Alto Sax squeaking on D after a rest, just since I replaced reed/mouthpiece. Help!

Julie Lambert

New Member
Port St. Lucie, FL
My son has Conn Shooting Star/Director Alto Sax from the 60's. He's been playing for 3 years and with same one. He recently broke his mouthpiece. I bought him a new one Yamaha 4c, same one he always uses, and a new reed Fibercell Synthetic 2.5, same as before. Ever since he replaced mouthpiece and reed, he said he squeaks when he has to start out on a D. He thinks it is the reed. He has his old one (same brand and strength, used it for 1 1/2 years). Going to have him try it with old reed. Any ideas. Could it just be a bad reed? Maybe his 1 1/2 yr old 2.5 is softer. Should I change strength of reed (would you go up or down?). Sax was recently tuned up/neck expanded so I don't think it is alignment but will like to hear all opinions and ideas. Had an old Guippedo dude give it some TLC. See my profile pic for pic of sax.
A squeak is generally caused by only one side of the reed vibrating. Check to make sure the reed is on the mouthpiece straight. Another cause is biting down harder on one side of the reed than the other. If the old mouthpiece had grooves worn into the top from the top teeth, there is a chance that the mouthpiece feels slightly different. A solution would be to put a thick mouthpiece patch on the top of the mouthpiece.

If the squeak is on D only, it may be a poorly adjusted octave mechanism. There should be about 1/16" space between the small rod at the top of the saxophone and the ring of the neck octave key that it engages. To check the octave mechanism have him finger low G and hit the octave key several times while watching the small pad on the neck. It should not raise or move. If it does there needs to be a wider gap between the rod and the ring.

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