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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys learning Sax here and loving it..anyways I was just wondering how to I get that nice kinda ducky sax sound,im getting the sound I like in the lower register...but in the higher register the notes sound to clean for my liking..dont have that nice quack to em... Im playing on an Alto..using a yamaha 4c mouth piece 2.5 rico royals reeds...is it the mouth piece/reed im using...or Is it an embouchure problem...cheers guys for any help
 

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Ducky sound?!? I'm not sure what that means on an alto. I can get my low notes (low c and below) to quack, but I try not to. Personally I am trying for a pure clean round tone to each note throughout the full range of the horn. Notes from the bottom to the top of the range should have the same basic timbre; for example, your low B, middle B, and high B should all sound the same (just in a different octave). Long tones and overtones will help with this. You don't say how long you have been playing, so my guess based on the fact that there is nothing inherently wrong with a 4c and rico royal 2.5's (it's what I started on), that it is your undeveloped embouchure.
 

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Here you go Flying Goose Reeds

Oh wait, you said that ducky sound. Never mind.

Seriously do not buy these reeds unless:

1. You really do want to sound like a goose.
2. You've always wondered what a reed without a "heart" sounds like.
3. You intend to make a comedy "party record" of your playing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yeah by ducky sound I Just mean that nice buzz to the tone you hear on alot of smooth jazz recordings ,lol I dont really know how to describe the sound properly.......yeah i only been playing about 3 months and yeah I can get the sound I like from the low C downwards but when i move up the octave it just sounds way to clean for me...but the clean tones are what I should be going for?? Buzz is bad???
thanks for input guys
 

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Baby steps. How long have you been playing? If you haven't been playing for very long, first you need to strive for nice, full, well-supported open/clean sound in all registers. Keep the embouchure relaxed, yet firm and do not bite. Once you're able to do this without thinking about it, then you can explore mpc/reed combos that will get you in the direction you're wanting to go.
 

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Hopefully what you are looking for is body in the sound as opposed to a thin tone. Continue working on embouchure and tone production fundamentals with long-tones. There are plenty of threads you can search on the forum with great advice on embouchure, breath support, and tone production in general.

One of the most important things you should be doing, however, is working to build a concept of the tone you are really looking to achieve by listening to great players. Don't limit your perspective on alto sound to simply the smooth jazz players. Do your homework by listening to masters like Cannonball Adderly, Charlie Parker, Art Pepper, Jackie McLean, Paul Desmond, Johnny Hodges, Kenny Garrett, etc. I guarantee you that any of the truly accomplished smooth jazz sax players have built their tonal concepts by listening to the masters first, then developing their personal sound through their influences.

Randy
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yeah I have a few Adderly cd's and like garret to,I been listening to lots of David Sanborn and loved his sound thats the sound I wanted..but wow I just listened to Paul Desmond.....such a beautiful tone...would love a sound like that also
 

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I think what you might be describing is a Dukoff mouthpiece sort of tone.

The Yamaha 4C is a good mouthpiece but it's also darker than something like a Dukoff and the 4C has a small tip opening and larger tip openings are good for being able to push into higher dynamic levels but beginners might have trouble with larger tip openings so maybe a Dukoff D5 or D6 might suit you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
im still no clued on the numbers?? is the higher the number the brighter the sound??? im still at the stage deciding what I want to play also...Im thinking of buying a tenor...but I dunno..Ill hear something great on tenor and be like wow.....I want to play Tenor..but then Ill hear something great on alto and be like wow Ill stick with alto! so I just dunno what to do with myself yet...bahaha
 

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im still no clued on the numbers?? is the higher the number the brighter the sound??? im still at the stage deciding what I want to play also...Im thinking of buying a tenor...but I dunno..Ill hear something great on tenor and be like wow.....I want to play Tenor..but then Ill hear something great on alto and be like wow Ill stick with alto! so I just dunno what to do with myself yet...bahaha
Higher numbers, like with a Yamaha 4c or 5c, the number relates to the size of the tip opening (higher number = larger gap). Typically for beginners, smaller/lower is better because it's easier to play. Larger tips make note/pitch bending easier (which can be awful if you're new), are generally louder, and usually require softer reeds (unless it's a high baffled, small chambered piece like a Dukoff D).
 
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