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Discussion Starter #1
I have a alto sax and I have been playing for about more than a year now my high notes sound very thin . I wanted to know if it is a problem with my blowing or the mouth piece. I currently have a yamaha 4c will it help if I upgrade to slemer c* mouthpiece.
Any inputs?
 

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RS: It could be any number of factors. I'd suggest exploring different reeds - both in strength and brand before getting into mouthpieces.

You may even want to try a synthetic Fibracell in various strengths. I've found those reeds to be much harder than comparable cane reeds, but they also have a very strong sound beyond their strength.

As far as mouthpieces go, everyone is different. One person may do better on a C* while another may not. You may want to go to a store with a good selection and try a bunch. DAVE
 

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Thanks Dave, I have tried out different reeds. I have tried fibracell 2.5 and Legere studio cut 2.5 infact it becomes even worser with these. Vandoren 2.5 (blue box) is slightly better.
Does this mean that I have to try strength 3 now. I am not sure may be my emboucher is strong enough for 3 now not sure though ...

Other than this thin high notes I am pretty satisfied with yamaha 4c mouthpiece.
 

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Try softer reeds. And, with Fibracells, try REALLY softer reeds.

Embouchure strength shouldn't be rated by the strength of a reed. Rather, the mouthpiece should be rated by the strength of the reed - some pieces require certain reed-strengths - and you'll know it when you find the right combination. True, one's embouchure must be developed but one should never compare their embouchure to another's. Some folks view their reed strength as some sort of test of manliness - and that's just wrong (not that you are doing so, but it is a common saxophone myth).

The latest Fibracells are rated by numerical strength rather than a word (1 1/2 vs. SOFT). The new 1 1/2's work great for me on closer-tipped mouthpieces. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I read somewhere that it is difficult to switch back to cane once a person gets used to synthetic reed. Is this true?

Coming back to softer reeds I did try legere which is very soft indeed but it did not improve infact I find it difficult controlling softer reeds. Thats the reason I thought I may need to move half step higher to 3 from 2.5
 

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rs1026 said:
I read somewhere that it is difficult to switch back to cane once a person gets used to synthetic reed. Is this true?

Coming back to softer reeds I did try legere which is very soft indeed but it did not improve infact I find it difficult controlling softer reeds. Thats the reason I thought I may need to move half step higher to 3 from 2.5
I haven't had any such difficulty.

Now I must state that I utilize cane 95% of the time, but do have synthetic backups and use them from time to time without adverse issues.
 

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rs1026, are you getting private lessons on the saxophone? If so, since your instructor can actually see you play, what does he say about this?

I read in one of your other threads that someone suggested just practicing for a while before you switch mouthpieces. I think this is a good suggestion - 1 year is not really that long of a time to establish your technique.

Also: you mentioned that that your high notes sound thin. How high are these notes? Are you describing the notes above high C# (the ones where you press the upper keys with your left palm)? Also, are these high notes in tune? (do you have a digital tuner?) If your high notes above C# are in tune, that's not such a bad place to be in after playing the sax for one year, even if they do sound thin.
 

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have you tried playing long tones on high notes?
 

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rs1026 said:
I read somewhere that it is difficult to switch back to cane once a person gets used to synthetic reed. Is this true?
No. In fact you may end up running back to cane...
 

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are you perhaps tightening too much up high? try keeping your throat open, and your jaw relatively loose. you might be trying to compensating for flat notes up there by tightening up, when really you should be pushing in the mouthpiece further and keeping a looser embouchure. I'd have a teacher play your horn+mouthpiece and see if they have trouble up there.

That said, I think most players have thin high notes after 1 year. It's certainly not uncommon.
 
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