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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I consider myself an experienced hack, not a pro but not a beginner.
Over the last 30 years I have been chasing "the tone" and trying to extend my range on the tenor. After much silliness and cash spent I have settled on a Yamaha Custom Z series II tenor with a V1 neck, 10Mfan black widow 8* and Legere signature 3.0 reed. After listening to Dexter Gordon a fair bit I have altered my embouchure to a 'lip out' rather than 'lip in' approach which has fattened things up nicely.
BUT! My intonation has gone out the window. I have been plugging away for about 6 months on long notes and practicing with a tuner, but once I start playing in a band situation it all goes to custard, particularly going from Middle D to upper G and then high C#/D are shockers. My middle C is so out I have to use the alternate fingering as a tuning note. Everything lower than middle C seems fine.
I am pretty confident the problem lies with me and my relationship with the V1 neck; chopping and changing with my purple logo 62 neck/body causes the same problem.
I know the V1 neck can be a bit of a challenge to control, but I really dig the tone.
So, please, any tips or exercises to improve intonation would be most welcome. I get I need to put the hours in, but some direction would be appreciated. Or should I just admit defeat?
 

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Funny, when I saw this thread I thought it said MKVI tuning woes, which frankly would have made more sense.
Yamaha and tuning issues doesn’t really compute for me.
I feel like it may be too many changes at the one time.
Different embouschure, coupled with different neck and possibly a reed style or change also?
 

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there are threads on Yamaha necks and their ( supposed or personally dependent) intonation quirks ,

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?313034-A-Tale-of-2-Necks-amp-1-Yamaha-82Z-tenor
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?192039-G1-necks-intonation-problems

there is already one thread on these specific neck V1.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?163728-Who-has-the-Yamaha-V1-Neck

It's the best classical neck for yamaha. It does add more depth to the tone, and the intonation is alil better. I love the centered feeling too. Try a couple. every neck is different.

So, one finds it the best thing after the invention of hot cakes and the other one finds it a difficult thing to master.

Personally I found that most of the times intonation quirks are player induced, very often because players insist playing with a set up too big for them or on the other end of the spectrum too soft a reed.

Anyway, if one offsets the large numbers without any problem on a Yamaha neck (whichever) and the few with a problem there has to be some personal element.

Incidentally B flat, it is Embouchure without an S :whistle::cheers:
 

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there are threads on Yamaha necks and their ( supposed or personally dependent) intonation quirks ,

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?313034-A-Tale-of-2-Necks-amp-1-Yamaha-82Z-tenor
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?192039-G1-necks-intonation-problems

there is already one thread on these specific neck V1.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?163728-Who-has-the-Yamaha-V1-Neck




So, one finds it the best thing after the invention of hot cakes and the other one finds it a difficult thing to master.

Personally I found that most of the times intonation quirks are player induced, very often because players insist playing with a set up too big for them or on the other end of the spectrum too soft a reed.

Anyway, if one offsets the large numbers without any problem on a Yamaha neck (whichever) and the few with a problem there has to be some personal element.

Incidentally B flat, it is Embouchure without an S :whistle::cheers:
You are correct.
But I am going to blame auto correct in this instance.
I personally forgot how to spell it and rather than look it up, I relied on the suggested spelling.
That will teach me.
 

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I make lots of spelling mistakes (in any language), I blame my typing skills :) ( well, I could blame other things too!) :)
 

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I made a serious spelling mistake many years ago in my very first job as an engraver.
I misspelt the name of a local town.
The name is Warrnambool, but I spelt it with only one r.
My boss specifically asked me to check the spelling, but I thought that as the text had come from the Mayor of Warrnambool himself, that it must be correct.
There were some 200 plates to be engraved.
Luckily my boss picked up the error around plate number 140.
That mistake cost me quite a few hours in unpaid overtime and embarrassment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Funny, when I saw this thread I thought it said MKVI tuning woes, which frankly would have made more sense.
Yamaha and tuning issues doesn’t really compute for me.
I feel like it may be too many changes at the one time.
Different embouschure, coupled with different neck and possibly a reed style or change also?
Yeah that's why I chose a modern horn haha. The changes have been gradual but perhaps I'm being too impatient. My 10m seems easier to keep in tune but I can't hit the altissimo notes with authority (yep I know lots of discussion on that topic). Thanks anyway.
 

