Finally got it ... I think
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    Default Finally got it ... I think

    After reworking on my tone, I realized it was all air stream.

    I used have a subtone-ish dark sound which I was quite satisfied with.
    But after repairing the horn from a damage, the feel changed a bit and I was not able to get the tone I used to have.I kept doubting the horn for a while but finally gave up and play the horn as it is, and rebuild the tone.

    I worked on my breathing, embouchure, and all the things I can imagine for the tone.

    The most confusing part was how much mouthpiece to take in.
    I started by taking in a lot of mouthpiece which was suggested on the Phil Barone sticky. The sound was horrible and stayed horrible.I concentrated too much on 'taking in a lot' and was not able to see the meaning of it.

    Now I became able to use the air stream and by that, the other things (how much to take in, embouchure)does not matter much, it effects the color of the tone but does not make it weak or bad.I can produce a tone with a lot of mouthpiece,less mouthpiece,bottom lip curled in,curled out,double lip etc,with a satisfied tone.

    So what I want to say is, there is no substitute for the air stream.
    How much mouthpiece to take and embouchure varies by people so those things are flexible if you have a good air stream. But without a good air stream nothing is going to work.

    People having a hard time on embouchure and other things rather than the air stream might want to check your air stream once again.If you become able to use the air stream everything is going to be easy.Way easy.

    Hope this helps sombody.

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    Amen brother! Sing it!

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    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    +1 BLOW, BLOW, BLOW!!!!

    Victor.

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    Actually this happened after playing for 20 years and being able to make a living with the sax.

    I studied with the big names, Garzone and Bergonzi quite a while ago. Garzone fixed my way of playing the horn by telling me to loosen up. But I was more into the improvising stuff and I thought I had a decent tone at that time which made me not to take the tone producing so seriously.Well, if you study with them, I think everybody will want to learn how to play a burning solo.

    I did loosen up but not knowing how the tone changed by that.That made me hard to recover when something got wrong.

    There are lots of different embouchures, taking in a lot of the mouthpiece, taking in less, breathing, angle of the mouthpiece etc, and also different equipments which a lot of people seems to care the most.
    With any combination of above, I can find a player with a strong tone, maybe I like some more but , just a matter of taste.

    So I came to a conclusion, the secret is in the air stream. Other stuff is flexible.The great sax players from the history shows that.Well, at least that is what I am thinking now...

    I became able to produce a similar tone with different kind of embouchures, taking in more, less , different angle etc, untill the extreme.All I have to do is adjust the airstream for it.

    The forum has been very very helpful, and at the same time it was confusing because of the opposite suggestions, specially about the tone producing part.

    ...and I might be doing the confusing part right now...

    But hope it would be helpful for some degree.

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    Quote Originally Posted by Bokudesu View Post

    The most confusing part was how much mouthpiece to take in.
    I started by taking in a lot of mouthpiece which was suggested on the Phil Barone sticky. The sound was horrible and stayed horrible.I concentrated too much on 'taking in a lot' and was not able to see the meaning of it.
    I seem to have taken a lot of stick over on that thread for suggesting that there may be another way. I agree that taking in a lot may be wrong for many people, and that taking in too much is wrong, period.

    You are right that airstream is a really crucial and probably underestimated aspect of playing.

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    Count me in on those who consider air stream to be of paramount importance. But Bokudesu, you haven't said anything about how you use the airstream to improve or change your tone. It's all well and good to say "there is no substitute for the airstream," but that doesn't say anything about how to use the airstream. I'd like to hear something specific about what exactly you are doing with the airstream.

    I'll start by saying it's important to take in plenty of air (more than you might think) before starting the airstream. Anything to add?

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    It is the speed of the air and amount of air.

    I think it has been said by other people already but the tongue position,shape of the tongue and maybe the vocal chords control the speed.
    How much you push will control the amount.
    But it is not simple as said. There is a lot of combination and a close connection between each other which effects each other.

    First thing in the air stream,I look it as energy.You need quite amount of energy to make the reed vibrate.And if you talk about just energy,more speed and more amount gives more energy. If the amount is 2 times more, the energy is 2 times more and, if the speed is 2 times more the energy is 2 squared which makes it 4 times more.

    Everybody is different in how much they can push and have different sizes (oral cavity sizes, tongue, teeth etc).So you need to adjust the two things to create enough energy
    to make the reed vibrate and suport the steady vibration.

    The point is, understanding the effects when you change something.
    And the biggest part what I want to say is understanding it by yourself.Not because somebody says one way is better or because you see a picture of somebody.You should try everything you know and try hard. Eventually you will end up in your own good way.
    I hear a lot of people say they end up sounding quite similar after a while when they change an equipment.The way you play has that much effect on the tone.

    I am not saying taking in a lot is wrong.As I said before, there are a lot of great sax players who takes in a lot, takes in less and have a great personal sound.There is too many technique, too many ways to make music to judje right or wrong. I look at it as, you like it or not and not right or wrong.

    So what I want say again is, get a control and understanding by yourself on what your doing to produce a sound.To be able to do that is to try everything and try hard.

    At last it is you not the others who judjes your own sound and your own music.It is not a race, there is no win or lose,which sometimes I get a feeling there is when reading from this forum.

    If you look at just the " how much to take in" you might end up taking in a lot or less but, know it what happens when you do the opposite.And try hard to make it work either way.You need to try hard enough to find the best for you.

    And do not forget, the air stream is the one that is doing the work to make the reed vibrate.Not the embouchure.

    Sorry for writing long and my poor english.

    Hope I wrote something meaningful.

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    Quote Originally Posted by Bokudesu View Post
    Sorry for writing long and my poor english.

    Hope I wrote something meaningful.
    Your English is far better than my Japanese! And yes, you wrote something very meaningful. I understand what you're saying by reading 'between the lines.' Well said...

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    Default Re: Finally got it ... I think

    Quote Originally Posted by Bokudesu View Post
    Actually this happened after playing for 20 years and being able to make a living with the sax.

    I studied with the big names, Garzone and Bergonzi quite a while ago. Garzone fixed my way of playing the horn by telling me to loosen up. But I was more into the improvising stuff and I thought I had a decent tone at that time which made me not to take the tone producing so seriously.Well, if you study with them, I think everybody will want to learn how to play a burning solo.

    I did loosen up but not knowing how the tone changed by that.That made me hard to recover when something got wrong.

    There are lots of different embouchures, taking in a lot of the mouthpiece, taking in less, breathing, angle of the mouthpiece etc, and also different equipments which a lot of people seems to care the most.
    With any combination of above, I can find a player with a strong tone, maybe I like some more but , just a matter of taste.

    So I came to a conclusion, the secret is in the air stream. Other stuff is flexible.The great sax players from the history shows that.Well, at least that is what I am thinking now...

    I became able to produce a similar tone with different kind of embouchures, taking in more, less , different angle etc, untill the extreme.All I have to do is adjust the airstream for it.

    The forum has been very very helpful, and at the same time it was confusing because of the opposite suggestions, specially about the tone producing part.

    ...and I might be doing the confusing part right now...

    But hope it would be helpful for some degree.


    The amount of mp to take is, is simple : Do it the way you feel the most comfortable.
    What IS important, is to listen to your tone.
    A tip: A warm round tone, you can achieve by changing the internal volume of your mouth, for example , pushung your tong deeper into your throuth.
    The ROUNDER THE MOUTH ,THE ROUNDER THE TONE. So, make your mouth as round as you gan , and as big as you can , as a start and experiment with that

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