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Perspective Change in my Tone

809 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  arya44
It seems there is a shift happening with my tonal perspective on my tenor saxophone. I feel my tone has lost some of its lushness. Could the sax body (pad issue, alignment issue, etc.) cause tone change? Or could it be my ears (early stage of Hyperacusis or Tinnitus)!? Although when my repairman played his sax (another sax body / mouthpiece) I felt it sounded well although I was in front of the horn not behind it (playing position) and he is a really good long time player. Could it be that my playing style is shifted, i.e. I'm not using the same embouchure, taking the same amount of beak in, same amount of pressure on the reed, etc.? My repairman fixed a few leak spots. I thought I would have less of that harshness and get some of that lushness back but hasn't made whole lot of difference. Has anyone else experienced this that suddenly you are not happy with the tone no matter what? I guess I could go and play with a few other horns in the shop see if I feel any different.
... Weird!
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'Unless I always had a not so good tone but now my expectation has increased!'

Bingo. We all go through this. As we learn and hear more sax players, the 'sound in our head' that we strive to get out of the sax can change. Suddenly you realize that you aren't sounding like you thought you wanted to. Also, as already mentioned, it can be an equipment/reed thing too. Frequently sax players start looking for a new mouthpiece at these times but I have learned over the years that its usually the sax being 'out of whack' that causes the trouble and makes the reeds play bad. In your case, the sax was checked out and it still isn't right. Maybe for you its a mouthpiece/reed thing. In reading over your comments again I see that you are playing a different mouthpiece recently because your 'good' one is being fixed. Basically, that's your problem right there. You have no reason to expect some other mouthpiece to sound like the one you like. This is why we are so particular about our mouthpieces - steal my horn, that would be a problem - steal my mouthpiece, that's a disaster.
I think its pretty clear you are having a mouthpiece problem because you are being forced to play a different one. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be not very experienced on the sax. I say this because a 7** mouthpiece seems a little open for a younger/newer player, which could be part of your problem. Its great that you want to get a lush tone but on that mouthpiece it might take a #1.5 or #2 reed to get it.
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