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Beginner A bunch of beginner questions (you have probably seen before)

Matabayahsi

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So today is my fifth day and I am having 3-4 hours practise a day now because I know when I go back to the UK I wont have that much time and availability that I have now. I have been practising my natural minors (A,D,E,F for now) and the blues scales of A, D, E however I am planning to practise all possible minors and blues scales before moving on to anything else. Why would I do that? because it worked with guitar and piano as a beginner and changed my playing a lot in a very short amount of time. I believe it is working on the sax as well because my fingers are getting faster and now I know what sound to expect from which fingers. Probably not the most advised way of beginning but hey that is my way :D Also when I manage to play the scale on 200bpm I reward myself with a nice backing track for it and practise my improvisation and long notes holding.
Soo coming to the questions:

1- I realised some scales such as Bminor has B and C# after each other and whatever I ve done I cant switch from the low B to a low C# (by slurring anyway, with toungue and time I can) is the low Bb B and C# supposed to be something I should avoid for my beginner times? I can make the sounds (not always in tune) but fingerings are very hard! Should I not worry about them or not?

2- after 3-4 hours I seem to create a good little pond of saliva in my horn is that normal?

3- My upper notes seems to be alright ( not the E3 and D#3) seems to be fairly in tune (with the tuner almst on green) however my lower notes are a little out the D1 D#1 C1 (and the rest)
(-----v-----) <--- this being perfectly in tune they are usually like this one ----> (---v-------) and whatever I did with my embouchure couldnt fix that! is that something that usually happens with low notes? or am I doing something wrong?

4- how do I clean the outside of my sax it is getting a little dusty and I hate to see my shiny baby girl with dust on her but I am scared because I dont know where is fragile and where is not.

All this for now. I know many of yous think I should have a tutor who can teach me proper ways of doing things but I cant afford having a tutor and also my experience with teachers of music is not well so I avoid that.

Thanks
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Condensation etc in the sax is one of the hazards... this is why we have pull-throughs / swabs
 

Matabayahsi

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Condensation etc in the sax is one of the hazards... this is why we have pull-throughs / swabs
Yeah I made my self some pull throughs too and they work quite well for the inside but how about the outside :D
 

jonf

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Just wipe it with a soft cloth, no more than that. They're not quite as fragile as they look. And yes, inside the horn, it's not saliva but condensation. Breath is very humid and it condenses. Just put a pull through through the sax. Don't agonise too much about it.

Sounds like you're doing pretty well.
 

Colin the Bear

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There are lots of threads on here about cleaning and care of your saxophone. Use the search box.
 

aldevis

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Why minor scales? What's wrong with majors?
 

Matabayahsi

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Why minor scales? What's wrong with majors?
I dont know I have always felt more attracted to minor and also it is easier to transform it in to the blues scale.
@aldevis A little unrelated but I am loving your covers on soundcloud I wish I was able to do what you did there! and hopefully one day I ll be there one very far away day :D

Does anybody have any answers for my other 3 questions? which are a little harder to find answers than the cleaning related one
 

Colin the Bear

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Bell notes are a pain. The sound starts coming more out of the bell as you get lower. It feels different and sounds different. Sometimes a reed just won't play them. I tend to get the best I can and be grateful.

Some LH Pinky tables are better than others. It's just a case of getting used to yours.

There's less flexibility with pitch down low so best to tune A in the lower register and lip up for the high notes.
 

MandyH

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I wipe the outside of my saxes with a damp cotton handkerchief, and dry it off using a dry cotton handkerchief. I get in the nooks and crannies by using a long pipecleaner folded in half, and holding the sharp open end in my hand so as not to scratch the sax. I also dampen the fluffy covering of the pipecleaner.

All of this needs to be done with care, because you can accidentally knock off a needle spring, if you catch it with the cloth.

