Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been searching the internet for this problem but it seems I'm the only one who's having it

When I start from a high C# and go down chromatically my G goes sharp so I try relaxing my embouchure and opening my throat a little bit so I can bring the note in pitch, that's when it goes an octave lower

How can I fix this? Am I having too much tension on high notes?

Edit: This happens only when I'm playing legato, if I'm articulate the note it won't go an octave lower (I'm playing alto sax)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,025 Posts
That sounds like what happened to me when I tried a Mauriet tenor. It jumped the octave below at D. Usually saxes jump an octave up.
Chinese sax?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Lets check a few mechanical things first. Remove the neck from your saxophone and finger G with the thumb octave key pressed. With your free hand move the post that extends from the top of the saxophone to engage the loop on the neck. It should float freely up and down without any friction. Next, put the sax together and finger G again. Now press the thumb octave key, and watch the body octave key cup and pad. It should go up. Next, still holding the thumb octave key go from G to A and back several times the octave pad on the neck and the body should trade positions. Last finger G pressing the thumb octave and push a soft cotton pipe cleaner into the body vent and pull it back out a few times.

When all of this has been done, and you have found everything working take the neck off again and play just the mouthpiece and neck. The note should be an Ab concert, the same as Ab on the piano. Adjust your embouchure so this is the pitch that sounds. That gives the correct embouchure pressure. Put the sax together and slur up a G scale, and hold high G when you get to it using the same embouchure you did on the neck. Next start on middle C and slur up the C scale and hold high C when you get to it keeping the same embouchure. Last, slur up the C scale and when you get to high C come down the scale back to middle C. The G when you pass by should sound good and be in the correct octave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Lets check a few mechanical things first. Remove the neck from your saxophone and finger G with the thumb octave key pressed. With your free hand move the post that extends from the top of the saxophone to engage the loop on the neck. It should float freely up and down without any friction. Next, put the sax together and finger G again. Now press the thumb octave key, and watch the body octave key cup and pad. It should go up. Next, still holding the thumb octave key go from G to A and back several times the octave pad on the neck and the body should trade positions. Last finger G pressing the thumb octave and push a soft cotton pipe cleaner into the body vent and pull it back out a few times.

When all of this has been done, and you have found everything working take the neck off again and play just the mouthpiece and neck. The note should be an Ab concert, the same as Ab on the piano. Adjust your embouchure so this is the pitch that sounds. That gives the correct embouchure pressure. Put the sax together and slur up a G scale, and hold high G when you get to it using the same embouchure you did on the neck. Next start on middle C and slur up the C scale and hold high C when you get to it keeping the same embouchure. Last, slur up the C scale and when you get to high C come down the scale back to middle C. The G when you pass by should sound good and be in the correct octave.
Hey! I did all the things you told me and the sax is working fine, I think it's a embouchure problem, when I go to high notes I seem to apply too much pressure and because of that my embouchure is changing.

When I do the C scale with the same embouchure that I do with the neck, the G problem doesn't happen but most my high notes are flat, how can I fix that?

Sorry for my english, I'm using a Rico B5 mouthpiece with a 2.5 rico royal reed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
It sounds like you're just voicing it too low when you're trying to get the G in tune. The octave key on the saxophone really just helps make voicing high notes easier. Theoretically you can play the entire range of the horn without it, and as you've learned, you can play lower with it open.

As for the tuning problems in general, start with this article. You probably are just playing too loose up high, but too loose is a much better problem to have than too tight or sharp in the upper register.

http://www.steveduke.net/articles/mouthpiece.shtml
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
I've found some horns more sensitive to this than others, I think G2 is probably a sensitive note in that regard. I sold a perfectly good TruTone tenor when I was starting out, thinking it was the horn. Definitely an embouchure thing but I have a feeling there is a root to it inherent in how saxes are designed. At least that's how I've come to see it. If you try hard enough you can play all up and down with the octave key depressed and for the most part stay in the first octave. (Doesn't sound so good) That kind of tells you it's an embouchure thing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Hey! I did all the things you told me and the sax is working fine, I think it's a embouchure problem, when I go to high notes I seem to apply too much pressure and because of that my embouchure is changing.

When I do the C scale with the same embouchure that I do with the neck, the G problem doesn't happen but most my high notes are flat, how can I fix that?

Sorry for my english, I'm using a Rico B5 mouthpiece with a 2.5 rico royal reed
I'm glad your sax is working. Your English is just fine. Try tuning your saxophone to A concert---your low F#. When that note is in tune check the F# an octave higher. They should both be in tune. Keep checking your embouchure to make sure an Ab concert sound on the neck and mouthpiece. When the F#2 with the octave key is in tune, removing the fingers one at a time to go up the G scale should produce notes that are close to in tune if you are blowing lots of fast air. If anything, with a good embouchure, the upper notes are generally a bit sharp---never flat. The entire regular range of the saxophone for the most part is played with the same embouchure tension. We don't tighten for one register and loosen for another.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top