Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For the past half year I have been learning to play soprano on yanagisawa s901. My main instrument is the alto (yamaha YAS62II) which I have played for 1 year. I however am having problem with response on low G and down. The mouthpiece is an yanagisawa HR #7 (stock), and I get a shaking tone when I blow the low register vigorously, the situation become slightly better when I change the mouthpiece to yamaha 4C, but the problem still exists. If you have any information of ideas on how to improve my response in the low register, it would be very appreciated. BTW it's my first thread. Thank you.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
This is a fairly common problem even for experienced players when they start soprano. My suggestion is to practice and "work your way down" to the lower notes. Make sure you are holding the soprano so the mouthpiece angle is correct.

I had the same problem picking up soprano after many years of playing alto and tenor. It went away pretty quickly as I got used to the horn.

Good luck.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,030 Posts
It could be a leak at one of the octave keys and I suspect the "body" one. Both should be closed. Next would be to check the G# pad to make sure it is firmly closed.
 

·
Undistinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
723 Posts
It could be a leak at one of the octave keys and I suspect the "body" one. Both should be closed. Next would be to check the G# pad to make sure it is firmly closed.
Actually the low notes on the soprano come quite easily, so it could be some mechanical problem with the horn, as Bruce suggests.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,336 Posts
If the "shaking tone" as you call it is the low note "warble" or "motor boating" sound, that can be caused by the mouthpiece not being pushed far enough on the neck cork. If you haven't done so, tune the soprano to it's B natural which is A=440 concert. Then try again. If the low notes are still hard to produce, have someone press the G# pad closed as you play low D. If it improves, your sax is out of regulation, and needs to be adjusted as zorrosg suggested.

How easy are the low notes on your alto to play? If you have no problem with those and approach the soprano low tones the same way it shouldn't be a player problem UNLESS you are tilting the soprano down like a clarinet instead of having the mouthpiece come straight into the mouth. That can make a difference in the soprano tone and response, especially in the lower register. Good luck with that. Given more information it will be easier to diagnose the problem, and come up with a solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips and advice.

How easy are the low notes on your alto to play?
Yes, I can play the low notes on my alto easily.

If the "shaking tone" as you call it is the low note "warble" or "motor boating" sound, that can be caused by the mouthpiece not being pushed far enough on the neck cork.
If you haven't done so, tune the soprano to it's B natural which is A=440 concert. Then try again.
Thanks, zorrosg. I DO need to push the mouthpiece further on the neck cork. I got a normal sound when I have done so, but it seems a little too tight.
I am surprised that the soprano is so sensitive, I have experimented with the location of the mouthpiece on the neck when I play alto, I don't think it can cause such terrible problem.

Is the situation widespread on soprano? or just on some one? Is my sop OK?
Additionally, could you tell me what mean "tune the soprano to it's B natural which is A=440 concert" is.
 

·
Undistinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
723 Posts
Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips and advice.



Yes, I can play the low notes on my alto easily.



Thanks, zorrosg. I DO need to push the mouthpiece further on the neck cork. I got a normal sound when I have done so, but it seems a little too tight.
I am surprised that the soprano is so sensitive, I have experimented with the location of the mouthpiece on the neck when I play alto, I don't think it can cause such terrible problem.

Is the situation widespread on soprano? or just on some one? Is my sop OK?
Additionally, could you tell me what mean "tune the soprano to it's B natural which is A=440 concert" is.
Okay , firstly it was Jbtsax that gave you those tips, not me. But I can help you with some of your questions in the meantime anyway.
1) If the mouthpiece is not pushed in to the correct position, correct meaning when you play B natural note (which is actually A in concert pitch), your tuner should show 440 Hz. On the soprano sax, quite often this position is one in which the mouthpiece is pushed in almost to the end of the cork on the neck on the soprano. Now if the mouthpiece is not at the correct position, meaning your B note does not read 440 on the tuner, then this can cause warbling or motorboating sounds on your low notes, which you are describing as the 'shaking sound'. In fact, this problem is not unique to the soprano sax, any saxophone has the same quirk, as far as I know.
2), The soprano is more sensitive to your embrochure. A little more pressure, or a little less pressure can cause a noticeable change in the tuning of the note. So this complicates your job of trying to find the correct position for your mouthpiece. First you must check your embrochure to make sure it is at your normal or natural position, and that you are neither biting down too hard, or lipping up or down with your embrochure. It sounds more difficult than what it is in reality, so just be patient with yourself and take your time to work it out.
3) If after you do these things, and the problem is still the same, then it is likely that the soprano you have is leaking, so you will need to get it checked and fixed by a good repairman. My feeling based on your description is that there could be something wrong with your soprano sax.
4) When you play low notes on the sax, you need to relax your throat and slightly change the shape of your mouth inside. Think of saying the sound 'aahh' when playing low notes, and 'eee' when playing high notes, and this may help you to produce the notes easier.

Try the things above and see if it solves the problem. You may also want to check again with Jbtsax on the above points, since he was the one who actually gave you the advice you quoted, not me. Jbtsax is an extremely knowledgable and experienced saxophone teacher and performer, so you would be lucky if he is willing to help you with further advice.

PS. Bb instruments like the Soprano and Tenor sax are called 'transposing instruments; because the note that you play on them is one tone higher than concert pitch/piano pitch. So your B note is actually the same as the A note on the piano, and should read 440 Hz on your tuner. This is what Mr Jbtsax meant in his advice to you. Hope that makes things clearer for you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,336 Posts
Additionally, could you tell me what mean "tune the soprano to it's B natural which is A=440 concert" is.
That just means to use an electronic tuner, or a keyboard that is in tune and match your first finger B to the pitch of the tuner or keyboard by moving the mouthpiece on or off the neck cork.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well thanks you for continuous reply on my help thread.
YES I would be lucky if jbtsax will help me with further advice.
It sounds I need an electronic tuner, then check again with the above points.
I hope it's not my soprano problem.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,030 Posts
If it is a horn with a removable neck, try packing some cork grease around the tenon as it may be leaking there. If it fixes it, you will need to have the neck fitted by a tech.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top