D to G

sunsetandlabrea

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UK
I have tremendous difficulty in going from D2 down to G without splitting the G. This is alto if it matters.

It just so happens that the last of couple of pieces i’m learning both have this interval.

I’ve tried rather extreme embouchure changes, tongue positions, etc. In both cases it is part of legato passage, and I can just about play it if I tongue the note or interrupt my breath otherwise it stays in the higher octave completely or the start of the note is split and then eventually drops.

It doesn’t seem to be me holding the octave key for too long, I can play the octave on the D without the octave key and I still have the same trouble when dropping down.

D —> G# is the same, D —> A is fine and D -> F is also reasonably good.

After repeating the interval last night for about an hour, I’m running out of things to try and make it better.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Richard
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "splitting the G". Does that mean that G2 sounds or perhaps a multiphonic with both low G and high G? In either case if your saxophone is leak free it sounds as if it is a "voicing issue" when playing G.

I would suggest an exercise where you start on D and then slur down to C# then back to D then down to C natural then back to D going down chromatically until you reach G to D and back. Play with a full tone and begin slowly at first and then repeat at faster tempos.

Another old "standby tip" I have used in my teaching to play slurred interval skips is to mentally play the lower note while on the upper note before the switch. Make sure the throat is open and relaxed and the back of the tongue is down so that the G is not "encouraged" to go to one of its overtones.

A third idea is to play low G and adjust the shape of the tongue and the airstream to "force" it to go to an overtone. Being able to turn this on and off at will will give better control whenever G is played regardless of the setting.
 
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sunsetandlabrea

sunsetandlabrea

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25
Location
UK
Thanks very much for the tips.

When I say split, essentially the G2 sounds and then drops to G1 eventually. Sometimes if I’m lucky it’s just the start of note so the transition sounds rough. Sometimes I think I’ve got it but I then realise I’ve either tongued the note, or interrupted the air flow.

I can relatively easily go up and down an overtone on that G or D. But I’ll practice your examples and see if I can get it to improve.

You mention the back of the tongue, I would say it was more the middle of my tongue that is moving down the lower I go.

Thanks again.
 

sizzzzler

Member
Messages
125
Location
London
This is probably a leak or leaks. If a tech can’t spot one immediately, it may be a knock to a pillar has caused a number of pads to be very slightly out, or a number may be poorly seated in the cups, on their own these can be difficult to discern both when an experienced person plays the sax and even using a light, but the total of these slight leaks can cause problems playing lower notes. Play the sax with the tech to show them where the issue is.
Always get leaks fixed. They can hold back development.
 
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sunsetandlabrea

sunsetandlabrea

New Member
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25
Location
UK
Thanks. I don't have a tech at the moment, and I've done a few web searches with not much luck. I'm in Northamptonshire, UK.

It is a nearly new Yamaha 62 III, not that really has any bearing on anything as it could be a poor setup from the factory.

Having said that my teacher has played it several times, without too much issue. Next lesson I'll get her to specifically try the G to D a few times. Her tech is based in London, I can ask about that but it would certainly be better to find someone closer.

Richard
 

John Laughter

Member
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296
Location
Macon,GA
Very good chance (as sizzzler has stated) that there is possibly a very small leak. I have had this happen when the G# pad was leaking just enough to cause the G to jump up. Also, your neck octave key pad might not be seating. Even if you can play second space A the neck octave pad leak might be just enough to cause it. Also, check the left palm keys for possible leaks. Although your D would then be difficult to play so I don't know.

You might want to buy a leak light. I would imagine that your teacher has a leak light so she can check the pads. And yes, brand new horns can be bounced around in the shipment to cause very small pad leaks that can't be seen w/o a leak light.

And one last suggestion (provided no leaks) make sure your air flow support is strong going from D to G so that G will speak.
 
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sunsetandlabrea

sunsetandlabrea

New Member
Messages
25
Location
UK
Thank you John. I'll try and take it to someone to have a look.

Half of me thinks it is me, and half of me thinks there must be something slightly wrong. Only one way to find out I guess!

Richard
 

John Laughter

Member
Messages
296
Location
Macon,GA
You are welcome Richard. Others have given you good advice as well. Just hard to say. Slurs from higher notes to lower notes can offer some issues for the embouchure and if there is a small leak it makes it unpredictable.
 
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