Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

So recently I have been having some problems with playing low notes on my tenor. I can get all the way down to low D, but anything lower than that I start getting some gurgling. I can honk out those lower notes by pushing my jaw forward a little bit, but I've even tried subtoning them and they start gurgling. I had some leaks fixed about a month ago and I checked with a light and my novice skill and didn't see any leaks but I could be wrong. Anyone have any ideas on what I might be doing wrong?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Had a similar problem on my alto and discovered when I fingered a note using the left hand pinky cluster the G# key opened slightly. A quarter turn on the G# adjustment screw fixed the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Had a similar problem on my alto and discovered when I fingered a note using the left hand pinky cluster the G# key opened slightly. A quarter turn on the G# adjustment screw fixed the problem.
To the OP: do you also have this gurgle with low C ? If not, it is the G# key as suggested by diskman.
OTOH if low C is also problematic it must be something else -a leak on the C pad ? on the C# pad (if C# is indeed fine) ? much higher on the horn ?
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,118 Posts
Almost certainly a leak in the horn. Take it in to a good tech and have it fixed.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
471 Posts
Dear Sax Pros,

i would kindly ask for your help once again...lately i m experiencing a very weird issue.The first part of my daily practice routine constists mainly of overtones,long tones and tuning.While i am blowing the Low Bb on my alto (same embouchoure,same breath support,no cheeks puffing,no embouchoure adjustments,the tongue's attacking is down-centered) i have a very "clear" and round tone.BUT when i m going half step down to Low B, i face an obvious tone gargling.I am getting my tongue as back as possible from the mouthpiece's facing but the problem remains.The 3rd harmonic of high B to Low B comes out lately really hard...maybe that's another factor that may solve this mystery.

After one hour of warming up,the problem seems to subside but not totally.

Do i have to visit my tech again? Or it's just Low B of the alto sax "oddly" pitched?

Thank you!
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,118 Posts
See my answer above.

And no, the low B on alto sax is not 'oddly pitched'. First thing to do is rule out (& fix) a leak, the most likely culprit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
Dear Sax Pros,

i would kindly ask for your help once again...lately i m experiencing a very weird issue.The first part of my daily practice routine constists mainly of overtones,long tones and tuning.While i am blowing the Low Bb on my alto (same embouchoure,same breath support,no cheeks puffing,no embouchoure adjustments,the tongue's attacking is down-centered) i have a very "clear" and round tone.BUT when i m going half step up to Low B, i face an obvious tone gargling.I am getting my tongue as back as possible from the mouthpiece's facing but the problem remains.The 3rd harmonic of high B to Low B comes out lately really hard...maybe that's another factor that may solve this mystery.

After one hour of warming up,the problem seems to subside but not totally.

Do i have to visit my tech again? Or it's just Low B of the alto sax "oddly" pitched?

Thank you!
It's tempting to think that because low Bb pops nicely there can't be a leak. But, sadly, it's false !
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
Often motorboating or gurgling down low is caused by a leaky neck tenon. Make sure the screw is tightened all the way it can go and that there is no play in the neck and body connection. If you can turn it or rock it then that is where the leak is. To test it yourself first, wrap the neck tenon end with teflon tape and then insert it and clamp it in place. That should stop the leak and the gurgle, but not always. Anyway, whether that is the cause or not, if the gurgle persists you need to take the horn to your tech. Dropping a cork down the bell really isn't a solution although it might work to stop it in a pinch if you need to play a gig before you can get it to the shop.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
471 Posts
Often motorboating or gurgling down low is caused by a leaky neck tenon. Make sure the screw is tightened all the way it can go and that there is no play in the neck and body connection. If you can turn it or rock it then that is where the leak is. To test it yourself first, wrap the neck tenon end with teflon tape and then insert it and clamp it in place. That should stop the leak and the gurgle, but not always. Anyway, whether that is the cause or not, if the gurgle persists you need to take the horn to your tech. Dropping a cork down the bell really isn't a solution although it might work to stop it in a pinch if you need to play a gig before you can get it to the shop.
Thanks for all these "tech" stuff, it's really helpful for a sax student to know ways to check his horn! I hope this malfunction is not a serious problem! Thank you!
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
471 Posts
See my answer above.

And no, the low B on alto sax is not 'oddly pitched'. First thing to do is rule out (& fix) a leak, the most likely culprit.
Thanks once again dear JL...!
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
471 Posts
My tech is 300 Km far from my town...
:(
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
My tech is 300 Km far from my town...
:(
Ooops...now that is a problem. Hope you can figure it out yourself. Try searching on YouTube for any repair videos that show how to check for leaks that cause that problem and how to fix them. Also get or make yourself a leak light to help you find leaky pads.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
471 Posts
Ooops...now that is a problem. Hope you can figure it out yourself. Try searching on YouTube for any repair videos that show how to check for leaks that cause that problem and how to fix them. Also get or make yourself a leak light to help you find leaky pads.
Dear Jazz Is All the problem's that this 300 km are a rugged road that's connecting the west province of Greece with Athens,and the road's at re-construction again.I reliaze now after 3 years of being a sax student,that only Athens and barely Thessalonika can "accomodate" the passion for saxophone.Sorry for the offtopic!

Billy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts
I'd push in my mouthpiece a little a see what happens. My bell tones motorboat when they are too flat. If that worked I would change the Bb key height (if I had adjustable pad keys on the key guard) to raise the pitch of B so I could move my mouthpiece back to the position that is in tune with the rest of the horn. If that didn't work I would visit a tech.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
+1 on a leak. I've got a similar problem with my G key that is taking a little extra pressure to seal right now because I've temporally had to hot glue it into place before I can take it to my tech. It's not seating exactly were it was prior to popping out.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015-2017
Joined
·
471 Posts
After removing my patch from my mouthpiece (mouthpiece Cafe, NYC, 6" tip),the problem vanished.The tone was much more full and round,and the downbeats to low B and low Bb to the arpeggios were just paradise for my skills.The pads that i was using for almost 2 years are the Vandorens...very comfortable for the teeth but very thick.So i suppose that this is a reason why my embouchoure is so unstable sometimes. The problem's now that i am used to pads usage.

Any suggestions to this issue?

Thank you sax land!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
There are three possible causes that I did not see mentioned already, but I only glanced through the responses.

n+1) Your right pinky is pushing on the low Eb key a little bit when it depresses the low C key.
n+2) There is a weak spring on a side key. The low note forms a node near the side key which causes the side key to vibrate.
n+3) The mouthpiece is not pushed far enough onto the neck. This is far more common that one would think. The way students are taught to tune up simply does not work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
After removing my patch from my mouthpiece (mouthpiece Cafe, NYC, 6" tip),the problem vanished.The tone was much more full and round,and the downbeats to low B and low Bb to the arpeggios were just paradise for my skills.The pads that i was using for almost 2 years are the Vandorens...very comfortable for the teeth but very thick.So i suppose that this is a reason why my embouchoure is so unstable sometimes. The problem's now that i am used to pads usage.

Any suggestions to this issue?

Thank you sax land!
I like patches because they help the player to hear more of what the listener hears - less bone conduction. You already know your embouchure needs work. So do that. I would suggest that you put the patch back on and work out the real problem.
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top