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Low note problem

1718 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  crescent
I have been playing the alto for nine months and can get good low notes (below low D) to sound quite nicely - except that recently every time I tongue a low C or lower, it sounds for a split second an octave higher, then falls to the correct note. If it is a short note it hardly has time to sound correctly before I'm moving on. If I am running down the scale with tied notes they sound fine (at least, they are on the correct pitch!).

I have tried to change my embouchure and air supply, and different reeds, but can't cure it.

Any ideas?
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For low notes, I was taught to take less reed. This helps to control the vibration of the reed else you get splits and rough tone. You also need lots of good steady air. I learned this from a Joe Allard disciple.

Depending on your musical taste, you may benefit from a different mouthpiece and reed combination. Longer facings favor low notes. A short facing increases the speed of repsonse overall but may cause low notes to break up. Take care that your reed is not too hard.

Good equipment helps, but more important is the way you play. The overtone series exercise promoted by Dave Leibman and others will help you a lot.

Enjoy your playing!
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