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Discussion Starter #1
has anyoneone got any tips on how to play quietly and the quieter the better. i have been playing a few months and i am fairly pleased with my progress so far. But if i play too long i do feel that i am probably annoying my nieghbours and my family. at the moment i use usually rico royal 2.5 reeds a yanigisawa t901 and the yani mouthpiece that came with it oh and a towel stuffed down the end of the bell. is there anything else i can do to make it as quiet as possible. i practice long tones to get a minimum volume before the note dies and i supose i can play fairly quietly by most standards is a harder reed louder or more quiet. do these sax mute things work. any advise would by apreciated as the quieter i can play the more i will be able to practice and at the moment i love it.

cheers

valleyboy
 

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G'day Valleyboy,

Shame about the Rugby :D :D :D

You're already doing pretty much all that can be done. When it comes to annoying the family and neighbours, my experience has led me to believe that there are really only two volumes.

From your neighbours perspective, there's

"I can't hear it." In which case you're cool, no worries.

or...

"I can hear it." In which case it doesn't matter how softly you play. If they can hear it, it'll annoy them in the same way a dripping tap isn'tloud but it still drives you nuts.

Your best bet is to join a band and find a church or school hall where you can practice.
 

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valleyboy - the only thing that helped me was playing long enough over time to have enough control over my instruments that I could play softly. When you get to the point in your daily playing that you feel you have to play softer, slap a weaker reed on your mpc. I can play softer easier that way but the upper register suffers a bit without pinching to keep the pitch up so be careful of that.

My first reaction was to ask you if you had a walk-in closet, but then I noticed your're not in the states. When I was in the US, walk-in closets were my practice rooms...not here, LOL.

What I did a few aears ago as a solution, was to find a church parish hall that I could practice in and in turn, I did some things periodically for the church. It works well. You just have to make sure you're not working up a randy version of "Night Train" while the Ladies' Auxillary is meeting in another room. :D
 

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gary said:
valleyboy - the only thing that helped me was playing long enough over time to have enough control over my instruments that I could play softly. When you get to the point in your daily playing that you feel you have to play softer, slap a weaker reed on your mpc. I can play softer easier that way but the upper register suffers a bit without pinching to keep the pitch up so be careful of that.

My first reaction was to ask you if you had a walk-in closet, but then I noticed your're not in the states. When I was in the US, walk-in closets were my practice rooms...not here, LOL.

What I did a few aears ago as a solution, was to find a church parish hall that I could practice in and in turn, I did some things periodically for the church. It works well. You just have to make sure you're not working up a randy version of "Night Train" while the Ladies' Auxillary is meeting in another room. :D
Everything Gary said holds true for me as well. I use a fairly closed mouthpiece and a soft reed, as well as the Lebayle Sax mute. I lose the top end in doing this, but at least I get to practice. Ifyou really want to drive the neighbours nuts, try flute. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hey guys this is all good stuff, exept for the rugby jokes that is. so if i use the lowest number reed the volume will go down is this correct. if so what do you find is the quietest make of reed. is the sax mute thingy any different from stuffing a towel down it. thanks again all
 

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In Jackie Maclean's Daily Exercise book, he has you vary the dynamics of the long tones playing fff to ppp and back. The secret to control and playing softly, is to practice playing softly while not sacrifice tonal quality. Make a point to spend a practice session playing "softly"...... you will notice a control liek you wouldn't beleive when you go back to playing "regular"

My $0.02.

Flatted E.
 

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Dog Pants said:
Everything Gary said holds true for me as well. I use a fairly closed mouthpiece and a soft reed, as well as the Lebayle Sax mute. I lose the top end in doing this, but at least I get to practice. Ifyou really want to drive the neighbours nuts, try flute. :D
I live in an appartmentbuilding and have taken the small tip soft(er) reed route also. Trying to keep a nice and steady tone at really low volume also makes you aware of your airstream and how important this is.

DP, could you tell something more about the lebayle mute, resistance for instance and do you use only the bell part or the neck and receiver part also. Is it better compared to a 'towel in the bell' solution, thanks.
 

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Grumpie,

I use the whole thing. i don't notice the extra resistance because I'm not trying to reach the listeners in the back row. For the $50 it cost, it works better than a towel down the bell.
 

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Thanks Dog Pants,

I think I'll give it a try, playing soft plus the extra volume reduction from this might do the trick then. Normally no shedding here after 6pm so this could stretch the window.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hey dog pants
when you say the sax mute is better than a towel do you mean quieter or sounds better or easier to blow or sometyhing else please elabotate, do they mute as much as a towel they are not cheap in the uk. has anybody else tried 1 one of the sax mutes if so what did you think of it.

thank you butty boy
 

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I had the same problem: too loud while practicing. I practice a lot late in the evening and everybody was disturbed. So I bought a silencer for a mouthpiece and can make my exercises whisper quiet now. Take a look at MOUTHPIECE EXERCISES here in SOTW or in Google or here: http://www.bobrk.com/saxfaq/2.6.html.

Some funny stuff about silencer is here too:
The SOTW Forum > The Marketplace > New Product Announcements > Here's something new!
But I suppose most of this funny guys didn't realize that mouthpiece mute is a brilliant idea and good training for embouchure, intonation and sound.

I take my mouthpiece with muffler even on my trip: nobody is disturbed while practicing in my hotel room.

You can find some information here: www.jazzlab.com
or here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Mouthpiece-Mute...ryZ38112QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hmm i guess you havn't seen the size of an average uk closet. i can just about sqaush the the cat into my closet if i really push, she doesn,t like it to much though. the mouth piece mute is a great idea but i'm not really good enough to be worrying about mouthpiece only exercises, i really need practice my fingering first. i understand the mouthpiece silencer doesnt work with the sax attached is this right? would still really like some opinions and info on the Lebayle Sax mute or any other kind of mute which allows me to practice on the whole sax.
thanks for all the replys.
 

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It works differently to the towel, in that the muting isspread throughout the horn. Have a look here:

http://www.saxophones.co.uk/acatalog/Sax_mutes.html

It's not as resistant as everyone seems to claim. At least not to me.

If you want to quieten down the horn even more, use the mute and drop a tea towel in the end of the bell, on top of the mute thingy.

When it's all done and dusted, the real trick to practicing your scales, licks, or whatever, quietly, is learning to give the horn just enough air that you get a whisper of sound.

You're not going to develop a big sound, or control of your sound, doing this. All you're trying to achieve, is just enough of a sound to let your ears hear what your fingers are doing whilst you get the finger memory & technique happening. The mute isn't really necessary to do this, but it's handy insurance to have for when you forget yourself and blow a full bodied note.
 

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Again, I say stick to the set up that you like and 'practice' playing softly. Its about building the strength of your embouchure to sustain the tone, while playing softly. It will give your embouchure dynamic flexibility.
 
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