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Discussion Starter #1
I am having difficulty clearly tonguing low C on alto. Low D, C#, B, and Bb seem to be coming out without much of an issue. Is this most likely an issue with the instrument or how I am playing?
 

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Probably easiest to have a tech give it a quick check so you'd know for sure. Can you slur down to C and get the note or does it only happen when you try to tongue C?
 

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I find that on the lower notes the "da" syllable tends to work better than "ta" or "tu". Moving the tongue the shortest distance possible when tonguing also helps. Reeds that are a bit softer tend to be more responsive when playing and tonguing low notes. Any leak that affects the response of low C would also affect the notes below it as well in my experience.
 

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Could be a leak, but it's normal to have to use more of the middle of the tongue to get low notes to speak, if you're not subtoning. It would be easy for a tech to check. You could even check yourself in a closet with a flashlight (check both C and C#, then B and Bb while you're at it). Or make/buy a leak light. I made myself one with a strip of LEDs and some clear tubing. Then you need some tools to fix the leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Probably easiest to have a tech give it a quick check so you'd know for sure. Can you slur down to C and get the note or does it only happen when you try to tongue C?
I can slur down to C but not tongue down to C.
 

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I can slur down to C but not tongue down to C.
Like Saxoclese says, my experience is that a leak would usually affect all lower notes too. But I'd still have it checked first (or use a leak light as others have said) as you can drive yourself a bit nuts trying to resolve a problem with technique when there is a tech issue (I've been there a few times). You also may be subconsciously pressing down very hard now on your C key to try and resolve it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. I figure that I will be having it checked out soon.
 
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