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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I'm a new user on the forums and not really sure if this was the right place to post this. But I was hoping this community could help me with a bari sax problem

So this will be my 3rd year playing saxophone and in Jazz I was recommend to switch as our old baritone saxophone left the school so I was next up to try and play it

On with the problem I started and at first I couldn't play any note later I learned I have to loosen my embouchure and got the hang of it. However, I cannot start on any note higher than an Octive key B (B5) yet if I start any where else I can go up to my high F (F5) and I have the same problem starting below my low B and cannot play low A ( still can't use enough air) and my Bb is off I use a generic Yamaha 5C mouth piece and vandorean blue box original size 3 reeds.

Anyone know if this could be a leak or any idea where to start looking?
My directors seem to have not found anything yet there is a problem with it


P.S sorry I cannot present instrument model/ info as I'm not sure and do not wish to give out wrong information

Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
41,410 Posts

This looks the proper space to discuss such thing.

Leaks are most of the time where any tone production problem starts but you are also a beginner on the baritone and starting on Low Bb or A on any saxophones would be difficult, let alone a baritone.

I am not sure how good is your band director in identifying leaks on a baritone. They can be in places where it is very difficult to insert a leak light and difficult to spot even for an expert.

411 Posts
Seems to me that a visit to a tech would be a good idea.
And you should try asking another bari player to try the sax, and see if they have problems too.
The bottom notes on a bari need a lot of air and support, but in my experience, the high notes are fairly easy.

Distinguished SOTW Member
8,275 Posts
An older school baritone sax almost certainly needs a trip to the shop. It could have multiple problems from neglect and abuse. Also, the problem could be a damaged mouthpiece, bad reed, bad neck cork or bad neck fit to the sax. Really, a good sax player should take a look at it to see if they can identify the problems.

6,614 Posts
Honestly, the things you describe sound exactly like what someone playing the baritone sax for the first time would experience. Of course it's possible, nay probable, that there are some leaks somewhere, but the upper register difficulty is standard behavior, and will sort itself with practice. The low note issues might be leak related, but your statement "still can't use enough air" implies to me that air supply is involved.

I urge you to constantly keep in mind the concept of "blowing through" the horn. This is really critical with baritone and bass sax. You need to do lots of tone building practice when you first start with the baritone. This will be somewhat frustrating as progress is necessarily slow and you'll sound like poop at first. But if you persevere your sound quality and control, especially at the ends of the horn, will improve.

I have written several times about my own tone building exercises and I don't want to re-type them here; you can find them if you search the site, I'm sure; I have read others' postings on the subject and I think that if you follow the advice of any of the experienced players and teachers on this site you'll be doing well.
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