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Ultimately I sold my 82z because of the challenges in the palm keys. I tamed it with an E1 neck. I never tried the V1. However the guy that bought it is a pro and loves it with the V1. I also play a Black Widow as my main piece, but in a 8. I also use a Legere Sig but in a 2.75. When I saw your set up my first thought was that was one that would take a lot of control.

I think I could have gotten used to the 82z but played too many other horns and didn't work on it. I would say to stick with it.
 

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...I have altered my embouchure to a 'lip out' rather than 'lip in' approach which has fattened things up nicely.
BUT! My intonation has gone out the window.
Is there a direct correlation between changing your embouchure and your intonation going out the window? IOW, did the intonation issues start when you decided to shove your lip out? If so, I'd make some adjustments in that area. It's possible to make too big a change when altering your embouchure one way or the other.

I realize (almost) everyone on here touts the 'lip out' embouchure, but sometimes you can go to an extreme and lose control over your sound or intonation. I wouldn't put Dexter's fantastic tone quality down exclusively to where his lip is. And it's hard to judge exactly how far out anyone is pushing their lip from a photo. There are many other factors to achieving a fat, rich tone than simply how far in or out you push your lower lip (air support, posture, how tight or loose your embouchure is, etc). Try tucking that lip back in a bit and see if you gain better control over the intonation.

What do you mean about the MKVI neck being difficult to control? I have a VI tenor and I haven't noticed the neck causing any difficulty in control. Quite the opposite, if anything. It seems to provide just the right amount of good resistance. Maybe it's not a good match for the Yamaha? But I don't know anything about the 'pairing' of different necks to a Yamaha, so can't really speak to that. Still, I'm kind of skeptical in terms of blaming the neck for your intonation issue.
 

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In my experience, a Yamaha Z with either the G3 or V1 neck is a solid combination for good intonation. I suspect your issues might be stemming from playing a mouthpiece with too large a tip opening and too much baffle for your stage of development. Most pros that I gig with don't even play on 8* tips. You would probably get great results from something like a hard rubber Vandoren V16 T6.
 

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I suspect your issues might be stemming from playing a mouthpiece with too large a tip opening and too much baffle for your stage of development.
I kind of doubt this is an equipment issue. I have the same mpc in a 9 tip and it plays very well in tune. You may have a point if the OP was a beginner but with 30 years of experience, I'm pretty sure that 10MFan mpc would be very 'user-friendly' for him. Also, he says he changed his embouchure recently, pushing his lip out. If he took that too far, it could definitely have an effect on intonation.
 

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I kind of doubt this is an equipment issue. I have the same mpc in a 9 tip and it plays very well in tune. You may have a point if the OP was a beginner but with 30 years of experience, I'm pretty sure that 10MFan mpc would be very 'user-friendly' for him. Also, he says he changed his embouchure recently, pushing his lip out. If he took that too far, it could definitely have an effect on intonation.
30 years experience is relevant if the OP has had lessons in which the fundamentals were learned. Otherwise, there may be 30 years of undiagnosed bad habits. I'm still betting his intonation is off because he's having trouble controlling the tip size and reed combo. The V1 neck (which is a Yamaha neck, not a Mark VI neck) on the Z is not the issue.

OP, have a pro test out your horn to see if there is something going on. Good luck!
 

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I'm still betting his intonation is off because he's having trouble controlling the tip size and reed combo. The V1 neck (which is a Yamaha neck, not a Mark VI neck) on the Z is not the issue.
I agree it's not the neck. And it certainly could be that a #3 Legere is too hard which might cause intonation issues. I doubt very much it's the mpc, though (except maybe in relation to a reed that is too hard). You're right that bad habits could be ingrained, but that again would be more of an embouchure issue. And now he seems to have changed his embouchure, then suddenly noticed intonation problems, which suggests a correlation there. But he hasn't answered my question on that yet, so hard to say.
 

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Yeah, I'm not saying there is a problem or defect with his mouthpiece, just that for most amateurs, in my experience, an 8* is too big.

Again, have a pro player test the horn and see if they have any intonation issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is there a direct correlation between changing your embouchure and your intonation going out the window? IOW, did the intonation issues start when you decided to shove your lip out? If so, I'd make some adjustments in that area. It's possible to make too big a change when altering your embouchure one way or the other.

