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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings. I have been playing sax for 3 years and my tone has not changed a bit.

What can I do to get rid of a thin tone on alto sax? I use my diaphragm properly.

Is it something with my mouthpiece?

I use a Yamaha 4C. I have learnt that the tip opening is narrow. I use Rico#3 reeds. I plan to switch to Strength#3 Vandoren ZZ reeds , since I have been playing alto sax for a while now.

I want to upgrade to a Meyer 8M.

I would also like to know what strength of reeds would I have to use If I were to upgrade to a Meyer 8M?

I feel like I need to play on a much wider mouthpiece with a wide tip opening to acheive a much improved, brighter sound.

I really want to get rid of this thin boring tone.:|

I want to sound like Phillip Martin, one of my influences on alto sax.

I want to have a warm and clear tone.
 

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What's your practice routine? As many people here will undoubtedly tell you, the setup can help your sound, but it's really up to you if you want to change it. Find a favorite player and emulate them, spend more time on long tones, the list is nearly endless...which makes it seem daunting to many players.
 

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Play tenor. Mayho
 

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I want to upgrade to a Meyer 8M.
Why? Have you ever tried to play an 8M...(or anything even close to an 8M)? I seriously question whether you could handle it.
I've been playing for over 40 years and a Meyer 8M would be way more than I need. Not that I couldn't play it. I just don't need that much mouthpiece. After playing for ONLY three years, I would suggesting looking more in the 5M range if you want to switch to a Meyer.

I feel like I need to play on a much wider mouthpiece with a wide tip opening to acheive a much improved, brighter sound.
This probably comes from having read too many mouthpiece discussions on SOTW without understanding mouthpiece design and missing the fact that very wide tip openings don't work for everyone...especially less experienced players like yourself. You may end up needing a wide tip opening some day, but I would strongly suggest getting there much more gradually. Otherwise, you may end up spending money on a mouthpiece that would make your head explode before you could get a good sound out of it.

Have you discussed any of this with a teacher...private or otherwise? Without watching and hearing you play, it would be impossible to suggest exactly how much mouthpiece you should or would be able to handle...or whether or not the mouthpiece is actually the problem at all.
 

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.......I use a Yamaha 4C. I have learnt that the tip opening is narrow.......I want to upgrade to a Meyer 8M......
Changing to a mouthpiece with a tip opening that is larger is not an "upgrade" - it's just different - not better.
If you want to change over to a Meyer style mouthpiece, I suggest you try a Meyer 5M.

......What can I do to get rid of a thin tone on alto sax? I use my diaphragm properly.
.......I really want to get rid of this thin boring tone.:|
One thing that can help is to open your throat more, *especially* on the upper end of the horn, where the tendency of many younger players is to constrict the throat as they seek to hit the higher notes.
A second thing is to start practicing overtones. Once you can play overtones it will improve your tone, and add more of a "ring" to your sound. Being able to voice notes properly will also allow you to hit higher notes with an open throat, so you can get a bigger sound, as opposed to constricting your throat.

Note that I am someone who uses a large tip opening mouthpiece on the alto sax. My journey towards playing mouthpieces with larger tip openings started when I was in college, and was an attempt on my part to deal with a thin sounding top end of my horn. This helped a little, but was not the best way to go, and a better path would have been for me to learn to play overtones and open my throat more. I recently sat in on a workshop offered by Tim Price (one of the gurus here on SOTW), and he told me that if I had learned to open my throat more I would not have needed to try the larger tip opening mouthpieces.

If there had been an SOTW when I was a teenager, I could have heard about the importance of an open throat and practicing overtones, and thus taken a different and better path with my sound.
 

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Yep, Meyer 4 or 6m. Then long tones.

Truthfully, a wide tip will only darken your tone.
 

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I concur that a Meyer 8 may not be the answer your looking for. When I was starting years ago, the recommendation at 3 years might have been more like a Meyer 5. But what are you wanting to sound like? What music are you playing? Classical saxophonists would point you toward something else. A good private teacher may be very helpful for you right now. He/she would be able to assess the most efficient way for you to improve, and what gear would be in your best interest to check out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My practice routine goes like this: I play some scales, licks and songs. I work on low notes and I play throughout the range of the sax. I really want to get rid ot this tone. I emulate sonny rollins and a bit of John Coltrane but on my alto sax.
 

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Someone here has a metal Meyer 7j for sale on the boards. I'm far from an expert but I bought mine in the early 80's and it's been my sole alto piece. Period. The cat selling it represents it differently than I would as he claims it may not be suitable for rock etc. Personally, I found it both easy to play and a real screamer too. Cuts just fine. The song in my sig is on it. A bit (ok- a lot) sloppy but far from anemic - you want highs? The Meyers are underrated but they deliver.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@JohnGalt: I will this summer at my music school.

I've been playing sax alone for a while.
I was taught by my band director in middle school.
I usually learn by listening to other sax players and playing songs.
 

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first, i would find a competent teacher to help you with any technical problems. Then you should practice longtones, overtones, and learning to bend notes as much as you can in all registers. I've been playing alto for three years as well, and i have just recently taken up tenor. Since January, I've practiced tone exercises such as these for at least 15 minutes every day, and just this week, i've become happy with my tone. When you think about it, 15 minutes every day for six months isn't that much: it works out to roughly 45 hours. probably less. if you do these exercises diligently, then i'm sure you will have a great tone, even on that yamaha 4c. you're already on the right track; you know who you want to sound like. best of luck to you, my fellow 15 year old sax player!
p.s. there's no way i could handle a meyer 8... wow thats big.
 

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My practice routine goes like this: I play some scales, licks and songs. I work on low notes and I play throughout the range of the sax. I really want to get rid ot this tone. I emulate sonny rollins and a bit of John Coltrane but on my alto sax.
Sounds like no one has ever spent any time teaching you about the nuances of embouchure and sound production, and there doesn't seem to be anything in your practice routine that would address those issues. Seriously...I would save your money instead of jumping in with very little knowledge or understanding and buying mouthpieces in the hopes of changing your sound...(which it probably won't until you've spent more time learning about embouchure and tone development). The BEST thing you can do for yourself right now is get with an instructor who can help you with those things. You won't be able to emulate ANYONE until you learn how to get a better sound out of the mouthpiece you're using now...and you CAN do that.
 
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