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Forum Contributor 2015-2017
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Hahaha. No tenor is easiest or hardest.

Small tip MP (any), soft reed (any), and any tenor in good repair.

Dat
Sax
Man
 

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The reed with the best low-note response, out of all those I've ever tried, is the Legere Signature. Generally beats cane and other synthetics (most synths have a slight bias toward the upper register; the Signature is the opposite).

With mouthpieces, you have to start by narrowing the field. Will you be playing jazz? Classical? Rock/funk? Or are you a beginner just looking for an easy-playing, versatile piece? The mouthpiece has to be a good fit for your music before you can focus on the kind of response it has over a certain range.
 

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What tenor is easiest to get the low notes out ?
That's easy. The one with no leaks. :) Seriously mouthpieces with a baffle make the lowest notes harder to control since they emphasize the higher partials. Generally speaking softer reeds are more responsive in the low register. It is a balancing act to find a tenor mouthpiece that both has a bit of an edge and volume, and is responsive in the low register. The Jody Jazz Jet 7 I am playing on now comes the closest to matching these criteria than any I have ever tried.
 

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Like many here I am always experimenting with mouthpieces and have 3 tenors (4 if you count a Selmer Bundy II that I got in the 80s and currently never play).

Of all the tenors that I have tried in stores or own, the best for low notes is my Yanagisawa T901. I remember trying a Yamaha YTS 82 Z in a store which was pretty easy down low as well.

Of all of my mouthpieces I own, a Ben Allen TD and Mac Sax FJ III are the easiest to hit the low notes (C#, C, B, Bb).

As far as synthetic reeds, the easiest one to hit the low notes is probably Legere Signatures but I don't like them up high and altissimo is very hard. Any cane reed of your preference should do provided that they are not too hard and you are not putting too much pressure in your embouchure.

In all, however , the best you can do for hitting the low notes is practice long low tones. Start with low Bb, play at different dynamics. Fingering low Bb go up to the first overtone and back down then up again. Then repeat with low B, C and C# plus whatever low note you are struggling with.

In my case what I usually do is to think or "hear" the tone I want to produce mentally before playing it. Then I make sure the embouchure is relaxed and blow the amount of air needed to produce the tone.

A good exercise that was described by Bob Sheppard in a My Music Masterclass video is to finger F with the octave key pressed and play low F. Initial sound will be horrible but once you get it, you will have an idea on how to adjust your embouchure and blow the low notes.

I hope this helps.

Please be aware that I am not a teacher.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's easy. The one with no leaks. :) Seriously mouthpieces with a baffle make the lowest notes harder to control since they emphasize the higher partials. Generally speaking softer reeds are more responsive in the low register. It is a balancing act to find a tenor mouthpiece that both has a bit of an edge and volume, and is responsive in the low register. The Jody Jazz Jet 7 I am playing on now comes the closest to matching these criteria than any I have ever tried.

Just a beginner ..
 

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That's easy. The one with no leaks. :)
+1. And seriously, this bears repeating. I suspect a lot of players, esp new players who don't know the importance of a horn's playing condition, who are having trouble playing low notes don't realize their horn may have one or more leaks. So the first thing to address if you are having any significant trouble playing low notes (or higher notes for that matter) is the condition of your horn. Have it thoroughly checked out, and fixed if necessary, by a good tech.
 

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+1. And seriously, this bears repeating. I suspect a lot of players, esp new players who don't know the importance of a horn's playing condition, who are having trouble playing low notes don't realize their horn may have one or more leaks. So the first thing to address if you are having any significant trouble playing low notes (or higher notes for that matter) is the condition of your horn. Have it thoroughly checked out, and fixed if necessary, by a good tech.
A quick easy test is to finger low Bb put the end of the neck without the mouthpiece up to your ear like a stethoscope and "pop" your F key several times. If the sound rings like hitting a small tom tom, the air column has "integrity". If on the other hand you hear a dull thud, it means there are one or more leaks somewhere.

Popping F key, then D key fingering low Bb

Fair comment JayPDX, so I have added these.

Popping F key with small then larger leak in Bb side key

Popping F key with small then larger leak in palm D key
 

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Interesting test....I am not sure a beginner would actually be able to differentiate this if they tried it themselves, however.
 

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This really gets back to a shaky initial question.

There is no model of saxophone which is reputed for speaking the low notes effortlessly. Likewise, no mouthpiece makes a claim that it speaks certain registers effortlessly. Likewise no reed make or strength is necessarily reputed for doing this.

Indeed some horns may have more resistance vs. others which are free-blowers, some reeds may be more responsive than others, and some mouthpiece configurations may boost or diminish certain blowing responses and tonal aspects, all touched upon above by others.

But this info may be of little help to a beginner.

I do take with skepticism folks who actually come in and state "horn model XXX is way easier on the low notes than horn model YYY" is, because there are so many other variables involved besides the particular model of the horn which may be being completely overlooked. So, the question here lends itself to getting into a grey area very quickly.

1) Start with a leak-free horn, of a good manufacturer.

2) Start with a good, reputed beginner mouthpiece which has the reputation of being an easy-blower, and with (hopefully) the craftsmanship to possess a decently crafted table.rail, tip, etc.

3) Experiment with reed brands and strengths until you find one which works best for you up and down the registers.

If you are a newbie and are having 'trouble hitting the low notes'...and you have taken some lessons so a teacher is working with you on embouchure...then go down the list and cross off all elements which may be causing difficulty in hitting those notes.

#1 - leaky horn

#2 - bad (either badly crafted, or badly matched specs for a beginner) mouthpiece

#3 - reed strength
 

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Its kind of sad. Many beginners get their parents to buy a cheap used sax, but they aren't willing to spend the same (or more) on an overhaul, or even a pad job. Then, they wonder why the kid squeaks and can't get his notes out.
 

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Its kind of sad. Many beginners get their parents to buy a cheap used sax, but they aren't willing to spend the same (or more) on an overhaul, or even a pad job. Then, they wonder why the kid squeaks and can't get his notes out.
"He must not have any talent." :rolleyes:
 

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I would add to make sure you take a fair amount of mouthpiece in the mouth and practice slurring down octaves with any mouthpiece.
 

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How long have you played? I ask because even as a noobie I had no issue with this. Im with JL and I think there is a good chance you have some basic gear issues. Leaks, too big of a mouthpiece tip, too heavy of a reed or any combo of those.

Give us some info...experience level, what are you playing..what mouthpiece and size, wht reed and strength. Also, when was your horn last checked? Has anyone more experienced played it?

If things are right it can be harder to play low notes even and soft but just playing straight ahead should be about the least of your problems. It should be a breeze on any half decent setup if you have a little experience...even a few months.

It is really important to let people in on your setup when it is possibly presenting problems. Its like trying to diagnose a patient when he isnt in the office.
 
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