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Blowy sound?

Kath

Member
Messages
119
This might be a beginner question - but I sometimes find I get a really blowy sound. Generally I feel my embouchure is now OK (though I have only been playing for 1 month) - but I do get this annoying airy sound - any ideas? I am sorry if this is a beginners question
 
Messages
193
sorry but one month is almost nothing...
Do you study with a teacher?Ask him, because is very difficult to help you without hearing.
Building a good embouchure is a complex and long learning process!
 

Kath

Member
Messages
119
I don't have a teacher - I am still looking. Lots of people recommend a teacher - does it really make all that difference?
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
Could be several reasons.
Is it starting the note, playing it or ending it?
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,557
I'd say so. It's definitely worth finding someone for a few lessons to start you on the right road.
As for the blowy sound, could be that your reed is too hard? could be embouchure?

I found recently that I was getting a blowy sound when trying to up my tenor reed from 2.5 to 3. At first I thought I was struggling to make this step (though there was no reason why I should be - I kept closing the reed when blowing accented notes on a 2.5 so felt I needed a firmer reed) I changed to a different reed and promptly lost the blowy sound. I think I had a (for me) rare duff reed.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
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5,946
Yes, it's worth getting a teacher even if only for a short while so that poor habits don't get entrenched (posture, hold, embouchure, breathing, tonguing etc)
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,091
If you are a good self teacher then you can manage perfectly well without a teacher, depending what your aims are. You need to read, assimilate and interpret and be your own worst critic. Recording yourself will reveal things you can't hear when distracted by playing.

Check your set up, the tighness of ligature and position of the reed on the mouthpiece. Make sure the reed is wet enough to play. Take it off, wet it and set it again.

Your embouchure will stiil be in the development stage and constantly changing.
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
722
This might be a beginner question - but I sometimes find I get a really blowy sound. Generally I feel my embouchure is now OK (though I have only been playing for 1 month) - but I do get this annoying airy sound - any ideas? I am sorry if this is a beginners question

As above but if I was to hazard a guess, it is most likely one of 3 things:

Your mouthpiece is too big for you, a good starting size is a 4, a lot of people go for the Yamaha 4C.
Your reed is too hard, a lot of people start with a 1 or 1.5. or is a cheap make and inconsistent(Rico and Vandoren are popular).
Your embouchure is not tight enough around the mouthpiece and you are leaking air down the sides. Read up on how to improve this.

If it goes away after you have been playing for a while it is probably because you started with a dry reed. Try holding it in your mouth for a minute before you start.

NB Some people have a breathy sound when playing and it is a quality many strive to attain.
 
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aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
I don't have a teacher - I am still looking. Lots of people recommend a teacher - does it really make all that difference?
Yes it does. At least find an experienced player that could give you good advice. I mean, a human, not a forum on the internet.
I have seen the funniest things from students left alone at home with a saxophone for one month. Including playing the mouthpiece upside down (it hurts, don't try)
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
The only 'lesson' I had was when I was thinking of buying a saxophone and the gentleman in Curly's showed me how to blow C#, A, B, G. then I taught myself from a book.
Think of the money you would save for GAS attacks.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
If you are a good self teacher then you can manage perfectly well without a teacher, depending what your aims are. ..........
I agree with this to a point - my view is that you can self teach if you are either an already accomplished musician on another instrument/s, and/or are naturally musical, but I suppose you won't really know if the latter applies if you've not played an instrument before, so I would recommend getting some tuition to establish things initially. :thumb:
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
The only 'lesson' I had was when I was thinking of buying a saxophone and the gentleman in Curly's showed me how to blow C#, A, B, G. then I taught myself from a book.
Think of the money you would save for GAS attacks.
Is this you?
(disclaimer: don't play it in the office)
 
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Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
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8,901
He must have saved up a lot for that attack of gas.
From the glimpses of his arms and stomach he obviously likes his pasta.
 

AndyWhiteford

Senior Member
Messages
454
That guy is actually quite an accomplished alto player: ;}


I suspect that this is where you end up by never taking a lesson from a real-life teacher...
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Kath,
Could be you are a natural sub toner. Some struggle for years to achieve this sought after technique, so be happy.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
He must have saved up a lot for that attack of gas.
From the glimpses of his arms and stomach he obviously likes his pasta.
When you are seriously bored, check out his other videos on youtube. He has many saxes, but just one, unmistakable, style.
 

U CAN CALL ME AL

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
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1,066
just listen to almost any Ben Webster ballad and he frequently sounds like an ageing asthmatic. If only I could play like Ben
 

Kath

Member
Messages
119
Now I've been called some things - but a sub-toner! That's a new one!! It doesn't sound like something anyone'd really want to aspire to though :( :(
 
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