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Saxophones Bari out of Tune

AlanB

Member
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170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
Hi all - My friend in our section plays baritone. He is having trouble tuning it. Even with the mouthpiece out as far as it will go, without falling off, it is still slightly sharp. Is there anything mechanically that can be done to solve this.
Cheers - Alan
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
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Betelgeuse
This isn't that unusual. You can either get a bit more neck soldered onto the neck to tune, or you might find that he gets away with acceptable tuning by using a different mouthpiece. Some modern mouthpieces are very long, which, might help. Is the bari a vintage one? If it is the problem might actually be solved by using a period mouthpiece.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
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1,416
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Daventry
I had a similar problem with my old Conn tenor and the Lawton mouthpiece I was using with it - particularly when cold (we used to rehearse in an unheated barn :w00t:), I could not push the piece far enough onto the neck to get it in tune. Tried an old Runyon Quantum on it, and no problem at all. It didn't seem to be the physical length because the Lawton has a pretty long shank on it, just something about the dynamics of that particular combination of sax and mouthpiece.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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4,466
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brighton by the sea
Conn baritones are famous for this problem- sound lovely but a bugger to keep in tune. there's loads of 'what mouthpiece works with 'em' information on sax on the web.
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
Hi all - My friend in our section plays baritone. He is having trouble tuning it. Even with the mouthpiece out as far as it will go, without falling off, it is still slightly sharp. Is there anything mechanically that can be done to solve this.
Cheers - Alan

All that money and it doesn't work...ouch!!

More seriously...

...change embouchure; get slack it's what a bari needs. Your friend is too tense, too tight on the reed. Relax, do it.

Martin

PS Why are you asking on his behalf? Aren't we good enough for him? Get him on the forum!
 
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AlanB

AlanB

Member
Messages
170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
Thank's all for your advice. I will pass it on to him. He usually plays tenor, but has just bought a vintage bari so he can play the low voice in our section (I forget the make, but I don't think it is a Conn). This might explain a tight embouchure. It sounds like he should take his sax to a shop with a tuner and try out a bunch of mouthpieces before he starts welding extensions on. Anyway I have told him that he must join us reprobates in The Breakfast Room.
Thanks again.
Al
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,460
Location
Sweden
A larger chamber mouthpiece should do the trick, but finding one with enough edge may be an issue.
I agree. A bigger chamber/area helps. I'm playing on a refaced Dukoff D9. I wanted a less edgy sound and better deep, so I let have the baffle down filed a bit and the tip was opened up from 0.135" to c 0.145". I also started to use softer bari reeds. This helped me. I was able to play with a modern mpc on an old bari. To set the key heights correct is also important. To get an old sax to play well is a cooperation between: HOW you play (loud, soft ...), WHAT you play (jazz, classical, rock ...), MOUTHPIECE/REED (type, design ...) and THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE HORN. A technician can help you with this but on the other side it's often at this point you find out if your tech is a player or not and also if he/she have enough knowledge about saxes.

A lot of manufactors discontinued with baris after WWII. Some producers just extended the lifecycle of the tools and tried to to get rid of old inventories. I think Bueschers and Conns are baris that was sold in 60' and 70's was a sax from the 30's when it came to construction. There was no developing and progress about what really makes the tone and sound of a bari: the tube and the tonholes placement.

The big brands/manufactors like Selmer, Buffet, King, Martin, Keilwerth, the DDR's manufactors and ditto Czech .... among a few other contiune to develope thier saxes after WWII. In the 60's Yamaha and Yangisawa (my friend has a great Yana built bari to low A, called Corton De Luxe) started thier bari production. Today we have ROC and PRC baris that are good. But I think the new baris is less flexible when it comes to intonation, mpc's ... comparing to an old bari (after WWII).

Thomas
 
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AlanB

AlanB

Member
Messages
170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
Sorry for the delay Thomas. That's is some very interesting background on the development of the bari. It seems baritone's have been lacking the careful attention to detail over the years that the other saxes have enjoyed. I know little about the baritone, and have only attempted to blow one once. I think it has the most wonderful rich chocolatey sound. The other great thing about the baritone is that it works equally well as a rhythm instrument (complimenting the bass), a harmony instrument (in a horn section, especially when accenting the other horns i.e. Tower of Power "pee dee dee PARP - pee dee dee PARP" and as a solo instrument (this can sound wonderful when played well).

My hats off to all you bari players, not an easy instrument to tame.
Al
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,466
Location
brighton by the sea
The other great thing about the baritone is that it works equally well as a rhythm instrument (complimenting the bass), a harmony instrument (in a horn section, especially when accenting the other horns i.e. Tower of Power "pee dee dee PARP - pee dee dee PARP" and as a solo instrument (this can sound wonderful when played well).

My hats off to all you bari players, not an easy instrument to tame.
Al
The whole approach of using a bari, or any other sax, as a rhythm instrument is something that doesn't come naturally to most sax players. The Doc from T.O.P. and Dana Colley from morphine, in the rock/funk field, are both superbly minimalist rhythm players. In my experience the majority of jazzers (preparing to be shot down here!) simply want to play as fast & elaborate as possible without the constrains of having to hold down a bass groove. Feeling contentious this morning (just had some recent annoying experiences with bari players who just want to play frenzied, overelaborate bop solos on it without any regard to what they should be doing in relation to the rest of the band!)....
 
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