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Squeak at start of note

4413 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  oleathlobhair
I have just started playing alto sax and find that if I play high notes with a strong accent, at a fairly high dynamic, I get a momentary squeak before hearing the full sound. It does not happen if I use a gentle articulation.
Any advice welcome.
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You might want to make sure and soak new reeds then. That squeak can be caused by a new reed not wanting to vibrate. If you attacj the note softly, then you are eliminating the chance of it squeaking by opening up the tone gently, but you still want to be able to attack the note any way you like.
try to tongue more instead of tightening your embouchure while attacking and forcing the air through with your throat action....I have the same problem on tenor and not on alt, one needs a more relaxed embouchure.....
Dont worry. When I started out, I always would squeak whenever I hit the notes in the second register (D2 for example). It was a lot better, though, when I changed my reeds (from Rico 2.5 to a Vandoren 2.5), and the problem was completely gone when I finally developed the chops needed to play the alto.

Like I said, just keep working on it.

Another note: When I first got my Meyer 6M, I also squeaked a lot. However, after I played on it for 2 straight weeks, I eliminated the problem completely because that was the time it took for my chops to develop.

It's perfectly normal to squeak when you start out on alto. Just keep practicing, and the problem will go away for sure.
Sometimes there may be jaw or chin movement when tonguing---especially when tonguing hard or playing loudly. I suggest checking this by tonguing a note in a comfortable range at mezzo forte and looking in a mirror. Gradually tongue harder and faster and play louder. You should see no movement in the throat, jaw or chin. If you do, the tongue is moving too far inside the mouth. Practice tonguing moving just the end of the tongue and trying to touch the tip of the reed with the part of the tongue about 1/4" behind the tip. Move only the front portion of the tongue the smallest distance possible. Another way to practice this is to play a note that requires only the left hand, and bring the free hand up under the chin to feel for any excessive movement.

If the jaw or chin move when you tongue a note, there is the possibility of biting down more on one side of the reed than the other which can cause a squeak. Good luck. I hope some of this helps.

It looks like a longer soaking for the reed has fixed the problem.
Thanks :)
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