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1954pip

Member
Messages
124
Locality
linc's (between boston & spalding
hi i am having probs with i keep making what seems to be a rolling note when i go down it just does not come out clean.
also still having problems with the octave key when i come down the note still stays hi .
any help to these problems would be greatfully received
cheers pip
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
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8,733
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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Both of those that you describe are quite common on the saxophone and other conical woodwinds as well. The "rolling note" is often called a "warble". That is a bit too complex to discuss in a short amount of time. You might try a search using that term to see what others have written.

For the note not coming down when you release the octave key, there are a couple of things you might try. First of all, please note that the saxophone from low Bb to high F uses essentially the same embouchure. You do not tighten to play high and loosen to play low. A test from Larry Teal's "The Art of Saxophone Playing" to check the embouchure is to play low A and with your free hand briefly open the neck octave key and then let it close:
  1. If the note stays high when you release the key, your embouchure is too tight.
  2. If when the note goes high it sounds flat and flabby, your embouchure is too loose.
  3. If the note goes to a nice sounding high A and then drops back down after a moment, the embouchure is correct.
A good way to see if you are unconsciously changing the embouchure when you play, is for you to blow the sax and have someone else do the fingering. Players are usually amazed at how both the high and low notes speak when the embouchure is constant.

The other suggestion is to play a note in the lower octave such as G shaping the throat as if singing "AHH". When you press the octave key mentally and physically feel like you are still playing low G even when it jumps high. This psychology helped me a lot when I was learning to make the saxophone do my bidding and not the other way around.
 

1954pip

Member
Messages
124
Locality
linc's (between boston & spalding
hi jbtsax
many thanks for your help
one other question (sorry) am i using the right reed i am 6'-4" tall 13 stone soaking wet i am using a 2 i seem to have to blow quite hard so should i would it be worth using a 1-5 to build up over a while then move on to a 2.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Messages
6,062
Locality
Minster On Sea
Is the reed a Vandoren? Some of their 2s can be a bit plank-like. I'd have thought that, say, a Rico 2 would be an easy blow on a 4C. Have you tried different ones from the same box?
 

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