Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have real intonation problem on both middle/high B (more than 10% flat) up to middle/high C#/Db.(30% flat).

Get a steady Db on the naked mouthpiece and really pay attention to my embouchure (though I would not say it is OK). The low range, middle C up to high A/Ab are OK as well as high D (D3 - palm key) - i.e less than 10%. Seems like I have a very specific issue for these notes.

The really annoying thing is going from C#/Db to upper notes. Really a huge gap. I found that using alternate fingering for C#/Db affects the tone but not the tuning.

Something wrong with the sax ? Is it me ?
Also: my schedule only allow me short practise sessions (10-20 min). Can be a sort of sax warm-up problem ?

My set-up :
Selmer SA80 serie II / HR otto-link 6* with 21/2 - 3 reeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
I used to have exactly the same problem on my tenor. Being human I (of course) blamed the instrument, until I found I had exactly the same problem on a couple of other tenors I tried.....

The solution? I pushed the mouthpiece in until the notes that were playing flat were in tune (actually until the middle of the staff B flat was in tune with an octave harmonic played with low B flat fingering). I then used a more relaxed embouchure / throat to get the other notes down to pitch. It only took a few days to get used to, and useful byproducts have been better tone (although not initially) and also better low volume control. I also now find that I'm taking in more mouthpiece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input.

I did some more work on intonation these days - also checking C/D overtones. Tweaking mouthpiece location helped indeed. It's getting sharper here and here but I did manage to reduce the gaps. I also noticed that overall tuning is better and more stable after 20/30 min playing - dunno if it has to do with sax warm-up or my embouchure btw.

I still have a problem with middle C# that remains really flat though :(
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,336 Posts
If the keys on the upper stack are not opening enough to sufficiently to vent the B, C, and C# these notes can be flat. Have a competent saxophone tech check the key heights if you are not sure.

Middle C# tends to be slightly flat on some saxes. Adding the middle side key often brings up the pitch. Also on slow passages the low C# fingering can be used with the octave key. On some instruments raising the LH first finger when using this fingering helps the timbre and voicing as well.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really feel this note is kinda "de-pitched" (well ... not only feel : measured >30%). Indeed the low C# played with octave key (and C# overone with low C# fingering) are definitely sharper than the opened fingering whilst C is OK.

Breath support .... mmmh ... I will probably NOT ignore this possibility. Will practice and try to breath more "through" this tone. It may helps for a better tone as well (though my concern is more the lack of resistance than the tone itself - appart from he intonation problem - guess all saxophonists have to live with that on opened C#).

Anyway I plan to have sax course in a near future. I will have this issue checked out then and will see if some tech maintenance is required.

Thanks for the help.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top