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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my rental Selmer Bundy II alto for a little over a year now and it was much easier to tune when I was playing with my school band but now that I have been getting back into playing recently and playing by myself I notice that a lot of notes are out of tune, especially my low D and my low Eb is even worse, sometimes middle D is a problem and usually middle Eb is too. I have tried looking at intonation charts and alternate fingerings and they help some but not very much. The mouthpiece I use is a Yamaha 4C, with 3 1/2 Hemke reeds and a Vandoren Optimum ligature. Is it my playing or should I get my saxophone checked?
 

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My guess is that the low C key is not opening enough. It could be a weak spring or a bent guard holding it down. Also, the bell keys, low B and Bb could also not be opening enough. Common issue. Are the notes flat and stuffy?
 

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Well, you certainly don't need alternate fingerings for a Bundy II, these things are known for pretty good intonation.

I would check on what Bruce says, but also would question why a beginner is on #3.5 reeds. Even if the low C key is OK, if you have a small leak and you're having to force the low notes, and you're playing a stiff reed that you don't have the embouchure yet to control, that'll drive all kinds of weird stuff.

Just for a point of reference, I have been playing alto since 1978; I played lead alto for 10 years in a society band where we played 3 and 4 hours at a shot; I have been described as "chops like iron" and "the loudest saxophone player in the county"; and I play a #2.5 reed when I use my Selmer C* mouthpiece which is about the same thing as your Yamaha mouthpiece. I would go get some #2 and #2.5 Vandoren blue box reeds and spend some time with long tones using those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes. Middle Eb and D and low Eb, D and C# are. Low Eb and D are so flat they are almost the next note lower. It seems to kind of get fixed once I get to low C and lower
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean I wouldn't necessarily say I am a beginner. I played tenor for about 2 years and Alto for another 2. I usually played on 2.5/3 vandoren reeds but I decided to try something new and kind of have been regretting it but even before I used those reeds this was an issue
 

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You might try pushing your mouthpiece on farther and then adjusting your high notes flat with your embouchure.
 

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Can you post a picture showing how much the low C key is normally open? It probably should be about 9mm from the pad to the rim of the hole at the front (greatest opening). Naturally the guard gets in the way of measuring.
 

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You may want to get it checked out. Many rentals are not maintained at a very high level, the techs that work on them are often expected to focus more on quantity than quality.
You never said how your instrument was out of tune, sharp or flat, just that it was out of tune.
 

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You may want to get it checked out. Many rentals are not maintained at a very high level, the techs that work on them are often expected to focus more on quantity than quality.
You never said how your instrument was out of tune, sharp or flat, just that it was out of tune.
'Yes. Middle Eb and D and low Eb, D and C# are. Low Eb and D are so flat they are almost the next note lower. It seems to kind of get fixed once I get to low C and lower'
 

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Does sound like the instrument may be set up with poor venting, if you remove the low c key felt are the Eb D still flat. The c# wouldn't be affected by the low C but if the entire actin is set up low, that may. The other thing is that if there any leaks you end up dropping your jaw to play through them, and that will have you playing flat. But you really need to get the horn to a decent tech, as rental instruments are often not in the best state of adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I ended up getting some new reeds and that helped a little and I have also been noticing that middle A is flat and middle B and C are both sharp. In the end I have decided I will get it looked at. Thanks for the help
 
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