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Hey -

I typically play alto but I'm starting to do some serious work on the tenor. My tone is okay and range is coming under control, but I am having serious problems with intonation. In general, I play frightfully sharp (especially in the low register) and progressively get flater as I go higher (compared to the low range). To get my tuning note to sound in tune, I have to pull my mouthpiece almost all the way to the end of the cork. This is not a problem with the saxophone since I had this same problem on my last horn (I now play a Buescher Aristocrat after playing on a Conn 10M). What am I doing wrong? Is it possibly a mouthpiece problem (I use a Rascher)? Anybody else ever have this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks.

Dave
 

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I don't know for sure, but it could be the mouthpiece and horn combination. I have a friend who plays on a meyer 7 and has 2 horns. A Buescher Aristocrat and a Mark 6. On the Buescher the horn plays in tune with the Meyer at a reasonable spot on the cork. On his VI he has to put a piece of paper on his cork so that the mouthpiece can be far enough out to play in tune without falling off. His S-80 C* will play in tune at reasonable spots on both corks. I hope this helped at least a little bit. :) GL on your quest.
 

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You need to drop your lower jaw slightly when going below F.

Up the top, try not to squeeze the reed to get the notes.
Relax and you will be in pitch.

These problems all point to poor embrouchure.

Long notes will fix this.
Keep the throat open. Plenty of air supply.
 

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also, try doing lip slurs. do them with just the mouthpiece and also with notes in the upper regester (i know that you're having trouble on the bottom, but this should help). this will teach you to play your mouthpiece with your embouchure at a number of different levels of tension. it's all about flexibility!
 

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DWoz5000 said:
To get my tuning note to sound in tune, I have to pull my mouthpiece almost all the way to the end of the cork. This is not a problem with the saxophone since I had this same problem on my last horn (I now play a Buescher Aristocrat after playing on a Conn 10M).
Dave
Since it almost certainly isn't the horn as you state (and Aristocrats are known for having excellent intonation), I would agree with the other posters that this may be an embouchure issue. From your description of how the intonation varies (sharp in lower register and progressively flatter in high register) it sounds like you are biting too much down low, causing you to pull the mpc out, then you're flat up top because the mouthpiece is too far out on the cork. I'm only speculating of course, but this is what makes sense to me.

On a Buescher your mpc shouldn't need to be so far out on the neck. On both my tenor Aristocrats, the mouthpiece is pushed well onto the cork, past the midpoint. Your Rascher may be a slightly larger chamber than my RPC, so it definitely shouldn't need to come so far out.

Try pushing the mpc farther in (maybe halfway or so on the cork), then loosen up your embouchure considerably and see what happens.
 

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Have you checked with more than one tuner. I recently ran across a beginner that was using a cheapo tuner that was reading A=435 or so when set to A=440. Going flat higher up is a clear sign that the mouthpiece is pulled out farther than the design point. One other possibility...Buescher still made some High Pitch horns well into the Aristocrat Series...what is the serial #? Does it say "Low Pitch" under the serial #?
 
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