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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I played alto for several years as a young teenager. Now at 50+ I decided that I wanted to play sax again and pulled out the alto. It didn't take but a couple of months to get back to the same level of playing that I was at when a teen. I bought a tenor, had some leaks fixed and other adjustments and am now trying to get to the same level of playing as I am currently at with my Alto.

My problem is that I can usually run up to high F (palm keys) when playing scales, but I can't play a High F when playing music. My set up is a Yamaha YTS 23, Hite Premier mouthpiece, Vandoren Java 2 reeds.

Do I just need to give it some more time? Switch to a different MP maybe with a smaller tip opening until my skills improve? Different reed strength?

Any other ideas?
 

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also, once you have adjusted to the harder reeds, try taking in more mouthpiece. When you go playing higher up you might tend to tighten you embouchure a little bit too much and if you only have a little bit of mouthpiece in your mouth (as so many people do!) and you use too soft reeds, you will choke the reed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Going to a 2.5 from a 2 did it! Thanks, folks! Started learning to play overtones today...Wow! I thought you had to key every note before! Nobody taught overtones in the 1970's; at least not in public school band.
 

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It's interesting to hear your story as mine is very similar and I bet very common amoungst those who post here. I'm in my mid 40s and played alto in the 80s, stopped for 20 years, recently purchased a tenor and restored/repadded it myself. I too am currently working on overtones (about 2 weeks into it) and have only managed a F# in altissimo. So I will be interested to hear how you progress. I'm using Vandoren 2.5's but will probably try a 3 in the hope of helping with the altissimo. My horn is a USA Conn shooting star and I think I have a standard mouthpiece that would have been supplied with it.
 
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