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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am using the set-up in my sig.

I have extreme difficulty producing a good tone (at any volume) on my low B and Bb

I do not know if it is a pad leak or if i need to lighten up on reeds or what, but it is killing me at the moment (I am just glad that those notes are rarely written in grade 4's and 5's).

I have tried lowering my jaw, shaping my oral cavity...etc even minute embouchure adjustments, but nothing seems to work.

any help would make me eternally grateful.

also, when i played with a Rico 2 on a YTS 82Zsilver, i could hit low Bb as easy as an octave above :line6:
 

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If you are absolutely sure that there are no leaking pads on your sax I would suggest that you drop back at least 1/2 in reed strength to see if it helps those notes to speak.
Backing off by just 1/2 shouldn't take away from the 'fullness' of your tone.
 

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Make sure the horn is leak free. Then, start learning about adjusting reeds-balancing, lengthening. The reason you could play the low notes on a softer reed is simple-its easier to play low notes on a softer reed. Learn to make a harder reed play like a softer reed by adjusing your reeds. For making reeds easier to play without losing tone quality-keep the heart, lose the bark.
 

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I play a YAS 875EX with an AL3, and I used to use 3 1/2 blue box reeds. I used to have the exact same problem. Down to lox D was no problem. After that, it got harder to play them below a mezzo-forte. I went down to a 3, and all of those problems disappeared. I would highly recommend, and would like to reiterate what bandmommy said, that you back off 1/2 a strength.
 

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It's very difficult to play low with a harder reed like 3.5 unless it's broken in and significantly adjusted along the lower part of the rails (closer to the vamp than the tip).

Agree on working the octaves, but try to get the low notes without dropping the jaw. Try to make the transitions using your throat and airstream. If you start lipping down those low notes it's easy to play under pitch. You want to keep things as consistent as you can when playing throughout the normal range of the horn. Excess manipulation of embouchure is not a good thing.

Shawn
 

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I'm giving away trade secrets, but oh well. A quick test to check whether your sax is airtight is to finger low Bb and then try "popping" the left hand stack keys one at a time and see which one makes the best "pop". Do that and listen to the sound. I even like to take the mouthpiece off and put the end of the neck up to my ear like a stethoscope. If the sound has a nice ring to it like a small drum being struck, your sax is airtight. If the sound is a dull "thud" with no reverberation or ring, it means there is a leak somewhere in the air column.

It is also easy to make a leaklight to check that way as well. I concur with those who advise not playing on a reed that is too stiff in order to get the lowest notes to respond at softer dynamic levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for your help. I will definitely check for leaks (as I am sure that i do have at least one) and when i order my next box of reeds from wwbw i wll drop down to the size 3. Basically everything that you all have said is what i assumed was the problem. Thank you all again very much, and if any of you have a ce winds gold genesis alto mp in a size 7 or 8 for sale, please let me know.

God bless!
 

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Thank you all for your help. I will definitely check for leaks (as I am sure that i do have at least one) and when i order my next box of reeds from wwbw i wll drop down to the size 3.
I would try 2.5 also
 

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One of my non-leak light tests is to put plastic wrap over the bell with a rubber band. Take the mouthpiece off and suck on the neck while fingering low Bb (all pads closed). If you can't hold the pads down with suction (or pop the plastic wrap), you have a leak. Finding it is another matter. It could be in the neck joint or octave pips, in which case pressing harder on the keys doesn't effect the seal. It can also be that one pad not holding with you release it under suction is an indication of a spring that's too stiff in addition to a leak.

When you find something that isn't sealing, don't assume that you have located the problem. Sometimes low note issues are cumulative. A tiny leak at the neck cork, a tiny leak at the octave pip, a tiny leak at low D, and finally you have a problem you can't compensate for by the time you get to B and Bb.

The low note oral cavity contortion that I like best is to play C on down imagining a big spoonful of syrup under your tongue. Or try a different mouthpiece just for jollies.

Mark
 

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Leaks can be part of the problem as others have mentioned.

What I recently discovered as well is that if a player has something in the bell to reduce volume a bit when practicing just say, then the lower notes will be harder or even impossible to produce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I tried the plastic wrap test i am fairly certain that i have a leak (or three) in my left hand keys. I could hold everything down but as soon as I let one of those three go (any of them) the whole horn would un-suction. I am going to take it to a shop soon and get it fixed. Thank you again for your help.

also, part of what made me suspicious of a leak in the first place is that Yamaha YAS 62ii saxes are supposed to be greatly intonate-d and yet all of my mid range notes have been out of tune without using vent keys. SO hopefully by fixing any leaks in that area of he horn, the intonation should be helped
 
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