Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been working on my middle C#. My tuner says I'm in tune, but it doesn't sound good, it sounds - I don't know what the word is. I use play-alongs to learn tunes and try to improvise, and their C#s sound nice! It's not the horn, the MP or the reed because I have really nice tone for the most part throughout the range, other than the C#. Any suggestions??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,549 Posts
On slow songs use the low C# fingering w/ the octave key depressed. It will make your C# sound full like the middle D does.
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,204 Posts
C# is not a *#@!*, it's a @$*)#$(*#[email protected]~.

It takes awhile to have a C# sound decent. Try to blow warm air, warm up your sound. Get a nice sounding C, and then slur to C#, while thinking the same air. It gets better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yeah. But I'm working on Autumn Leaves and I Remember You! Not so slow to me. And coming off a faster segment to a a hold on the C# -- ooof!
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,204 Posts
Try leaving just the three right hand keys down. See if you like that.

If you don't like that try 00x|xxx with the octave key (where 0=no finger and x=finger down)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
hakukani said:
Try leaving just the three right hand keys down. See if you like that.

If you don't like that try 00x|xxx with the octave key (where 0=no finger and x=finger down)

I'll try petting the dog while holding the cat, while holding the octave key if my C# stops sounding like a frog in the cat's throat. :D

Thanks. Will try both.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,494 Posts
You can tame some of those harmonics with good embouchure.

You need to get the sound more focused, with less honk and
splatter.

Try altering your lips and throat while holding the C# to see if
you can improve the sound to your ears.

Often what you hear is not what comes out the front. It is less
noticable for someone listening. Because the air is venting from
different places on this note than on some of the others, it
may seem exceptionally bright (to you).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,200 Posts
I wish I could offer some help with this one. I've just decided that no matter how you finger it, more air, less air, more lip, less lip,,, C# is just ugly.
 

·
The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
Joined
·
27,650 Posts
You've got to make the difference between C# and D as slight as possible. You've got two adjacent notes which couldn't be more different from one another, C# and D. On the D you've got much of the sax tubing closed down and on the C#, the opposite. If you play back and forth between C# and other nearby notes, trying to keep the sound quality the same, eventually you'll navigate towards a more closed C# sound which should help.

Also play C#2 open and then with the C#1 fingering (same for C and D). Play back and forth between the same pitchs but with the different-octave fingerings and try to match the tones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Middle, or open C#, is one of the worst notes on any saxophone, and will take time and patience to learn how to voice. It is a bad note because it is the only note you play where no keys are being depressed ... there is very little resistance, and not much of the body tube is actively in play (for the oppoiste, think low Bb, where all the keys are closed the body is a solid tube).

Tone matching to the first overtone off of low C# is a pretty vital excercise for warming up your middle C#, as is tone matching to the notes close to it on the horn ... which includes the dreaded middle D. Ha ha! Ain't the saxophone fun!?!

Just be patient. It will take a while for everything to start to sound good ... that's normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yes, had my lesson today and he showed me how to use the overtone to try to match for a smoother more clear open C#. Plus a couple of other thing. It's not really horrendous, I exaggerated, but I can't believe how hard it is to get a good, strong, smooth tone on this note. I'm trying all suggestions here. I guess once I get it, I'll get it and be able to repeat it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
In the transition from C#2 or even C2 is the problem really with them being too open sounding or isn't it the dead and muffled D problem that has been discussed at length on other treads? I don't hear anything wrong with the tone of my middle C or C# but when I press that octave key and play D it sounds like there is suddenly a sock in the bell, which goes away the second I play Eb or E. Which is the real problem, or is it six of one, a half dozen of the other?

Some suggestions for the stuffy D that I'm going to try are 1) to finger the D palm key at the same time as you play D with the octave key 2) the same thing without the octave key 3) play only the D palm key alone with the octave key 4) play as in number 1 but adding the C# key or finally 5) play middle D without the octave key using embouchere.

The other problem I have is making a run down from Middle D to C or C# I get a squawk or intermediate tone. Not sure what it is, if I am closing the octave key a milisecond late, if I am hitting a palm key accidentally, or if it my embouchere overblowing for that muddy D which blows C out when I make the transition. Tongued I have no problem, but slurred..... Any ideas about this?:?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
The other problem I have is making a run down from Middle D to C or C# I get a squawk or intermediate tone. Not sure what it is, if I am closing the octave key a milisecond late, if I am hitting a palm key accidentally, or if it my embouchere overblowing for that muddy D which blows C out when I make the transition. Tongued I have no problem, but slurred..... Any ideas about this?
I had a similar problem. It turned out the octave key had a small leak. Try checking that.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
122 Posts
I didn't like the sound of my middle C# either. Found out though, when I recorded myself and played it back, it sounded better. Hearing yourself though your own body is different than someone standing in front you would hear.

FWIW (not much I know)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Yeah, the change from C2 or C#2 to D2 squawks for me sometimes too, particularly when I haven't warmed up. I think it's either a problem with synchronization of all the fingers at once, or a slight change in embouchure needed, or both.
I always have thought that the D2 sounded really stuffy, but I figured it's because it's farther down the bell all of the sudden, so the sound is further from your head. I asked my dad if he thought it sounded stuffy, but he said it sounded just the same. I'm gonna try recording myself to see if that makes more sense...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
28,511 Posts
Another David said:
Yeah, the change from C2 or C#2 to D2 squawks for me sometimes too, particularly when I haven't warmed up. I think it's either a problem with synchronization of all the fingers at once, or a slight change in embouchure needed, or both.
I think you're right about the sloppy fingering. This only happens to me when running down a scale from D2 to C rapidly, and not up from C to D2. If I slow it down it doesn't happen and I can see that I'm not making the fingering change with enough precision.

Another David said:
I always have thought that the D2 sounded really stuffy, but I figured it's because it's farther down the bell all of the sudden, so the sound is further from your head. I asked my dad if he thought it sounded stuffy, but he said it sounded just the same. I'm gonna try recording myself to see if that makes more sense...
This is what I have read in a number of places so it may be true. Recording yourself and listening to it as others do is I suppose the best way to find out the facts of the matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
C# was also my ugliest one on my Ref54. I even tried to change the MPC/reed combinations just to get descent mid C#. Whenever I play, I tried to avoid C# as many times as possible. Well, praise Jesus!, the story is I got the alto part at the church and almost every numbers have mid C# as many times as possible!!!. And you know most church musics are as slow as most ballads. So I had no choice but to play C# nicely possible,or forced to play nicely. Doing so gave me strong larynx muscle as time goes on and I now almost look like a bull frog or David Liebman trying high overtones when I play long nice C#. I think as you have to develop your larynx muscle so that you also can get control over the muscle for nice C#. And don't forget to pull the sound from the deep of your body (air support).
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top