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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure this is the correct sub-forum on which to post this question, but here goes:

I have a Trevor James Signature Custom Alto. Those who have handled one may know that it is one heck of a heavy piece of metal.

I have used a Jody Jazz DV NY 7 and a Jody Jazz HR 7 on it. In both cases, when I play in the higher registers (as when the octave key is depressed), the horn sounds more like a trumpet than a sax, for lack of a better description. The lower register sounds fine. With respect to reeds, I have experimented with Gonzalez 627 2.5 and 3, Alexander Supernal 2.5 and 3, and D'Addario Select Filed in a 3 soft.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the upper register to sound somewhat consistent with the lower on this alto? In general, what are the guidelines with respect to mouthpiece and reed with heavier, more solid horns.

I also have a tenor, a Yani 010, with which I use a JJ DV NY and it sounds perfect, top to bottom.

Thanks,
 

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How long have you been playing? What sort of experience do you have?

Octave exercises. Tone matching. Overtones. These are all things that could help. But it's kind of hard to know what to suggest without knowing much about you.
 

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I also have a tenor, a Yani 010, with which I use a JJ DV NY and it sounds perfect, top to bottom.
There's your answer. Stick to the tenor. :) (sorry, couldn't resist).

I'm not that familiar with the mpcs you are using on the alto, but if they have a high baffle, you'll get a fairly bright tone, especially on alto. In any case, the upper register is going to sound brighter and more 'trumpet like' on alto, than the lower register. But, as I said, it may be due in part to the mpc. Maybe try a lower baffle piece like a Meyer or Link style with a low rollover baffle.

I'm pretty sure the weight of the horn has nothing to do with it.
 

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I think I would try using a 2 reed on a 7 mouthpiece, but I use Gonzalez RC which will give you a warmer sound anyway. The jazz reeds tend to be bright and buzzy and don't work so well on some mouthpieces.
 

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i am not sure of what you mean by “ sounds like a trumpet” but you certainly use very bright mouthpieces there!

It almost sounds like you are simply blowing into the mouthpiece rather that doing anything with your embouchure. If that’s the case you will “ splatter” the sound.

Also learn to subtone in all registers , it will round the sound of your notes.

Watch the following video and try to understand what Don Menza says here, he demonstrates both direct and very subtoned sound and then plays “ normally” then he says : “ If you don’t move , if you don’t have that nice “ cushion” for the reed it will never happen”.

That is precisely an illustration of what I am trying to say to you.

I guess it isn’t happening YET, but persevere and it will.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all.

The Don Menza video is pointing the way for me. I think my mouth is too dead when I play and I blow, especially in the upper register, like I'm giving mouth-to-mouth to a steam boiler. Also ordered some Gonzalez RC 2, for comparison, but really, I think I need to work on the mouth next.
 

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probably a good idea.

Just try to let your body figure out the way to get to the sound that you want but really, blowing into the mouthpiece is not producing the sound that you want.

Good Luck.
 
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