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Hi
I play on a Yanigisawa 992 Tenor with a Peter Ponzol II-V-I and size 3 Gonzales reeds, I have a bright tone that just cuts though my high school wind ensemble. I was wondering how I could darken up my tone with minimal cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
sorry forgot to mention that I play on with a rovner light ligature, and I was wondering more or less how best to shape my mouth, embouchure etc.
 

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Your setup sounds good. Find a teacher and take a lesson or two. Work on long tones (playing single notes and really listening to the color and stability of the sound), overtones, and subtones. Once you learn to really control the horn you can get virtually as dark or bright as you please on the gear you have. Good luck!

D
 

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A few days ago I had a visit by two Belgian players or Russian origin (father and son) who, once again, showed me that tone has more to do with " externalising " a tone which comes from within the brain than the equipment could do to the tone. They both played a number of my saxophones and swapped horns between the two with the same mouthpiece (father and son......). They played a number of mouthpueces but their mouthpieces of choice were Berg Larsen both on tenor and alto. Well, in spite of what one could have been led to expect, given the very bright mouthpieces which they used, they both had a consistent dark sound on anything they played (with some variations due to the different horns).

So a " dark" sound (whatever one means by that, the definition is also not univocal) comes mostly from the mental image of the sound thta you want to reach. I too had initial troubles to get that " dark sound" especially on alto, now I feel that my playing is closer to where I want it to be because of a constant adaptation of my playing to the sound's mental image.

I play on Ponzol M1 tenor or M2 alto mouthpieces which are not necessarily known to be " dark" and yet....
 

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Try a Otto Link STM NY 7* and a Hemke or Vandoren V16 3.5. Then you have a dark setup wich will need loads of air before going bright. Its a bit unresponsive and dull due to high resistance and I don not prefer it but its dark indeed.
 

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So a " dark" sound (whatever one means by that, the definition is also not univocal) comes mostly from the mental image of the sound thta you want to reach.
I agree with this. A different mouthpiece can help but learning to shape the sound yourself is idea. I believe it's a combination of embouchure and the mental process as milandro says, I have an article on this, regrading visualisation of the sound. It works for some but not others, perhaps an important part is the spychological aspect of believing it will work or not:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-visualising-sound.html
 

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Hi
I play on a Yanigisawa 992 Tenor with a Peter Ponzol II-V-I and size 3 Gonzales reeds, I have a bright tone that just cuts though my high school wind ensemble. I was wondering how I could darken up my tone with minimal cost.
I wish I had your sax, and your problem !
 

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I'm inferring that your reference to wind ensemble indicates that this is not a jazz/rock/etc group, but a "classical" group and you're playing on a jazz piece. The above advice is right on if you were trying to change your tone in the jazz genre, but if I'm correct in my assumption, you need a tone (and volume) that is appropriate in a "classical" setting. If that is the case you need a classical mouthpiece - the standard options are Selmer S80 and S90, Vandoren V5 (T20 seems the most popular) or Optimum TL3, Yamaha 4c, Morgan Vintage 5, Otto Link HR 5, or the piece that came with your Yani. This in comination with Vandoren Traditional reeds should help.
 

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I don't think that there is any difference in Jazz or Classical music when one refers to varying (not how to vary that) your embouchure (more or less consciously) to comply with an ideal sound concept . I believe that it is possible to adapt to almost any mouthpiece to let it do what you want it to do.
 

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A few days ago I had a visit by two Belgian players or Russian origin (father and son) who, once again, showed me that tone has more to do with " externalising " a tone which comes from within the brain than the equipment could do to the tone. They both played a number of my saxophones and swapped horns between the two with the same mouthpiece (father and son......). They played a number of mouthpueces but their mouthpieces of choice were Berg Larsen both on tenor and alto. Well, in spite of what one could have been led to expect, given the very bright mouthpieces which they used, they both had a consistent dark sound on anything they played (with some variations due to the different horns).

So a " dark" sound (whatever one means by that, the definition is also not univocal) comes mostly from the mental image of the sound thta you want to reach. I too had initial troubles to get that " dark sound" especially on alto, now I feel that my playing is closer to where I want it to be because of a constant adaptation of my playing to the sound's mental image.

I play on Ponzol M1 tenor or M2 alto mouthpieces which are not necessarily known to be " dark" and yet....
thanks Milandro! great inputs.

I would say that embouchure has more impact on the sound than the gear (probably 80% embouchure and the rest the gear).

long tones is great way to start as per recommended!
 

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yes and no. check any serious teacher or student in classical saxophone, do any of them play a Jumbo Java or Dukoff or use Platicover reeds - no. Is anyone in Jim Romain's classical quartet going to play Lamberson DD's - no. I'm not disagreeing with the players ability to develop and control sound - but you have to be in the appropriate ballbark. If the OP is playing Lincolnshire Posy or Bolero or the Creston Sonata- the Coletrane sound (implied by the 2-5-1 mouthpiece) is not appropriate and it would be a long journey to get there on the current equipment.

When I started my classical studies in college, my only piece was a Meyer 5, and there was no way I was going to have the appropriate tone, so I got a C*.
 

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Use the best tool for the job. Get a classical piece with a smallish tip and harder reeds. The Vandoren classical pieces are excellent and a good value.
 

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I would advise the OP to pay attention to ALL the above. Voicing and visualizing the sound in various ways as Milandro and Pete correctly allude to is important. Advanced players have learned to do this, but it takes a while. Any time is the right time to get started learning this.

However...early in the game...it is equally vital to equip yourself with a mouthpiece and reed setup that is right for the style of music/ensemble you're involved in. There's a suitable list in this post:

I'm inferring that your reference to wind ensemble indicates that this is not a jazz/rock/etc group, but a "classical" group and you're playing on a jazz piece. The above advice is right on if you were trying to change your tone in the jazz genre, but if I'm correct in my assumption, you need a tone (and volume) that is appropriate in a "classical" setting. If that is the case you need a classical mouthpiece - the standard options are Selmer S80 and S90, Vandoren V5 (T20 seems the most popular) or Optimum TL3, Yamaha 4c, Morgan Vintage 5, Otto Link HR 5, or the piece that came with your Yani. This in comination with Vandoren Traditional reeds should help.
:glasses7:
 

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Vandoren T20 or TL3. I've heard someone w/ a ponzol of same make and, well, I don't think it's appropriate for any wind ensemble.
 

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If it is for wind ensemble & other classical playing, I highly recommend a Rousseau NC4 or NC5.

Also, the Selmer Larry Teal is a great classical tenor piece.
 

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Yanagisawas can play dark -- especially the 992. Nothing wrong with the set up either. I say decrease your volume until you hear the band rather than yourself.
 
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