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Hello,

I'm trying to go for a clear, pure tone on my Tenor sax and for some time have been quite disheartened with how I currently play. Generally my tone at present is quite breathy, airy and wavery. I'd be grateful if anyone can give me any advice on what is possibly wrong, and further to that how to produce a more 'pure' tone.

I've been playing Tenor for 5 years, if that helps anyone.

Saxophone: Trevor James Classic II
Mouthpiece: Selmer Soloist E
Reed: Vandoren Classic Blue Box 2.5 strength
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
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Is air coming out from the sides of the mpc b/c you are not taking enough mpc in?

There are so many possible causes that a tutor or a friendly player could potentially be of help in a mere moment.
 

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This may be a completely stupid question, but are you sure you're getting a good reed/mouthpiece seal (talking about the reed against the table, not your embouchure)?
 

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TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
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What you're doing is what we call a 'sub-tone' and is used all the time in jazz/other non-legit playing. Unfortunately you're trying to get a full tone so this indicates you're leaking air around the mouthpiece. You're going to need to improve your embouchure - you basically have no chops (wavery tone, etc.).
 

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I always like to go back to the "source" of the sound and work from there. Blow long tones on the mouthpiece playing a G Concert with a big, full sound. Work to make the pitch and intensity completely steady. Next do the same on the "tone producer" which is the mouthpiece and the neck. Play big, full, steady long tones on the note E Concert making the sound as big and beautiful as possible. When that is working, assemble the saxophone and play the same pitch, a written F#2, using the same embouchure and air stream as you used on the neck.

The "body" of the saxophone just "amplifies" and focuses the sound of the "tone producer". When that "small sax" gets a big, clear, beautiful sound by itself, the saxophone is going to sound even better. If it does not, there is sound energy being lost in the "system". Take your saxophone to a tech and have it checked for mechanical issues and leaks.
 

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does your mpc/reed pass the suction test ? If yes, may be your reed is too hard for you.
Many mouthpiece/reed combinations that sound great will fail the suction test. The contrary is also true - passing the suction test is no guarantee of a good mouthpiece.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Many mouthpiece/reed combinations that sound great will fail the suction test. The contrary is also true - passing the suction test is no guarantee of a good mouthpiece.
Truth.

If I’d been playing 5 years and still had a wavering tone I’d have quit or taken some lessons. It could be as simple as you’re playing too hard of a set up for you in terms of tip opening, Reed strength, or both. Could be your horn, could be your mouthpiece...how often have you been playing in these 5 years?
 

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Too hard a reed was my first thought also.
+1, for what the OP describes ('breathy and airy'). At first glance it didn't look like the OP has been playing all that hard a reed (2.5), but then I saw it's a Vandoren Classic Blue Box 2.5. The Blue Box (Traditional) reeds are considerably harder than other brands & other Vandoren reeds at the same # hardness. So yes, that would be a fairly hard reed.

I still don't understand why so many beginning or relatively inexperienced (only 5 years) players insist on playing such hard reeds.
 

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Pease, make a recording with your phone and post it here , so we can hear your tone , and give you more precise recommendations accordying to what we hear.
Many Thanks
 

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No response from the OP. Sometimes someone will come on here, ask a question, then disappear.
 
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