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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This problem is getting more and more frustrating... No matter how much I practice, I keep squealing in the upper part of my range. I just had my horn checked at the shop a few months ago, and just got my Meyer back after having it refinished. I'm using RJS3M's and my teacher says the reeds aren't the problem... Pretty sure its an embouchure/voicing issue and I'm totally perplexed. With experimentation, I've found that if I pitch my voice lower, I won't squeak going up to a high C, I also have found that if I roll my embouchure in a little, my tone seems to sound better and the squealing and chirping subsides, but it HURTS ALOT. I suppose it probably hurts because I've been practicing a lot lately. Over the past few weeks, I've been doing 4 hours a day outside of rehearsals and classes and since this week is spring break, I've bumped it up to 6-8 hours of practice a day. Any suggestions? help!
 

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I'm by no means an expert but I remember having the opposite problem when I started out, I would squeak low. What I did is hard to explain but I tightened my stomach muscles and came from my diaphram. I feel going high in the registry is the opposite; blow light and open, almost effortlessly. Think about singing ( even just joke singing in the car) when you go low you go from your diaphram and flex more. Going high you relax and almost push less air and effort. What type of horn, reed and mouthpiece are you playing on? I feel like even if you had that horn checked out it sounds like it could be a leak to me. One other thing you can try is take a crisp dollar bill put it between all your pads and opening, close them and then pull the dollar bill out. Finally, make sure none of your keys are sticking causing your octive to fall closed when it shouldn't. Finally, some might disagree with me, but cut this six to eight hours a day practicing gig, especially if youre frustrated. Youre going to burn yourself out. This should be fun and no wonder your mouth/jaw hurts. Sorry for the long winded post. Good luck!

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm playing a Yani 991 alto with a Meyer hard rubber 7 and Rico Jazz Select 3 mediums. I had the side rails perfected, the tip opening widened to a 7, (used to be a 6) and had the table perfected. Before getting it refinished, my mouthpiece was supposedly warped. Also, what's weird is I don't have a squeaking problem on my classical set up nor on my soprano. I've also had my teacher and several of my peers play on my horn and they didn't have any squeaking problems. :-(
 

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Maybe give a Rico Royal 2 or 2.5 a shot. Also could try a fibracel synthetic they're "squeekproof." Have you tried another mouthpiece on your horn? If so same result? If not, maybe that mouthpiece just doesn't jive with you.

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I'm playing a Yani 991 alto with a Meyer hard rubber 7 and Rico Jazz Select 3 mediums. I had the side rails perfected, the tip opening widened to a 7, (used to be a 6) and had the table perfected. Before getting it refinished, my mouthpiece was supposedly warped. Also, what's weird is I don't have a squeaking problem on my classical set up nor on my soprano. I've also had my teacher and several of my peers play on my horn and they didn't have any squeaking problems. :-(
Has anyone else played that mouthpiece since you got it back? What did they experience?
 

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Maybe give a Rico Royal 2 or 2.5 a shot. Also could try a fibracel synthetic they're "squeekproof." Have you tried another mouthpiece on your horn? If so same result? If not, maybe that mouthpiece just doesn't jive with you.

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Fibracell's aren't squeakproof. I found out the hard way on an extended encore solo at the end of the closing of a show. I really had to back off to survive. After the show, I never figured out why it happened, I checked the piece, changed pieces, played around with my emboucher for a couple of weeks and couldn't get it to re-occur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah, my teacher and a couple of my peers played on the mp and didn't have any problems, but then I borrowed a friend's mp that had a larger tip opening and it didn't squeak... weird, huh?
 

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Yes, and a high baffle...especially near the tip makes for a mouthpiece that can easily get away from a player. Assuming the piece is correct I would still bet your pinching it off a bit, especially since you just had it opened.
 

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Sounds like you might be biting on the upper register...closing off the tip and increasing airflow at the same time is a recipe for disaster.
Yes. I think you're probably trying too hard. Watch the following video a few times (esp from about 3'00")and smoke some good stuff while doing so. (The last part is optional, of course).

 

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Sounds like you might be biting on the upper register...closing off the tip and increasing airflow at the same time is a recipe for disaster.
Pretty sure this is the most common reason for Sax players to squeak. I used to have this problem if I was playing in front of a lot of people and got nervous.
 

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With my students I always check to see if they are taking in enough of the mouthpiece. Your teeth should be above the place where the reed connects. Out on the tip and you close the mouthpiece down by compressing the reed and if you are pass the point you lose control. Next, get out the tuner. Practice long tones, slow scales and intervals until you can play your entire range in tune with good sound. Then add a repeated tonguing exercise and listen carefully so your pitch and tone don't change as you tongue. Fix these three things. When I did for my teacher in 1976 and when all of my students did, squeaking stopped. Sometimes you have to do these exercises on each mouthpiece you play on. And every horn. ( Dukoff and tenor sax was always a issue for me; chirp chirp! )
 
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