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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

Firstly can I say this site has been a great read and very informative / entertaining, I have lost count of the hours I've spent on here recently. Anyway I'm a 38 year old Australian Dude who's just got back into playing about six months back.

When I was in my late 20's I bought an Amati Tenor and did a couple of years of lessons, due to other commitments, young kids, work etc I was never able to practice much and eventually I stopped playing. Cash got tight and the tenor went in the classified ads and that was that.

So about six months back I got a B&H horn off ebay for AU$280 (round US$230) - I think I got a bargain, it plays like a new one. As the mouthpieces were pretty manky I just bought a Rico B5 to start off with, I've been changing between rico 2-2 1/2 reeds and can play from low b thru high c# with a half reasonable sound. My music reading is all coming back nicely from my lessons (funny how one beginners book and about 3 weeks and the "finger memory" returns). Lately I cant put it down, and it sure helps when you have a partner who loves it (I think she's nuts)

So my question is do I need a new MPC, I feel like I do.... one problem I have is squeaks and whistles, I never had this on the tenor and it seems to be getting worse the more I play. In the meantime I have ordered a Yamaha 5C just to see the difference (they arent expensive).

Low notes are still a tad warbly - something I think just needs more air support and the palm keys give me trouble most of the time. I should point out that I am 6' 5" so maybe the rico isnt wide enough?

If possible I'd like to get an edgier sound kinda somewhere between jazz and rock, I'd love to be able to jam with some other musicians eventually too!

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Welcome! The squeaks and whistles are more likely due to embouchure/breath control issues rather than your m/p and reed combination, in my opinion (although i might suggest a slightly softer reed so you're not tempted to bite down on the m/p). The Yamaha piece likewise should be fine. My best recommendation would be to have a lesson or a couple of lessons (or, hey, why not? a whole stack of lessons!) with a sax teacher who you've heard is good. Or if you've no leads try a single one-off lesson with someone who advertises locally. Quiz them gently on the phone and you should get a feel for whether they know what they're talking about. In the early stages especially it's important that they play the sax to demonstrate (I think), so ask how the lesson format would work. All the best.
 

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If you've got a good techie - get it checked for leaks - before thinking of a new Mpc. - this is almost always money well spent with a new horn.

Hereabouts, most good shops will let you test a series of moutpieces - actually that sort of is the test for a good shop.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, I will get it checked by a tech, probably should have done that first. Anyone know of good teachers in Adelaide, SA?
 

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SaxPunter said:
Thanks guys, I will get it checked by a tech, probably should have done that first. Anyone know of good teachers in Adelaide, SA?
Hi From another Adelaideian
you should try and contact Dustan cox He is the Jazz sax lecturer at the Adelaide UNi and somtimes his advanced students are looking for students of thier own
see this thread for details
http://www.saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=25786

Also if you are looking for a good tech I would sugest Simon Clarke from Presto Music they are on Marion Road.

And welcome to the forum:D
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Took it to presto today, the guy there sure played it better than me! He did say it's all sealing ok but its got issues more around not playing in tune in the bottom due to how it's made, I'm not so worried about that as I'm just using it to practice anyway and it doesn't owe me much, I've emailed DC in an attempt to find a local teacher.

Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how I go!
 

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first of all, I'm sure you haven't overlooked this, but have you been soaking your reed in water for several minutes everytime before you play? Soaking in the mouth shortly might not work, I find that soaking in water for 5 minutes will do the trick. Also, I bought an otto link mouthpiece for my alto, and no matter what I did, I would get squeaks with my hemke 2.5 reed. I switched to a vandoren 2.5, and the squeaks magically dissapeared. Also, it wasn't the hemke reed itself, because when I played the hemke reed's on my precision mouthpiece, I wouldn't get squeaks. Try vandoren java or another reed, maybe a different strength too. Oh and btw, hemke is made by rico, so that might explain why your rico is squeaking, just a guess.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I've had an interesting week or so....

I found a music shop who allows you to test play mpc's so spent an hour or so on different ones with different reeds, overall the Selmer D won but it was just waaaaay too loud and my neighbors already hate the parties we have so I dont want it made worse! So second place was the C*, I really liked it so I bought it and went home to explain to the wife.... ouch... so anyway I've ended up on vandoren 2 1/2s and now get alost the full range without squeaks squawks or whistles.

Thanks to DC on I've found a really good teacher and had my first lesson in what must be 10 years. My old teacher I just found kinda boring as we'd just pick sheet music and play. The new guy is way cool and has me working on overtones, long tones and playalong CD's doing scales and just funky improv with scales.... it's been a fun week!

I will try the water soaking thing next time too. Thanks to all who responded
 

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I'd go further and recommend some form of mouthwash to soak your reeds in to get rid of squeaks etc. It is also very hygienic and makes them last for absolutely ages. Also equally recommend Vandoren reeds, before any particular change of mouthpiece.

BertieB
 

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On a NEW alto one would expect Bells and Whistles. :D
 
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