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Discussion Starter #1
I’m playing the ‘Incredibles’ jazz solo with my band at the moment with a couple of gliss runs up to high D then high F. I’m having issues with one or both of the notes cracking and not sounding properly. Sometimes it’s ok but not consistently. I’ve tried swapping reeds to a new one (Vandoren Java red/green) I use a 2.5 but that hasn’t helped. Any suggestions? I didn’t know if a stronger reed helps high notes? I use a Selmer S80 c* mouthpiece and versa rovner ligature. I’m experimenting with embouchure, ligature and reed position but no luck yet, help! Many thanks
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Embouchure is the primary culprit. To make those notes sound decent, many people will put too much pressure on the reed.

Practice being very consistent with your embouchure through the upper range, slowly at first, and then add speed gradually until you can make it sound properly every single time. My band instructor used to say if you can't play it three times in a row without a mistake, then you haven't learned it or done it properly yet. Doing quick runs makes many people not realize the embouchure changes they are doing, therefore causing the issues.

Additionally, if you are taking in too much mouthpiece, that can be a huge contributor to squeaks.
 

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Typically a squeak is caused when one side of the reed vibrates and the other does not. The cause can be a reed that is thicker on one side than the other or a mouthpiece with uneven side rails, but more often it is caused by the player "biting" and putting more pressure on one side of the reed than the other. The solution is to discipline yourself to not tighten the embouchure as you go into the higher register, but instead increase the speed of the air. Holding the problematic notes as long tones at different dynamic levels can help develop the control needed to play those parts in the music.
 

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I found that overblowing 6ths from D-F (high D overblows a B above it, Eb --> C, etc.) as a warmup exercise helped me with the natural high range of the horn quite a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much, all of those suggestions are really helpful and make perfect sense. Would also explain why I was more successful at home when no one was listening and probably applying more pressure when more stressed at rehearsal! I will get practising, thanks again
 

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Another thing that can happen sometimes is squeaking when transitioning between octave vents. If one stays open even for a split second while the other opens, that can cause you to squeak.
 

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I found that overblowing 6ths from D-F (high D overblows a B above it, Eb --> C, etc.) as a warmup exercise helped me with the natural high range of the horn quite a lot.
Yes! It also provides more altissimo fingering options.
 

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Make sure the back portion of your reed is properly salivated and lined up straight with the axis of the MPC. Especially with 2 screw ligatures, tightening the screws can sometimes just shift the back end of the reed causing what saxoclese described in #3. This can easily be overlooked, especially in darker venues when you rush to get ready. I have come to rely more on tactile gauging than visuals for this and double checking the reed alignment from back to front really helped
 
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