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Front high E and F volume issue (resolved)

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
In short, I was getting significantly less volume from the front high E and F fingerings than with the palm key E and F fingerings.

I didn't think I was doing anything wrong as I was producing the notes cleanly and figured that it was my particular sax (BW ts-p tenor).

Then, after an enforced week of no practice, I returned to altissimo. I read some stuff on Pete's pages and Rascher's "Top Tones" book and tried again.

This time I deliberately opened my throat and, as if by magic, the volume was there.

Moral of story: There is a lot more to playing the sax than one might think... Keep practicing!
 

Pete C

Member
Messages
344
There is also sometimes an issue with how the sax is adjusted - compare how far the f key opens when using the two different fingerings. I have recently had the opening of the f key with the front fingerings increased on my alto and have achieved the same thing on my tenor myself by putting an extra plastic sleeve on the relevant lever. Pete
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
Viruskiller

Practising your harmonics will reap dividends, when you get your throat/embouchure in the optimum position for the note you want to play you will hear such a difference.

Malcolm
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
I'm very encouraged that I can reach the 2nd, 3rd and 4th harmonics for most of the bell notes, but I know that I need to put in a lot of practice in this area. Hitting the 2nd harmonic is tricky with my current sax/mouthpiece/reed combination and I tend to miss it and jump straight to the 3rd harmonic. Having said that, Rascher is spot on when he talks about "imagining" the note and adopting a mouth shape as if you are going to sing it; this made hitting the correct harmonic a lot easier.

Getting to the 8th harmonic is a wild dream at the moment!
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Nice one! I'm still trying to get the notes clean from E onwards with those front keys. It seems a lot easier on the Alto for me than the Tenor at the moment. I might get Top Notes ;} Good luck with getting to the 8th harmonic, I'm sure you'll do it shortly!
 

SaxyMalcolm

Member
Messages
77
I'm very encouraged that I can reach the 2nd, 3rd and 4th harmonics for most of the bell notes, but I know that I need to put in a lot of practice in this area. Hitting the 2nd harmonic is tricky with my current sax/mouthpiece/reed combination and I tend to miss it and jump straight to the 3rd harmonic. Having said that, Rascher is spot on when he talks about "imagining" the note and adopting a mouth shape as if you are going to sing it; this made hitting the correct harmonic a lot easier.

Getting to the 8th harmonic is a wild dream at the moment!

Getting the 2nd harmonic especially on the Bb and more so on tenor is one of the hardest harmonics to hit cleanly as your throat/embouchure shape has to exactly right or your split it up or down. I good exercise as well as imagining the notes in your head is to actually sing the note you are looking for, remember the pitch/shape you have made to sing the note and try playing the note again without changing anything, if you have everything in the right position it should just pop out. The higher harmonics take many hours of practising as your embouchure has to be really strong to get them. I am an ex brass player and harmonics/lip trilling was always a big part of my practise regime.

Hope this helps

Malcolm
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
Nice one! I'm still trying to get the notes clean from E onwards with those front keys. It seems a lot easier on the Alto for me than the Tenor at the moment.
Funnily enough, I found exactly the same thing. Much more difficult with my BW tenor than my YAS-62 alto, which led me to think that my tenor wasn't so good high up.

One more thing: Lots of air pressure support needed for those harmonics.
 
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