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Saxophones Best way to tune a sax?

ColchesterSaxMan

New Member
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19
Is it worth getting one of them electronic things what gives you a reading? it can also have another function as metronome.

Has I don't think my ear is ready to tell the difference if its in tune or not, my teacher made a mark on the cork when we first set it up but I'm not to sure weather its good to check every now and then to see if its still in tune.

Any tips/ advice?

I do have one them CDs where it plays a G note and you can try match it but its very hard when new to this
to get it spot on, must be a more refined way to do it.
 

kevgermany

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Yes, get a tuner. The ones with a built in metronome are great, but generally too quiet for sax use without headphones.

Remember also that as the sax is a transposing instrument, you either need to get a tuner which can be set to the key of your instrument or be prepared to transpose the tuner readings to your sax's pitch.
 

ColchesterSaxMan

New Member
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19
Ok I think i understand what your saying, Thanke for the advice . sdo are you saying then some tuners can be set up for alto sax Eb? and iff not I have to transpose it if it does not?
 

kevgermany

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Ok I think i understand what your saying, Thanke for the advice . sdo are you saying then some tuners can be set up for alto sax Eb? and iff not I have to transpose it if it does not?

Yes, if the tuner can be set to different Instrument pitches, it'll onclude Eb and Bb. Otherwise you do the check. Good way of getting used to learning the concert pitch notes on your alto. Eb = C and so on.
 

wol916

New Member
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125
For me I use a chromatic one so that it works for every instrument I have. I also like the ones with a needle as I find it easier (or maybe I'm just old fashioned.
 

jbtsax

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Tuning in musical performance is done with the ears---not the eyes. I encourage all of my students to get tuners that produce a chromatic scale as well as having a meter. Matching the pitch of a tuning device is best done by first listening and tightening or loosening the embouchure as required.

- If tightening the embouchure brings the note in tune, the mouthpiece should be pushed in.
- If loosening the embouchure brings the note in tune, the mouthpiece should be pulled out.

Everyone can hear in tune and out of tune pitches---especially when there are only two players or sources of sound. Two instruments out of tune will produce "interference beats" as they go farther out of tune the beats get faster. As they get closer in tune the beats go slower. When the beats disappear, the instruments are in tune.

I tell my students who say they can't tell if they are sharp or flat to try either raising the pitch or lowering it. If the beats go faster, they made the wrong choice. If the beats start to slow down, they are going the right direction.

To see and hear a demonstration of this effect go to:

http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/jw/beats.htm#varying
.
 
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Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
To set you off on the journey of alto saxophone, a tuner that reads concert pitch is fine. You know that C is Eb and you can start to learn the other concert pitches of the instrument. These will come in handy and be useful your whole career. The first one to learn is that Your F# is concert A.
 

aldevis

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Don't become a slave of the tuner. The sign on the cork is probably still the best position, for now.
Keep in mind that:
- Tuning the various registers of the saxophone needs to be done by ear, before checking a tuner
- CD players are often out of tune
- Jamey Aebersold's CD (at least the first volumes) have a very peculiar tuning.
- The only way to have a saxophone in tune is to play it in tune.
 

BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
That's really all you need to know. Also true for (nearly) every wind instrument ever made. (Can you play pan pipes out of tune?)
Don't see why not. You can play a flute out of tune by misdirecting the air stream even if the head joint's in the right place. Or am I just gifted that way?
 

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