All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Saxophones Alto or Tenor!!

marco

New Member
Messages
8
Hi,

I have been playing alto sax for the past 13 months. I find my tone is very thin in the upper register (octave key depressed) especially upper A and above.

On a tenor sax I do not find this problem.


Alto Sample: snd.sc/ZfPFwq

Tenor Sample: snd.sc/ZfPxNp

Cut and paste "snd.sc/ZfPFwq" or "snd.sc/ZfPxNp" in your browser to hear the samples.

I am using a claude lakey 5*3 on the alto and claud lakey 6*3 mouthpiece on the tenor.

Should I be playing alto or tenor?
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,659
You should probably be practicing your long tones. At least 15 minutes a day, and as a suggestion dowload Rascher's Top Tones for Saxophone and start on the first two pages of exercises for a goodly period.

The shorter the vibrating air column the more critical air support and embouchure control are. Which instrument you choose to play is a matter of which voice you prefer..... neither are easy to play well with good intonation.

most important....enjoy the voyage.....the milestones pass more easily that way.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
What alto and tenor saxes do you play. Practice apart I find that thinness in tone can come from which sax you play, which mouthpiece you play, what technique you use, what reeds you use, etc.

I had a Yani T901 Tenor - whatever mouthpiece I used the tone was always thin in the upper region. I swapped the tenor for my current sax and thinness does not seem to exist, whatever mouthpiece I use. On both my alto saxes I do not produce thin tones. I have never done 15 mins a day of long notes.

No simple or obvious answer but a good question!
Kind regards
Tom
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Agreed Tom.

Fifteen minutes a day long tone practice is for wimps. Three hours per day at least. Also improves relationships with the neighbours.
 

marco

New Member
Messages
8
What alto and tenor saxes do you play. Practice apart I find that thinness in tone can come from which sax you play, which mouthpiece you play, what technique you use, what reeds you use, etc.
Hi Tom,
I play a 'kessler custom standard series' alto and a 'CE Winds Pro Series Tenor Sax'. I feel I sound OK on the tenor. But on the alto I sould very thin in the upper register.


Alto Sample: snd.sc/ZfPFwq

Tenor Sample: snd.sc/ZfPxNp



Thanks,
Arun
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Thanks!

I note that the Alto costs approx £500, and the Tenor costs about £1500, which may make a difference to the sound. What mouthpiece, what reeds? Keep the info coming.

Kind regards
Tom

By the way the samples just present as ordinary text - not possible to hear them.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,821
Tom, copy and paste them into your browser and they will go to soundcloud..

Chris..
 

marco

New Member
Messages
8
I am using a Claude Lakey 5*3 on the Alto with Rico La Voz Medium Hard reeds.
On the tenor I am using Claude Lakey 6*3 with Vandoren Java 2.5
 

marco

New Member
Messages
8
Hi Tom,

I need to have 5+ posts to add URL's.

You have to copy and paste "snd.sc/ZfPFwq" or "snd.sc/ZfPxNp" into your browser.

Regards,
Arun
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
All sorted!

My theory, For what it is worth: Cheaper Alto saxes tend to err on the bright side. The Lakey mpc you use has a small chamber and is described on the website as having a "solid, bright sound". Regarding the reeds that you use Phil Engleman (of Phil-Tone mouthpiece fame - my favorite mouthpiece maker) says: " I think Java's are overall a better reed. In terms of sound thats a personal issue. I personally find Lavoz a bit harsh. "

I think that the Tenor set-up has a larger bore, a better reed, and the Lakey mpc which is seen as bright is balanced by the sax & reed combo. The Alto set-up is brighter, with a bright mouthpiece and a "harsher" reed - net result a brighter, thinner sound.

I'd get a much more mellow mouthpiece and a less harsh reed and see what the effect is. A Bari Esprit II alto mouthpiece is really cheap and has an excellent more mellow tone. If that doesn't work either practice much more or stick with Tenor. My reed recommendation would be Alexander DC's, Rigotti Gold or Rico Jazz Selects.

Hope this helps
Tom
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,057
Just a thought. Check your tuning. The sax doesn't play in tune by itself and you may be pushing the reed out of its comfort zone. The secret of sweet high notes on the alto is to blow them gently and stay loose.
 

marco

New Member
Messages
8
Hi Tom,
Thanks for the suggestions. I will change the mouthpiece and reed combination on my alto setup to see if there is improvement to the tone quality.

Thanks
Arun
 

marco

New Member
Messages
8
Just a thought. Check your tuning. The sax doesn't play in tune by itself and you may be pushing the reed out of its comfort zone. The secret of sweet high notes on the alto is to blow them gently and stay loose.
Thanks Colin. I am using smartmusic software which comes with built-in tuner.
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom