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Does this sound about right to you?

Two Voices

Senior Member
United Kingdom
I’m not going to get too hung up on this but would just like to hear your thoughts about my intonation and tuning of my Tenor Sax.

My Korg LCA-120 Chromatic Tuner and CM-100L Microphone finally arrived today! After been on order since December.

I know that if I play B on the Tenor that it is A in 440 Hz and as follows:

D = C, D#/Eb = C#/Db, E = D, F = D#/Eb, F#/Gb = E, G = F, G#/Ab = F#/Gb, A = G, A#/Bb = G#/Ab, B = A, C = A#/Bb, C#/Db = B

I positioned the mouthpiece so that B = A was at zero on the tuner (once I’d warmed up the sax).

With B in tune I found that A, B and C are within 2 cent.

Now playing the low notes from C# downwards in the lower register I found that I went a bit flat – less than 5 Cent. However, C# was nearly 10 cent! Then all of a sudden Low Bb and Low B went sharp by about 8 cent.

As for the high notes in the upper register everything went sharp by 5 cent. However, D and Eb went sharp as much as 10 cent. E wasn’t too bad at about 6 cent while it straightened out on F# which was almost zero.

Question: Is this typical behaviour? This is a just a curiosity question ;}
Paul, the sax is not a perfect instrument and all saxes vary. I would say it's quite normal to be a bit sharp at the top end and a bit flat at the lower. Jut have to lip it up or down a bit - something that comes with experience - of yourself and the particular sax. Only matters when you play with others though, not when you practice on your own.

All saxophones, even very expensive ones are not perfectly in tune, its the player that makes them be in tune. Try not to get too hung up on the tuning, the stronger your embouchure gets the easier you will find it to keep in tune when playing with other musicians.

Thanks for the replies Guys! My Alto seems to behave in a very similar way but a little sharper. I think it'll be best to put the Tuner away for a while as I seem to keep looking at the needle, especially when practicing my long notes!!!

Thanks for pointing me to Rhys' thread, Kev - it made very interesting reading!

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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