The sanding is a great idea, I will speak to a sax instructor at the camp today about that.
Thanks for your response,
Emmet Fettig
 

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Afraid to say I just put my horn away, but I can describe it. It is as though the mouthpiece simply does not go any further towards the neck, perhaps it is being stopped as the chamber narrows? The sanding is a great idea, I will speak to a sax instructor at the camp today about that.
Thanks for your response,
Emmet Fettig
There are two instances: it is possible that the end of the neck hits contacts the end of the mouthpiece chamber, but that’s rare; far more likely that you need to resize the cork.

Do NOT just grease the cork and force the mouthpiece on. That leads to things getting bent or broken. The cork should be shaped like a cylinder (not a cone) so you can adjust the mouthpiece to wherever you need to without increasing the force, or it getting loose and causing a leak.
 
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if it is only a question of the cork / shank diameters and NOT embouchure, then fyou can modif the cork with a strip of fine sandpaper, or alternatively open up the inside of the mpc by wrapping the sandpaper around the cork and carefully sanding the INSIDE of the mpc - i've done this myself a few times.. However you need to be sure that it is not related to e.g. a larger tip/chamber opening and your (currently unadjusted) embouchure..
 

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if it is only a question of the cork / shank diameters and NOT embouchure, then fyou can modif the cork with a strip of fine sandpaper, or alternatively open up the inside of the mpc by wrapping the sandpaper around the cork and carefully sanding the INSIDE of the mpc - i've done this myself a few times.. However you need to be sure that it is not related to e.g. a larger tip/chamber opening and your (currently unadjusted) embouchure..
I would think that being sharp could be an embochure problem, but mine is quite developed. I do not want to risk pinching trying to get the pitch up.

Thanks,

Emmet
 

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I would think that being sharp could be an embochure problem, but mine is quite developed. I do not want to risk pinching trying to get the pitch up.

Thanks,

Emmet
“Quite developed” implies “over-developed” to me - too tight is not a good thing (and will make you go sharp). The saxophone embouchure can be quite relaxed compared to the clarinet and double reeds.

Talk to a saxophone player in person. That is the kind of thing that your jazz camp is all about.
 
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“Quite developed” implies “over-developed” to me - too tight is not a good thing (and will make you go sharp). The saxophone embouchure can be quite relaxed compared to the clarinet and double reeds.

Talk to a saxophone player in person. That is the kind of thing that your jazz camp is all about.
I am always open to critique, but I would say playing loose is something I am quite good at. Quite developed I would interpret as very thought out and worked on, which I have. And I will speak to my instructor this week, thanks for the reminder
 

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Yes, The quite developed embouchure coupled with not knowing how to tell whether the mouthpiece is bottomed out and still flat or just a too-tight fit on the cork to tune properly scream for in-person intervention. Have fun at band camp.
 

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I am always open to critique, but I would say playing loose is something I am quite good at. Quite developed I would interpret as very thought out and worked on, which I have. And I will speak to my instructor this week, thanks for the reminder
Please let us know how it works out. Enjoy the camp!
 
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Ernest Ferron in "The Saxophone is my Voice" gives a chart on how temperature affects pitch which is based upon the speed of sound. He writes that the pitch changes 1 "comma" (23.46 cents) for each 10° F change in temperature which can be interpreted to mean that the pitch changes 2.35 cents for each 1° change in temperature. I found a quick way to warm up my saxophone was to finger low Bb and blow warm into the neck until the bell felt warm to the touch.
 

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'My cork is already quite small, and I won't be able to get it recorked this week'

This is a problem - you have established a contradiction in terms. If the mouthpiece won't go on far enough, the cork is too thick. If the mouthpiece is too loose, the cork is too thin. You say the mouthpiece won't go on far enough and the cork is already quite small - this doesn't add up.
I would love to help you but first you have to give a better explanation of exactly what's happening.
 

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You have stated in another thread that your father is a pro musician/saxophonist/music educator.
Have you asked HIM what he thinks your problem might be?
+1. Emmet, since your description is not very clear--"cork is quite small"??--It's difficult for us to advise you remotely on here without knowing exactly what the problem is, so get someone like your father to have a look. Bottom line, you need to be able to push the mpc in or out to a position where you can play in tune.
 

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Ernest Ferron in "The Saxophone is my Voice" gives a chart on how temperature affects pitch which is based upon the speed of sound. He writes that the pitch changes 1 "comma" (23.46 cents) for each 10° F change in temperature which can be interpreted to mean that the pitch changes 2.35 cents for each 1° change in temperature. I found a quick way to warm up my saxophone was to finger low Bb and blow warm into the neck until the bell felt warm to the touch.
What does he say about adjusting the cork?
 
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