I realize (almost) everyone on here touts the 'lip out' embouchure, but sometimes you can go to an extreme and lose control over your sound or intonation. I wouldn't put Dexter's fantastic tone quality down exclusively to where his lip is. And it's hard to judge exactly how far out anyone is pushing their lip from a photo. There are many other factors to achieving a fat, rich tone than simply how far in or out you push your lower lip (air support, posture, how tight or loose your embouchure is, etc). Try tucking that lip back in a bit and see if you gain better control over the intonation.

What do you mean about the MKVI neck being difficult to control? I have a VI tenor and I haven't noticed the neck causing any difficulty in control. Quite the opposite, if anything. It seems to provide just the right amount of good resistance. Maybe it's not a good match for the Yamaha? But I don't know anything about the 'pairing' of different necks to a Yamaha, so can't really speak to that. Still, I'm kind of skeptical in terms of blaming the neck for your intonation issue.
Thank you for your thoughts JL. I read a lot on this forum about different Yamaha necks before purchasing the Z. It has been my limited experience that necks with less resistance can be harder to control the tone, requiring a very solid airstream to shape and hold the tone. The V1 neck seems much more open compared to the selmers I have played (Mk VI/series II /Ref 54) and my purple logo 62. I wasn't blaming the neck, but rather acknowledging that my experience and that of others is that it can be harder to control. The trade off of course is a glorious fat tone and easier altissimo (for me).

I appreciate your thoughts on Dexter's lip, will take that on board.

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I'm not saying there is a problem or defect with his mouthpiece, just that for most amateurs, in my experience, an 8* is too big.

Again, have a pro player test the horn and see if they have any intonation issues.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am definitely an amateur player (certainly don't make any money out of it) and I suppose the point of this thread was to ask the pros out there the most effective way I can develop my technique to manage the demands of a free-blowing neck in regards to maintaining my intonation.

I started out playing on a metal Berg 110 and have sort of stuck around the 8-8* size mouthpiece since then. My experiences with smaller tips have been very unsatisfying in regards to tone and volume. I hear what you say about 30 years of bad habits; guilty on all counts but trying hard to rehabilitate myself. I don't think there is anything wrong with my horn, but will get someone to play test it just the same. I will also try dropping my reed strength for a while and see if that helps.

PS: the 10MFan Black Widow is hands down the best mouthpiece I have played on. Definitely nothing wrong there!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks saxcop. I love the horn; I really think the neck is the key; putting my purple logo neck on it results in a loss of upper end fatness (is that a word?). I think it is just a case of not getting anything for free; you pay for the tone with the need for more control. I was playing with a Legere sig 2.75 so might try dropping back for a while to see if it helps. cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
there are threads on Yamaha necks and their ( supposed or personally dependent) intonation quirks ,

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?313034-A-Tale-of-2-Necks-amp-1-Yamaha-82Z-tenor
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?192039-G1-necks-intonation-problems

there is already one thread on these specific neck V1.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?163728-Who-has-the-Yamaha-V1-Neck




So, one finds it the best thing after the invention of hot cakes and the other one finds it a difficult thing to master.

Personally I found that most of the times intonation quirks are player induced, very often because players insist playing with a set up too big for them or on the other end of the spectrum too soft a reed.

Anyway, if one offsets the large numbers without any problem on a Yamaha neck (whichever) and the few with a problem there has to be some personal element.


Thanks Milandro, I always enjoy reading your posts. I have taken on board the kind advice from yourself and others and dropped back from a 3 to a 2.75 reed. It has certainly made things a lot easier to control in the normal register but my altissimo range has taken a hit. I was clearly relying on the harder reed to force out the altissimo; bad habit. Back to the practice room.
Cheers
 

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Cheers Kenny! :) good luck!
 

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It has been my limited experience that necks with less resistance can be harder to control the tone, requiring a very solid airstream to shape and hold the tone. The V1 neck seems much more open compared to the selmers I have played (Mk VI/series II /Ref 54) and my purple logo 62.
edit: I erased all that stuff I said about the VI (MKVI) neck when I finally realized you were talking about a V1 (Yamaha) neck. Now what you said about the necks makes more sense to me.

Finally, a bit off the main topic, but I also have a BW mpc and I've tried Legeres on it. They play easily enough, but I much prefer Rigotti Gold reeds on it. The Rigottis have a much richer tone quality and more 'tonal flexibility'. I'd suggest giving them a try. For the 8* tip, a 3 light Rigotti would be a good match.
 
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