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Hey, kinda new to this saxophone playing (although I've played the piano for 10 years now) so the basics of music theory is not a problem. However, I've been trying for some time now to figure out how to make a high D (according to my note chart, it's a D2 ( :line4: )). Anyways; compared to my high C it's sounds just like a low D, it's just not that clear.

Okay, so I suck at describing sound. But I'm playing it correctly, I've tried several positions on my mouthpiece, different blowing techniques and so forth, but it still just sounds like a growling low D, which makes it impossible for me to play a blues I'm practicing on. I'm pressing that button on the back that makes the tone one octave higher and it doesn't seem to do anything.

Probably should post my saxophone. I'm using a Vito (LeBlanc/Beaugnier) Model 35 Alto Saxophone with a system keywork (I have no idea what that means compared to other saxophones, but supposedly it has some extra keys to make some transitions and notes easier to get to). Anyhow; I'm wondering if it's my saxophone or my playing that's the problem. Sorry for the wall of text by the way. Anyone got any tips or something that might help? Just keep in mind that I've only been playing the saxophone for about a month and a half. Thanks :D

EDIT: As someone pointed out, I was talking about D2 and not D5.
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

Wow, at first, by D5 I thought you meant high altissimo D8 and was going to answer...good grief!

So reading your thread you mean middle D (D2). Pick up some theory and practice books for saxophone. Middle D is a known problem note for saxophones (in general).
Most who incur the problem will often say stuffy or dull sounding.

There are some adjustments a good tech can make if a given horn has that problem (has your alto been checked out?) but what it normally involves is practice, long tones, and working your diaphragm, throat and embouchure.
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

Yeah, the D5 threw me too! It is D2 you speak of, and it is easy to blow past the octave vent and not hit the octave at all if you "voice" it wrong (which is a common beginner mistake). You own a very well made sax, so unless your pads are leaking somewhere, it is all you (most likely in this case).

Note on the sax: Your Vito Modele 35 has what's called a LeBlanc Semi-Rationale Keywork. It is odd in the fact that the high F# (F#3, above the staff) is placed on the left hand palm keys, and not w/a long rod and linkage on the Right hand like all other makes. The full Rationale systeme has a few extra doo-dads that the Semi-rationale doesn't have. "DoctorSax" has some pics and history explaining all this if you are curious about your unique sax.
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

Check to make sure that the body vent key is opening and not sticking. The vent key is the little pad that opens and closes when you toggle between "A" and "G" with the octave key depressed. As the vent key toggles open the neck octave key will close. If the vent key does not open up when you play the "D" then it will want to play the lower octave. This is a common problem that can be solved with a q-tip and some baby powder on the sticking pad.
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

Ditto on checking the body octave key to be sure it is opening. Finger G and add the thumb octave key. The small pad should go up when you do this. You can also take a soft cotton pipe cleaner when the pad is open and push it into the vent to clean it out.

The next thing is to check your input pitch. With your mouthpiece set on the cork where you normally play, remove the neck and play the neck and mouthpiece alone. The pitch should be Ab concert---the same as F2 on your alto sax. Readjust your embouchure to produce this pitch and then try your D again. You may need to speed up your airstream slightly as well.
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

Wow, thanks for the awesome response guys. Anyways; guess you're right about it being a middle D or D2, I guess it's my note chart that's stupid. And I have about four or five different books on saxophone, and some friends that play so I think I'm covered there. And when I press G/A the small pad on the back of the saxophone goes out, but it's blocking off the one on the top, I guess that's correct? I figured I might be my fault, since I'm not really that good at playing.

@RandyJ: When you mention it, no, I haven't gotten around so far. I'll have a tech check it out as soon as possible. Anyways, thanks for the help guys. I'll train my technique and if it still doesn't work after all your tips. Well, I'm just going to ask again.
 

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I am having the same problem glad to see im not the only one my D sounds like low D and the octave key does not change the sound because when i play G (first 3 fingers down) and press the octive key it gets released is this correct?
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

Check to make sure that the body vent key is opening and not sticking. The vent key is the little pad that opens and closes when you toggle between "A" and "G" with the octave key depressed. As the vent key toggles open the neck octave key will close. If the vent key does not open up when you play the "D" then it will want to play the lower octave. This is a common problem that can be solved with a q-tip and some baby powder on the sticking pad.
OK I re-read the thread and it is playing the lower D but i dont understand why when I play A with octive key pressed the octive key responds and is in open position when i go to play G or lower the octive key is in a closed position i dont understand how it can be a sticky pad since it was previously open and now is closed. Any help is appreciated
 

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Re: My high D(5) doesn't sound high at all (compared to high C(5))

OK I re-read the thread and it is playing the lower D but i dont understand why when I play A with octive key pressed the octive key responds and is in open position when i go to play G or lower the octive key is in a closed position i dont understand how it can be a sticky pad since it was previously open and now is closed. Any help is appreciated
Read it again. Very carefully. There are two octave vents. One on the neck and one on the body. The lower octave vent may not be opening when the one on the neck is closed.
 

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Should the octave vent on the neck be open when i am playing the middle D it is closed and does not sound correct to me but it could be me I have not played in 20 years and this is a new instrument but the D Major scale last note does of D not sound right to me
 

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Should the octave vent on the neck be open when i am playing the middle D it is closed and does not sound correct to me but it could be me I have not played in 20 years and this is a new instrument but the D Major scale last note does of D not sound right to me
The octave key on the neck is closed when D2 is played but the octave vent on the body is open. The key on the body may be open but the hole could be clogged. You should have a repairman check it out.
 

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OK so the keys are in the proper position it is most likely me the sax is brand new i will work it out tomorrow if I cant hit the note I will take it into the shop thanks for the quick reply
 

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i am having similar issues. i am aware of the two octave keys. i play a bundy alto sax and when i play octave key with A, B, or C the neck is open. when i go G or lower keying i see that the #3 finger moves a bracket that closes the neck octave. my neck octave does not close completely though. is this wrong? i can play high A, B, and C easier than G, E, F, D. is this because both octave keys are open at once and they should not be? thanks.
 

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The key/vent/pad on the neck should be closed when playing 'octave G' and lower.
Take the horn to a tech for an adjustment. It that's the only problem they can usually do it while you wait.
 

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Sometimes the key and arm on the neck get bent. I'm not a technician but I just bend it so upper A and above play but the lower octave key closes when the neck octave key opens. When the neck octave key closes, it opens the lower octave key. I've done this adjustment for years and never broke the octave mechanism. This is what a repair tech will do.
 
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