D to G

Messages
50
Location
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

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,237
Location
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.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
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
148
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.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
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
Messages
320
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.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
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
320
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.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
Location
UK
I'm resurrecting this thread because whilst I've made some progress on D to G, D to F#, F or E is problematic. In particular tonguing F#, F or E directly quite frequently goes up the octave.

In the meantime I've had my teacher play my sax, and I've taken it to a technician both of whom have agreed everything is fine and I just need to try harder!

I read another thread, where someone suggest Ikea's Ledberg as a leak light, so I bought one, and sure enough I seem to have a leak on one of the pads. I can make it go away by pressing harder, but at normal pressure I can see a small line of light.

If I hold F# (not the side key) then it is not the direct pad, it is the one that indirectly closes further up.

In the image I'm playing E, so the pad next to it is closed as well.

Is this something I can easily adjust, or should I go back to someone who knows what they are doing?

Thanks.
IMG_0022.jpg
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,237
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
First some terminology from the USA. (Stephen Howard uses some different terms :) )

The key you close with the first finger of the bottom hand is the F, the keycup directly above that is called the F#, the key you close with the second finger is called the E, and the key you close with the third finger is called the D.

The first finger key must close itself and also the F# pad above it. The second finger key must do the same. Getting those connections to work properly is called "regulation". Use a leak light to check to see if the F# pad closes perfectly when you press that key itself. If it does not you will end up "chasing your tail" trying to "regulate" the lower stack.

If that key closes perfectly, next check to see if the F key closes itself and the F# key with just a light touch. If it does not some "regulation" is required, Some modern saxophones have small "regulation" screws on the "back bar" of the F#. If your sax doesn't have these it is best to let a tech handle the regulation since it can involve bending keys. :eek:

If your sax has these screws you can attempt it yourself, To do this hold the F# key cup down and with your other hand turn just the top screw clockwise 1/4 turn and then check. Keep doing this until the F key closes both itself and the F# key cup above it. If you went too far, the F key itself will no longer close and you have to turn the screw back a bit.

Repeat this process with the E key and the second adjusting screw if it does not close the F# with a light touch. It is not critical that the D key close the F# completely, in fact I leave that one slightly "under regulated". After adjusting the E, go back and check the F. That's it. You're done. That F# key cup in turn must itself close both the G# and the Bis, but we will leave that for another day. ;)
 
Last edited:
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
Location
UK
Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply.

I do have adjustment screws, it is a Yamaha 62-III, but this morning I didn't have a screw driver small enough to adjust anything. I'll try and follow your instructions this evening.

I did have a quick look at the Bis key as you say, and held down there does seem to be some play between the postion of the pad and the tone hole. I didn't test this with the light again, but I didn't notice anything when I did use the light so I'll re-check.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,457
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Something to keep inmind. A really string player may be unable to spot a tiny leak on a new to them instrument as their technique may overcome the horns deficiency. I have a tiny leak on one of my alto's that if I am tired after a long session or lazy I can motorboat on low Bb. Its not a problem yet as I normally work around it without thinking.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
Location
UK
Something to keep inmind. A really string player may be unable to spot a tiny leak on a new to them instrument as their technique may overcome the horns deficiency. I have a tiny leak on one of my alto's that if I am tired after a long session or lazy I can motorboat on low Bb. Its not a problem yet as I normally work around it without thinking.
I can certainly see the truth in that, even with my meagre skill I can sometimes get the notes out.
 
OP
sunsetandlabrea
Messages
50
Location
UK
Repeat this process with the E key and the second adjusting screw if it does not close the F# with a light touch. It is not critical that the D key close the F# completely, in fact I leave that one slightly "under regulated". After adjusting the E, go back and check the F. That's it. You're done. That F# key cup in turn must itself close both the G# and the Bis, but we will leave that for another day. ;)
I had a quick go at this. There are three screws on that bar, one for each key. Adjusting a quarter on the F key, closed the F# but the F didn’t close completely. I assume the linkage is designed so that the extent of F# has an impact on the other.

A brief look at the other keys showed me the same issue with both the E key, and the D key (albeit you said not to worry too much about that one). Also when holding down the F I can see light on the Bis pad, but not obvious at first glance how to adjust that.

This is all with a light touch, applying pressure can in some cases close the gap.

As they all seem rather interlinked, I expect it is at this point I need to hand it over to someone who knows what they are doing!

Thanks again for the help, at least I’m aware of the situation now.
 

scotsman

Member
Messages
273
Location
none
You are getting there.. Its leaks and regulation. If you get a copy of Stephan Howards Haynes saxophone book it will explain how the sax should be set up. Its all set out logically. The only problem is understanding the individual terms.. Good Luck!
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,237
Location
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Even if one does not have the skill set to make adjustments on a saxophone themselves, the ability to accurately diagnose problems is valuable in itself. It helps in communicating with a tech about the issues you are having, and it allows you to visualize what the tech says needs to be done to fix those issues.
 
Top Bottom