All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

M/Pieces - Ligs Alto piece for big low notes

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
541
Locality
Devon
I have a beautiful Beaugnier Vito alto sax which I am playing with a Francois Louis Spectruoso A225 and Rico jazz select 2.5. More than any piece I have played this has given me the most expressive and complex mid to high notes. However the low notes - C and below - do not speak as easily. I realised this dramatically when I put on a plain old Yamaha 4c today. The mid and highs were ok - surprisingly good really - but nowhere hear as good as the FL. But the low notes boomed out - sounded great! I don't want to go on a big ebay spree to find the mythical perfect piece, and I live in the far deep dark southwest - even John Packers in Taunton is a stretch. Any ideas? I know it's the player not the piece - but the test with the Yamaha showed that the right piece for the right horn can give you a big head start. Griff has got something for me to try but anyone else got ideas?

Alternatively are there good low note exercises I can try. The FL is such a good piece it would be a shame to sell.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,778
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I've been having a similar experience lately. I usually use vandoren classic blue. I decided to try a change and some Rico royale arrived today. It was definitely better down low. Maybe a change of reed is all you need. It all has to match up some how.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,349
Locality
leicester
a more flexible reed might help, also check your sax for leaks - including the seal round the neck cork. Sometimes if the spring on the octave key is weak the key can bounce a bit and leak
 
Last edited:

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
If you play Classical, I can understand the point, but even Players like Desmond can be heard to blurt out notes below bottom C. Listen to his rendition of Emily on YouTube recorded from the Newport festival live. I obviously don't need to mention what all his other notes sounded like. I suppose you chose your MP and reed combination for what you want to say on the Sax. The best Classical players can't play like Desmond or Sanborn and the other way round.
 

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
541
Locality
Devon
I've never been convinced that any reputable reed maker is any different to the others - aren't they all made of the same plant species and (pretty much) the same/similar cut? I put differences down to variation between individual reeds in the box, of which there is a lot. I tried Legere Signature reeds - two tenor reeds which were great, but both alto ones sounded thin and buzzy. Seems like the bigger the reed the more synthetics work - but that was my very small sample only!

Is there a general rule such as bigger chamber/lower baffle = better low notes?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,778
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I don't think notes are better, just different.

A lot can happen to a piece of organic material between seed and finished product. Wines have good years in different regions of the world and so must other plants. Reed manufacturers have a range of different products and they can feel very different.

The other thing to consider is tuning. Different mouthpiece internals can affect tuning. The Yamaha being a student piece will be more middle of the road. If you're having to compensate orally to keep in tune you may get to the limit and lose tone.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,537
Locality
West Midlands
I have a beautiful Beaugnier Vito alto sax which I am playing with a Francois Louis Spectruoso A225 and Rico jazz select 2.5. More than any piece I have played this has given me the most expressive and complex mid to high notes. However the low notes - C and below - do not speak as easily. I realised this dramatically when I put on a plain old Yamaha 4c today. The mid and highs were ok - surprisingly good really - but nowhere hear as good as the FL. But the low notes boomed out - sounded great! I don't want to go on a big ebay spree to find the mythical perfect piece, and I live in the far deep dark southwest - even John Packers in Taunton is a stretch. Any ideas? I know it's the player not the piece - but the test with the Yamaha showed that the right piece for the right horn can give you a big head start. Griff has got something for me to try but anyone else got ideas?

Alternatively are there good low note exercises I can try. The FL is such a good piece it would be a shame to sell.
Do you mean C2 down i.e. first register or C1 down to bottom Bb?
I have exactly the same mpc as you,i don't have the same problem,but the FL exceeds in the upper register and beyond.
I too haven't found a more expressive piece than this one,i am using Fibracell Premier 3 reeds.
RJS reeds didn't work on this piece for me,i have played synthetics for 7/8 years but always try whatever cane reeds i have on a new mpc just to see what will work and what won't.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,537
Locality
West Midlands
Just wanted to add that although its stating the obvious that there is a big difference in tip openings from a Yam 4c (0.063) to a FL A225 which is (0.088)so maybe an FL A185 (0.072) or A205 (0.080) might suit better,or as others have said a softer reed might work,sax.co.uk will do you a box of reeds made up of what ever you want,i.e. Makes and sizes.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,349
Locality
leicester
not only is the tip opening bigger on the FL, the facing may be longer as well, so you may need a more flexible reed. Try the Legere on it and see if it makes a difference, or try a Vandoren Java 2. Or any other softer reeds
If you're still unhappy with the mouthpiece, then lower baffle and or larger chamber mouthpieces will help the low end, but also sound darker as well. When I first started playing high baffle mouthpieces I found the low end more difficult, but after years of getting used to them it's not such a problem.
If you decide to sell the F Louis, I'd be interested in it, as I'm sure would other members of the forum, but try a softer reed first, my Lawton was a real sod to play until I put a soft Fibracell on it and suddenly it was fine.
I'll go through my mouthpiece collection and see if there's anything that might suit your requirements
 

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
541
Locality
Devon
Just wanted to add that although its stating the obvious that there is a big difference in tip openings from a Yam 4c (0.063) to a FL A225 which is (0.088)so maybe an FL A185 (0.072) or A205 (0.080) might suit better,or as others have said a softer reed might work,sax.co.uk will do you a box of reeds made up of what ever you want,i.e. Makes and sizes.
I bought this size because it was described by FL as the middle of the road model, but maybe it is wider than I'm used to. On soprano I pay a selmer s80 E, which I guess is a narrowish tip, and I like the rounded classical tone it gives me. I will try a softer reed. I'm not rushing to sell the FL piece without a fight - it's a very more-ish play. Thanks everyone for the replies.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,537
Locality
West Midlands
I bought this size because it was described by FL as the middle of the road model


I can see why you would think this,because on the website they have 4 sizes bigger than this opening rising up to the A325 which is 0.128,you would have to have strong chops to play that one.most alto players choose tip openings between 0.70 to 0.090 with most settling around the 0.080.

Hope the different reed choice works for you.
 
Last edited:

Members online

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom