Tutorials

Beginner G and G2 sound awful, is it me or the instrument?

Esca

New Member
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9
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Norway
https://soundcloud.com/escajensen%2Falto-sax-g
I picked up the saxophone about an hour ago, and can genuinely say I've never played it before, so I don't have a very strong baseline to judge tone. If I sit and bend the note for a long time, I can get the G to sound alright, but I've not been able to make the G2 hit even once. If I have to start a phrase at G, it always comes out sounding bad and usually flat (as in the middle of the recording). I'm just borrowing this saxophone as well, so I don't know much about it.

Is it more likely to be me, or the instrument? Is it normal for saxophones to have that one note that's far more difficult to play than the others? Have I just been spoiled by my cornet for too long?
 
OP
E

Esca

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Norway
Add this after soundcloud dot com-> /escajensen/alto-sax-g/s-dInbY

It seems the forum eats one of the slashes
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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Burnley bb9 9dn
The small link works.

Sounds like you're doing okay for a novice of one hour.

Practice regularly, at least every day, and your embouchure muscles will develop. The time varies for each individual player.

Did you think you would pick it up and just play? We've all done that with various instruments.

The first ten years are the hardest. ;)
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Sounds like you are playing a whole-tone scale at the end.
This suggests that you are fingering the G as a G#, or the saxophone is playing a G# when you finger a G.

Edit: Soundcloud link removed because it doesn’t work.
 
Last edited:

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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840
Location
New Mexico, US
Yes that is what is happening. I just cobbled one together from following OP's suggestion in post #4...and it got me there.

BUt when I tried to copy and paste the functioning link here on forum, it wouldn't work....(???)
Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 12.33.47 PM.png
 

BigMartin

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Location
Manchester, UK
As stated above, those G's seem to be couiming out as G#'s. Either your little finger is pressing one or more of the left-hand spatula keys, or the relevant key on your sax is not closing when it should The G# key is normally closed. Could be something simple like a loose spring. Is there anyonme locally who could check it for you?
 
OP
E

Esca

New Member
Messages
9
Location
Norway
I'm pretty certain I am in fact fingering a G as I wasn't using my pinky at all, and yes the G2 is coming out a half-tone higher than it should be doing. The G isn't quite as bad, but still not great.

As stated above, those G's seem to be couiming out as G#'s. Either your little finger is pressing one or more of the left-hand spatula keys, or the relevant key on your sax is not closing when it should The G# key is normally closed. Could be something simple like a loose spring. Is there anyonme locally who could check it for you?
Possibly. I might also be able to borrow an entirely different saxophone. I did kind of assume that it was some mechanism somewhere that wasn't doing what it was supposed to, considering the other notes sounded alright (to me), but I have no idea what to look for, so I'll see if I can find someone who actually knows.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
I concur with Nigeld and BigMartin. The spring that holds the G# "pinky key" touch piece in its normal up position which in turn closes the G# pad has either come out of the spring cradle or the spring is missing or broken. This is something you can correct with a spring hook or a #8 crochet hook if the spring has just come disconnected. If it is one of the other scenarios it needs to be taken to a tech.
 

Stephen Howard

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UK
I'm pretty certain I am in fact fingering a G as I wasn't using my pinky at all, and yes the G2 is coming out a half-tone higher than it should be doing. The G isn't quite as bad, but still not great.
It's easy enough to check the action of the G# mechanism.
On a modern horn it'll be a two=part mechanism; there's the lever key (the bit you press down) arrowed in red and the cup key, arrowed in blue.
A bar (or key arm) on the lever key sits over a small stub on the cup key and prevents it from rising unless the lever key is pressed down.
In its resting state the lever key is sprung upwards so that the touchpiece lies level with the bell key touchpieces and the bar on the other end is pressing down on the cup key stub. The cup key is sprung so that it always wants to open. As long as that bar is fully down over the cup key stub, it can't rise.

So, if it's rising when it shouldn't do then it means the lever arm isn't pressing down on the stub fully - and there may be several reasons for this.

Press the G# lever key down and release it. Do you feel any resistance when you press it down? When you release it, does it rise smartly until it's level with the rest of the bell keys? If not then it's likely that the spring that powers the key is at fault (broken or dislodged). This is an easy fix.
A good way to confirm this is simply to press down on the lever key arm....if it moves down and closes the cup key, it's definitely a springing problem.

However if the lever key rises smartly to be in line with the bell keys and the cup key is still not closed, it's quite likely that either the G# lever key has got bent (best case scenario) or that the entire bell key group is out of alignment...and this is usually because the bell has been knocked out of line (worst case scenario).

gsharp arrowed.jpg
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,439
Location
Burnley bb9 9dn
The links in small print work.
For me too. (Post 5)

Funnily enough I've just had to regulate out this problem. My G4M has an adjusting screw on the lever but the problem was worn out cork on the arm and on the tilting table tabs. What a fiddly thing the tilting table is. Great to play but what a faff to adjust.
 
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