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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, am now moving on to songs in my beginners book that use the octave key. More than half the time I get nothing but screech sounds. Somtimes I also get a burbling sound which i am guessing is my sax playing the note in both octaves back and forth really fast(really annoying). My first question is ,is this normal for a beginner? Is lip strength involved here to? Should I expect high notes be easier to play after developing stronger lip muscles? I have tried different positions with my lips to do this and sometimes I have the notes playically perfectly but then I lose whatever I was doing even though my lips feel like they haven't moved.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After I posted this I went back and I tried again and I don't know what I did diffeent but I am playing all the notes perfectly again consistently. I'm feeling the right position wiht my lips I guess. I'm excited! Again I don't what I am doing differently.
 

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The reed placement has a lot to do with screeching and the like. Playing long tones on the upper register will help you the most though. Over time, you will subconsciously form the correct embouchure. Play an A? No thought process, done. Want to warp the sound? You can do that too, without screeching... once you've done long tones.
 

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Just as an afterthought, because for some reason most people don't like long tones, try to enjoy playing the long notes or play in a gym or other place with good acoustics. Really master each and every sound. I used to play Summertime as well as other jazz standards. Start on a D and just hold it out. Get the vibrato in there too and relish the beauty of a single note. It's not about how many notes you can hit in a single measure, but how well just one note can sound. For instance hit D2, Bb2, D2.... and hold it, keep holding it. You'll build your chops and your diaphram.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have alleviated the screeching problem I think it was my reed. The only problem I'm having now is switching between notes in the higher octave and the lower octave. I realize I have to let go of the octave key first. It's just most of the time it doesn't flow as it should. I feel urged to stop blowing while I switch the fingering, but I know that I shouldn't and so I'll refrain from doing that. I'll just keep practicing until I get it right.
 

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You might just want to check your octave arm is sealing properly - that's a problem I had on my last instrument, which led to a similar situation. Take the mouthpiece off, seal the lower end of the neck with the palm of your hand and blow in it as hard as you can.
 

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SmokerBoy said:
The only problem I'm having now is switching between notes in the higher octave and the lower octave. I realize I have to let go of the octave key first. It's just most of the time it doesn't flow as it should.
This is a pretty common problem with beginners. If you are seeing an instructor (and if you aren't you really should consider it), ask for some exercises that work on "crossing the octave break". There are lots of variations but they all pretty much come down to playing patterns that alternate on either side of the octave break. Repetition is the key since (assuming no equipment related problems) this comes down to coordinating your fingers and keeping your embouchure consistent when you move up and down octaves. I had this same problem for the first several months of playing and got past it by doing the appropriate exercises.
 

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Also make sure that all your fingers (and thumb) open and close the keys at exactly the same time. Leaving one a little open after the others have closed will start the screech. My teacher showed me what I was doing there. Worth his weight in gold!
 

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funny noise

I am not sure if it is screeching on my tenor. The problem I have between D to G in the 2nd octave is that sometimes the note sounds like it playing the harmonic.

Any ideas?

Pádraig
 
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