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G2 (second octave) is screaching - why ?

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,731
I worked on a Cannonball tenor one time that when the upper octave G was played very loudly, the low G also sounded producing a multiphonic effect. The advice I got from Tevis at Cannonball was to open just the bottom of the body octave pip a little with a small rat tail file. It proved to be a good solution.

Stephen, can you describe what you mean by the G "breaking up"?
The problem doesn't exist when you play loud (or at least not when I play loud).
To get the note to break (and turn into a harmonic squeal) I had to blow very softly.

I can't get my M2 Studio (same as Rhys's horn but with a standard-width bell) to do it.

Regards,
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
I just bought a new Selmer SA80 Series II. It actually was new in the box from a dealer, but "old stock" which they had purchased in 2005.

I'm having a similar problem as others have mentioned with G2 (and G#2).

I had a very experienced tech take a look, and he can find no problems.

Just wondering if this was ever sorted out with others.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,542
Just wondering if this was ever sorted out with others.
Are you new to tenor?

I've had this problem on tenor for a while. It's rather annoying but it will pass as you gain experience.
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
Are you new to tenor?

I've had this problem on tenor for a while. It's rather annoying but it will pass as you gain experience.
I've been playing a Yamaha 62 tenor for around 6 months, and don't have any problem at all with G2. No problem with Series II, Mark VI, and Yamaha 62 alto's either.

But with the Series II tenor, I've tried 3 mouthpieces along with various (1.5-3.5) reed and tuning combinations, and it's hit and mostly miss each time.

My Series II alto is so solid top to bottom, that I went for the Series II tenor. But I'm beginning to think I should take it back.
 

s.mundi

Member
Messages
526
I just bought a new Selmer SA80 Series II. It actually was new in the box from a dealer, but "old stock" which they had purchased in 2005.

I'm having a similar problem as others have mentioned with G2 (and G#2).

I had a very experienced tech take a look, and he can find no problems.

Just wondering if this was ever sorted out with others.

In the past, I've never experienced this concern with any of tenor saxophones.

That changed when I received a "new" horn and immediately experiencing the described symptoms. Upon close inspection, I found that the horn had excessive hardened green plaque build up inside the crook. Of course, this took a long time to build up and I've never seen this in any of my horns. I polished the inside of the crook, cleaned the crook octave pip, and cleaned auxiliary octave vent pip (on the side body). The problem was solved.

I'll leave all of you with this thought. I would never defecate and forget to wipe my anus.
I would never defecate and become too lazy to wipe my anus.
I don't understand how musicians can playtest a horn (that doesn't belong to them) and not remove their nasty saliva.
 

s.mundi

Member
Messages
526
Thanks. I checked, and this one is clean. It was still wrapped with the factory tape.
Wine helps my creativity, so I give you one more possibility. The angle of the tenor crook varies on some brands. My Series II and my Signature Custom crooks are shaped/angled differently. This can unconsciously position more or less of the mouthpiece in the gator trap. Of course, that slight adjustment has the potential to change a true love story.
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
Wine helps my creativity
Mine too. My driving, not so much. But I went back to my tech, and he went over the horn again. Found nothing wrong.

He suggested it might just be the particular combination of this Series II and the shape of my oral cavity. So either I have surgery, or take the sax back. Tough decision.:confused2:
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,604
A tech may find nothing wrong when checking the horn but your fingering may be lighter and a small amount of regulation may shift the problem.
Check Lh2 is closing bis when fingering A and when fingering C check the little pad above is closing.

Check you're not fudging palm keys or front F.
 

s.mundi

Member
Messages
526
Mine too. My driving, not so much. But I went back to my tech, and he went over the horn again. Found nothing wrong.

He suggested it might just be the particular combination of this Series II and the shape of my oral cavity. So either I have surgery, or take the sax back. Tough decision.:confused2:

That's a curveball and must respectfully disagree with your tech. I'm not a human, but I know that every single human's thoracic cavity oral cavity are different. He is 100% wrong about the oral cavity saxophone combination. He would have sounded more intelligent with the mouthpiece/reed/saxophone combination suggestion.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,490
Mine too. My driving, not so much. But I went back to my tech, and he went over the horn again. Found nothing wrong.

He suggested it might just be the particular combination of this Series II and the shape of my oral cavity. So either I have surgery, or take the sax back. Tough decision.:confused2:
When high G, the second harmonic of low G has a strong tendency to sound the 3rd harmonic, palm D it can be due in part to the interior geometry of the neck and body of the saxophone. Normally each harmonic is weaker than the one before it in the harmonic series, but there can be exceptions where the 3rd harmonic peak is taller than the 2nd harmonic. I have found this to be more common on tenor than the other sizes of saxophones.

This is where the control in the player's oral cavity becomes important. When we learn to play overtones we learn the correct "voicing" inside the mouth to bring out each of the overtones that are contained in the sound of the fundamental. The technique is hard to explain and even harder to teach, Probably the easiest way to describe it is that it is similar to the way we whistle different notes that are higher or lower.

One way to practice would be to start on low C and without using the octave key change the shape/position of the tongue and the direction of the air to sound C an octave higher with the same fingering. Then work out how it feels to make the note go to high G. When that is comfortable move up to low D as the starting note, then E followed by F and G.

When you get to the point where you can make low G jump to a palm D at will, you will then be able to do the opposite and prevent that change from happening.
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
Then work out how it feels to make the note go to high G.
I can make high G more stable by fingering G and not using the octave key than with the octave key.

It may well be that my less than adequate voicing of high G is the problem, but I find it puzzling that this warbling seems to be limited to only one of my now five saxes.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,542
I can make high G more stable by fingering G and not using the octave key than with the octave key.

It may well be that my less than adequate voicing of high G is the problem, but I find it puzzling that this warbling seems to be limited to only one of my now five saxes.
That's the issue! Too many of them. Throw away the other 4 and focus on that one. You'll see, in no time it'll be old memories and you'll love that one. >:)
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
That's the issue! Too many of them. Throw away the other 4 and focus on that one. You'll see, in no time it'll be old memories and you'll love that one. >:)
You may be right, but this Series II tenor cost more than my Mark VI, so for safety sake I've pretty much decided to send it back while I can and look for a tenor which fits me better.

Reminds me of the old story of a man trying on a new suit. He tells the tailor the right sleeve is too short, and the tailor tells him to just lift up his right shoulder and it will be fine.
 

s.mundi

Member
Messages
526
Last night, I got a request for Watermelon Man. I had to play G/G2 475 thousand times in that song. You get this sh+t resolved.
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
Last night, I got a request for Watermelon Man. I had to play G/G2 475 thousand times in that song. You get this sh+t resolved.
Not resolved yet. And that's the problem with this particular sax. I don't want to be worried about playing such an often used note.

One thing is for sure, I've learned how important it is to play a sax before buying it.
 

Admitone

Member
Messages
114
Thanks for all the good advice. I sent the sax back, and feel greatly relieved. Now for something vintage.
 
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