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Difficulty with hitting high A on alto sax


I have been playing alto for about two years and have a good sound. I have been playing a Martin Handcraft and the upper octave has a beautiful rounded singing tone - no problem with embouchure I think. I recently bought a Trevor James Signature Custom because I wanted a modern horn with fast keywork, and I had heard that these horns are a genuine pro level horn. I am finding that, as with the two TJ horns I have had in the past (The Horn Classic and the intermediate Signature Series - now Revolution II) when I hit the upper octave notes of G and A, I get a grating noise of the lower octave note coming through as well. This is only after a few minutes of playing, and does not happen all the time, as if it is an embouchure problem, but I wouldn't get this on the Martin - and if I go a note higher to B the problem disappears. Is it me, or a mouthpiece/reed issue? Maybe the Martin is just such a great horn that it didn't need me to put so much effort in, but a different horn needs more embouchure strength/control.
Hi There!

The issue is likely to be a mechanical one related to the Octave mechanism - which operates two separate pads relating to upper G A & B - hopefully Griff on the Forum may be able to illuminate the matter further if he reads the post or you could PM him at Griff136 on the Forum - he is a tech and it may come under his expertise. My technical knowledge is not advanced enough but this may indicate where the problem lies - should be easy to fix, though.

Kind regards

It sounds like there is some leakage of one of the pads such that both notes an octave apart are being played together at times, and any moisture may influence this.
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Let somebody else play it and see if they have the same problem. If that's not possible then check that only the lower octave key is open on the G and that only the upper octave hole is open on the A. It may be mechanical, but usually it's either G or A that's affected, not both. Some saxes are just awkward around this area and it may be a case of just getting used to it. The first time I bought a decent alto (a Yanagisawa about 28 years ago) I had trouble with the A that I hadn't had with the cheap crappy one that I'd had before. In time, the problem disappeared.

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