My saxes all live on their stands, and I have cut and sewed a duvet cover down to size, which goes over all the saxes and acts as a dust and sun cover, although they still do get a little dusty.
 

phdezra

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and I am having 3-4 hours practise a day now because I know when I go back

Good Lord. That is a lot of practice. Quality is as (or more) important than quantity. Even when I was studying for my ABRSM (UK) piano exams I didn;t practice that much per day. All the more credit to you if you can do it for so long. You must be building up some serious embouchure muscle (?!). :cool:
 

Matabayahsi

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Good Lord. That is a lot of practice. Quality is as (or more) important than quantity. Even when I was studying for my ABRSM (UK) piano exams I didn;t practice that much per day. All the more credit to you if you can do it for so long. You must be building up some serious embouchure muscle (?!). :cool:

Aye I got my six packs on my lips now :D like I said it is tiring but enjoyable and necessary :)
 

bill_reed

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A quick spray with mister sheen and a gentle going over with a large soft brush.
do you spray Mister Sheen onto the sax or just onto the cloth... I have been using Pledge sprayed onto a cloth them wiped onto the sax and a micro fibre cloth to wipe off....
 

jbtsax

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Developing technique and speed playing notes involving the LH table is one of the more challenging areas of the instrument. Using the rollers as much as possible and keeping the little finger curved can help. This technique will come in time with practice. Some saxes have a more "friendly" key design than others. I have no experience with the Hanson saxes, but Stephen Howard has a positive review of the LH table on the SA8 if it is the same on your model.

As for the intonation. The low notes can be a bit flat for a number of reasons: 1) the characteristics of the saxophone (not uncommon), 2) the player playing sharp in the upper register by "biting" and pulling out to tune which makes the low notes flat, and 3) the player loosening or relaxing the embouchure when playing in the low register.

On alto I like to tune to low F# (A concert) and check the F#2 an octave higher both with and without the octave key. Then I finger low B natural and overblow to the 3rd harmonic F#2 to check the tuning of the "long tube" notes. When all three match or are very close I have the mouthpiece at the optimum place on the cork. Others have different methods and ideas about tuning, but this has worked well for me.
 

Colin the Bear

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do you spray Mister Sheen onto the sax or just onto the cloth... I have been using Pledge sprayed onto a cloth them wiped onto the sax and a micro fibre cloth to wipe off....
My Mr Sheen ran out 5 years ago. :rolleyes:
I don't use a cloth. I spray on and brush off.
 

nigeld

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do you spray Mister Sheen onto the sax or just onto the cloth... I have been using Pledge sprayed onto a cloth them wiped onto the sax and a micro fibre cloth to wipe off....
I don't spray onto the sax because I am afraid it will get onto the pads. I spray onto a 1" paintbrush then paint the sax with it and wipe off with a microfibre cloth. I decided a long time ago that Mr Sheen was better than Pledge, but I can't remember why. Maybe I liked the smell better.
 

jbtsax

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One more thought. Do be careful practicing that amount of time each day. I hope you are taking breaks in between. The reason I say that it is easy to develop bad habits when you continue to play after the embouchure muscles get tired.
 

Colin the Bear

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Mr Sheen is a multisurface cleaner and silicone polish. Not just a polish. Works great on paintwork too. They used to think I spent hours polishing my bike. Hardly. Tcut and MrSheen on the car too. The muck just slides off in the rain.

I can't see the problem getting it on the pads. I've never had any trouble. I was so disappointed when they withdrew the vanilla scent. Original it is.
 

6441

 
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Bell notes! As it happens, I'm working on an original that goes down to B1 and I've found two things that can help. One is commonly found advice, lower your chin. This is usually associated with subtones, but it also helps produce the notes. Without it, you'll often get a note, but it'll be an unwanted octave harmonic. You will notice when videos show a players face and they move between middle notes and the bell notes, you can often see this movement of the chin very clearly. Matching the tone/sound between bell and higher notes is another problem.

Secondly, since this is my own song, I can structure the melody to make it easier. What I found was that if air is already flowing during a note like a low E, even if it trails off to almost nothing, grabbing a good sounding low B works much more consistently. Discovering this, I invented a practice routine that plays with this idea in various schemes. I find it's a good idea to play a little of this kind of thing early on in practice sessions. Something like E, D, E, B, C, D, E, B etc. I guess we could call these other notes "approach notes". Maybe someone further along than I has already named the idea. (cue the obligatory Larry Teal quote?)

Or the obligatory YouTube search:
 

jbtsax

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