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Beginner Effect of Mouthpieces on tuning

angel

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Hey Guys! Is it true that the mouthpiece can affect the tuning? I have a Yanigasawa 6, metal, which I have got used to playing and love the sound. But...it has not improved the sharpness after the break (Mid D is especially bad) -so when the bottom octave is in tune the upper ones are way out. It is a problem that I don't have with my Soprano (ironically.)By the way, I have an Earlham Chicargo Alto. Is it possible that another mouthpiece may help - or anythin else?? I am more experienced at playing Sop, so may have a tighter embrochure - but if this was entirely the case then surely the whole Sax would be sharp...Please any experience out there to help....Thanks!
 

Nick Wyver

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What were you playing on before? The mouthpiece can affect the tuning but I wouldn't have expected a Yanag to give any trouble. I would guess that the general sharpness in the upper octave is probably you. Middle D is often sharp on saxes of any description but the rest should be ok. If you really think about what you're doing you may find that you are unconsciously relaxing your (naturally tight?) embouchure in order to get the lower notes. How experienced is 'more experienced at playing sop'?

Does the sharpness peak at about top C and then decrease again to top F?
 

Pete Thomas

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Hey Guys! Is it true that the mouthpiece can affect the tuning? !

Definitely. This is often a problem with older instruments and modern mouthpieces though. Usually older instruments were designed to be used with larger chambered mouthpieces. provided that everything else is OK, ie the keys are all set at the correct height, it's worth trying out some different mouthpieces.
 

Pete Thomas

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Further to that here is a bit of science:

the saxophone is a conical instrument, to be acoustically perfect, the cone would need to end at a point. This isn't possible, as there has to be a mouthpiece, so the cone is "cut off" at the end of the neck where the mouthpiece goes. The volume of the mouthpiece is supposed to equal the volume of the missing cone, hence we push or pull the mouthpiece on or off the neck to alter the volume.

BUT:

It isn't that simple, I have heard that low register tuning is achieved by volume, but upper register tuning is based purely on length.

So changing the length by pulling the mouthpiece out will add volume and length, but switching to a larger chambered mouthpiece adds volume but without adding length.

In reality, we tend to use trial and error.
 

thomsax

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If you play your sax and the the lower stack plays in tune you can check the upper stack keys (g, a .. )by slighty press the keys, Use a tuner or compare keyboard when you're blowing. If the pitch is changing in the right direction by pressing the keys it can be the key heights. It happens quite often that the keys are to open and the sax is sharp. Missing corks, bad or depressed corks ... .
 

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