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hey guys, its been about 6 years or so since i last played sax which was an alto in gradeschool band. i've just recently renewed my interest in saxophone and bought a tenor and surprisingly my embouchure is pretty decent after not playing for so long. i might be asking for help prematurely because its only been a couple hours since i have started playing again. i have a problem with getting the low D to cooperate with me, i dont know if its just me or my embouchure, but i can play from low A# B C# just fine but when i try low D it kind of sputters the low D or just goes to the high D. i dont know if there's a leak or anything, or if its just me and that i need to keep practicing my embouchure. here's my setup if it helps.

YTS-23
Selmer LT mouthpiece
Vandoren #3
 

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if its not a leak then yes its just you and it shouldnt take too long to build your range...........chromatics downward help.........
 

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The LT mouthpiece your using has a very close tip opening. Most tenors benefit from a more open tip. Closest tip opening I'd go on tenor is a Selmewr C**/yani 5 etc. I use a larry teal on alto but on tenor I never has much success. I even had my teal tenor refaced and had the barrel cut down by man (last name I think was Johnson) in california bout 20 years ago and I still moved on to a differant piece(a selmer soloist C**).
 

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First I would recommend taking it to a repair tech to check for leaks using a leak light.

If the low Bb, B, C, and C# respond easily and are clear, but the low D is unstable it may be caused by the low C key not opening enough. Check the opening of the low C against the opening of the low B key on the bell. If the C key opening is much less, try opening the key by backing out the bumper adjusting screw if it has one, or by trimming the felt with a sharp razor blade.

Be careful not to overdo the opening of the low C since that can "aggravate" the sharpness common to the 4th line D on most saxes.

John
 

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When I first started a couple of years ago, on tenor, it took me a few days to be able to play D, and even longer to work down to Bb. The same with going up. I would just give it time.
 

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I'm having this problem too. I've been playing for about two weeks now, couple of hours every morning in a soundproof room before starting work, and I'm getting frustrated that the low Bb, B, C, C# on my tenor are quite difficult to clearly get. Sometimes they come out an octave higher, sometimes as a split harmonic.
So, Honker, are you saying that these will come with time? or does it sound like I'm doing something fundamentally wrong?
I read somewhere that my emouchre should be the same for low notes as it is for high notes, so I'm trying to consciously keep it the same for the full range of the instrument, however I get OK results when ascending scales, but when descending, and especially when I reach the four notes above, I sound like a deflated bagpipe!!
 

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I used to have this difficulty but have found that putting your tongue on the reed to start a low note helps significantly. Keep going time will help.
Long notes certainly do :)
 

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When I first started tenor I could hit any note within the first few days.
Some people, when moving from alto to tenor expierience problems because they are used to blowing less. I would have it checked because low notes shouldnt be as hard as you say they are to hit.
 

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Blink. I am no expert, but I have only been playing for a couple of years, so that experience is fresh in my mind. It is easier to play a note like C# with all the keys open than it is to play the same note an octave lower because all the keys are closed. In the first instance you are 'filling' only the neck and a couple of inches of the saxophone tube. In the second you are having to 'fill' the whole tube, especially with Bb. It requires a little time and practice to play that low at first. You will need to make subtle changes to your embouchure and play from the diaphragm. Relaxing the throat helps too.

I hope this is clear.

I would also highly recommend finding a teacher too.
 

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I'm repeating myself, but for problems with low tones, you should really try out the exercises Phil Barone explained in the section "tone production". They did the trick for me.
 

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Thanks guys, been working on embouchre on long drives - just the mouthpiece, buzzing scales & long notes. After about two weeks of this, went back to the sax and the difference ie improvement is amazing. Also the palm/side keys on my tenor stand quite proud and the slightest accidental touch opens a hole somewhere and ruins everything!! So being really conscious of this too, really helps matters, cos I think this was causing the splits.:)
 

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Yes the low notes can be a problem if you're not used to it but they shouldn't be that hard to play. I would seriously take your horn to a repair tech and get it checked out - it might not be your embouchure at all...and its amazing how much easier it is to play after a service.

Speaking from my own experience I didn't get on well at all for the first 4 or 5 years of playing because my sax was so badly setup, but once it was sorted I loved it !
 

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Here's something to look for when D gurgles, yet the notes below it are playable. I recently got an alto that did this, and it was due to the right side key 2 (RSK2) blowing open. It had a weak spring and there must have been a node right at the tone hole when blowing D.
 

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Just starting tenor myself and had trouble with everything below D. I put in my leak light and found some leaks, did some adjustments and changed out a few pads. I still had trouble but the warrbling sound was gone. D comes out just fine but I have found I have to open my throat more to get the notes below D to come out nice and clean.
 

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Howdy!
I was wondering if you were still having problems, or if you've been able to fix them.
I had this same problem when I first started playing, however, my issues was that I'd never played sax before. I picked it up after playing clarinet for 8 years. I'm going to assume that by now you've checked for leaks, and had them fixed. If not, definitely have that looked at. If fixing leaks didn't solve your problem, it could possibly be an embouchure problem. You may be too tight, or too loose. Lower notes on the tenor require a steady mouth, and a solid stream of air. It's also possible you aren't putting enough air through the horn. If you've tried all that, and still can't figure it out, I would suggest consulting somebody who plays. For me, it was a friend of mine who graduated the year before. He was able to spend a little time with me, and give me a few pointers.
I hope this helps you out at least a little bit. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me!
~Kit
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hey, thanks for all your input guys, i totally forgot about this thread and i know its been months since i had posted it. but i did eventually get the lower notes with practice and getting my embouchure back. to be honest i haven't played in a while because of my guitar and piano class leaving me no time this semester, but the semester is over tomorrow and i plan on picking up the sax again but thanks for all your help! =)
 
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