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Okay, so all of a sudden, my high notes are out-of-the-park sharp and I'm not sure why. I have to change my embouchure a whole lot, almost having NO pressure around the mouthpiece in order to get it in tune. I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong, or what's can be guessed to be wrong with my instrument. Advice or your own experiences?

( I have a Yanigasawa with a Jody Jazz mouth piece and Vandoren Jazz reeds, for an inventory brief.)
 

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You could be closing off your airstream and not realizing. This will have the same affect as biting. What are you voicing the notes as? Commonly it's as "EEE", but that CAN lead to sharpness, biting, and shrilly upper register. I now use "Eh" and "Ooo", and reserve "EEE' for the upper altissimo.
 

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Pads leaking? try closing them slowly and one by one. If it only muffles the sound and doesn't produce clear change in pitch at one precise point it's leaking. But it could have been there all the time..
 

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To voice the higher notes I play them as if they were actually the lowest notes on my horn (in other words relatively low). For the low end I do the opposite.
 

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Upper pad leakage is the hardest to detect, as it is the easiest to "blow past" or "play over". It would be a good idea to have those palm key pads (and octave key pads) checked out.

Glad I explained the voicing well :) . Practice, of course, will make it where you won't even have to think about it :) .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I think I'll send it up to my nearby instrument repair shop for leaks. I can even feel some lower leaks. And I need my neck cork replaced because I can't pull my mouthpiece beyond half way without there being a slight wobble, which i'm sure is that little sharpness left in my high notes after I fixed the blowing issue. I just need to get some money for that :p haha.
 

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After an overhaul, I was having a problem with my high F# playing out of tune. After some experimentation I realized it was my side Bb key (I don't have an F# key). The cork under the key was too thick and the key wasn't venting correctly. Once I had my repairman change the cork the F# was now in tune. Try experimenting with your keys. If a key opens too much or too little, it can really affect your intonation. Good luck.
 

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Periodically, I replace the top four small pads on my MKVI whether they leak or not or look bad or good, perhaps every six months. I always seal the leather in these pads with a sealant, also. After this, the instrument always plays better. I may even replace the side key pads also. Sometimes, the leaks in these pads are just too difficult to detect, but these leaks will cause the upper left hand notes to be sharp.

The palm keys should not be too high or those notes will be sharp also. Good luck!
 

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I have the same experience that you, and I could solve this problem practicing long tones over drones that I found in Matt Otto blog (this guy is an excellent player and teacher that share this group too!!). Drones are sounds of an ancient instrument like an indian violin or violoncello. Then you can adjust your pitch without the use of an tuner, just using your ears. It´s incredible, in a short time you can achieve a solid and consistent sound and adjust your tune.
 

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Get the horn checked out. If there are no leaks, find the most experienced player you are friendly with and have them try the horn. I have played several tenors (student quality horns) that go sharp in the upper register. My first tenor went almost a half step sharp on high B and above (which I learned when I tried several top quality pro horns that all mysteriously seemed to play a half step flat in the upper regester...).
 

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Had the same problems. After trying most of the above hints, I came up with a solution that works for me - so SIMPLE! I had to clean a bit the upper key pads and found a tiny bit of dirt or fluff in the octave key hole ! That was all. I'm happy !
My horn is a Yamaha 475 soprano.
 

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Are you familiar with mouthpiece pitch? If you played on it alone, what pitch on the piano would it create?

-Bubba-
 
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