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Having trouble playing the Tenor

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I have a Yamaha YTS-275 Tenor and I’m struggling to get the higher notes sounding right. Such as D plus Octave (XXX|XXX) up to about G (XXX|000) then everything starts sounding right. I have no problem with this on my Yamaha YAS-275 Alto and I’m getting there on my BW M2 Soprano.

I have played the Tenor with the standard Yamaha 4C Mouthpiece and a Rico B5 with reeds from 1.5 up to 3 the tone is different but I’m still having a problem.

The sound tends to be reedy / airy not in tune. I’ve tried changing my embouchure but I can seem to get the clogs in my head to click and play it tunefully!

Any suggests?

Many thanks,

Paul
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I decide to pick up the Tenor and just run through some scales low and high. I’ve not really played the Tenor much; in fact I’ve probably played the Soprano I’ve had since Friday more!!!

I was reading elsewhere on the forum about having a relaxed embouchure and just how much easier the Tenor is to play than the Alto and Soprano! So I’ve been trying to relax my embouchure with little luck when I opted to just gently place my lips around the 4c mouthpiece and a 2.5 Rico Royal. No teeth touching on the top of the mouthpiece and zero pressure on the reed. The higher notes are starting to sound better!

So does that mean that my embouchure is just way too tight? If so this is going to be, so hard for me to loosen up that much. As soon as my teeth touch the top of the mouthpiece everything goes reedy again.

My going to keep practising and hopes it all just clicks into place!
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Got it :D

I just needed to take more of the mouthpiece in – It’s a big mouthpiece! Any suggestions on a smaller Tenor Mouthpiece? How about the PPT?

Strange how something so simple can evade you :D well me anyhow!
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Got it :D

I just needed to take more of the mouthpiece in – It’s a big mouthpiece! Any suggestions on a smaller Tenor Mouthpiece? How about the PPT?

Hi Paul,
The external sizes of tenor m'pieces are much of a muchness. If you think about it, they have to be, to accommodate a tenor reed.
The answer is, you are the one that has to adapt. Bottom lip acting as a cushion for the teeth, dont bite hard, the movement of the jaw is used for vibrato.
Top teeth on the m'piece. Cheek muscles under tension (the more cheek tension, the more pressure on the reed).

John.
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
A big Gob ...

I have a Beautiful Yani Tenor and I find the supplied mouth peice a just little on the large size which is ok [as I have a big gob] ... ;}

I also tried an Selmer S80 [which is even bigger] I bought a Yani Metal mouth peice [an 8] Metal is much smaller, neater, louder and more comfortable to use ... :w00t:

Give Metal a try mate ... ;}
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi John,

Thanks John! I'm getting the embouchure but struggling to take that much mouthpiece in :D I know the overall size is fairly consistent but I have found certain mouthpieces feeling different on my Alto, such as the 4c is small than the B5. I was hoping to find the same with the Tenor.

Hi Sunray,

Thanks! That was what I was after :D So metal feel smaller in the mouth :thankyou: I might start a different thread from Metal Mouthpiece recommendations ;} Since I haven't tried one before!
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Thanks Nick :D Any particular ones recommended? I am going to start a new thread on metal mouthpiece suggestions but will also consider the Runyon too.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
I like the Quantum. If you get one with a spoiler you get the option of 2 different sounds. As usual, your taste might not be the same as mine so it's best to try before buying if you can.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Hi John,

Thanks John! I'm getting the embouchure but struggling to take that much mouthpiece in :D I know the overall size is fairly consistent but I have found certain mouthpieces feeling different on my Alto, such as the 4c is small than the B5. I was hoping to find the same with the Tenor.

Hi Paul,
I deliberately didn't mention "metals", 'cos I didn't want you throwing money at the problem, and suffering GAS (the B5 isn't that big)!
Getting used to a m'piece does take a bit of time, and you admit that you have spent more time on the sop, than the tenor.
Chopping and changing, ain't a good idea in the early stages of developing an embouchure.
Anyway I'm sure that you'll get there in the end!

Good luck'
John.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Thanks John! I guess you're right as usual :D I suppose I just need to get used too a BIGGER Mouthpiece! I think I'm just used to small m'pces of the Alto and Sop.

I do fancy the white Runyon Quantum though :D Any suggestions on which Lay would best suit me? 6, 7, 8, 9, ?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Probably the bottom end of that list - 6 or 7. If you have a too wide lay and aren't used to it, you may find that you have to play it with a soft reed. You then might have trouble controlling the tone and pitch.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
I do fancy the white Runyon Quantum though :D Any suggestions on which Lay would best suit me? 6, 7, 8, 9, ?[/QUOTE]

Hi Paul, Nick's spot on.

John.
 

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
I have an Otto Link Super Tone Master New York 7* metal tenor mouthpiece. I use Rico Jazz Select 2M reeds. I never have trouble getting the low or high notes. The sound is even across the range. It is quite dark and smooth. I like it, but if you want a bright edgy sound, its not for you.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Paul!

I do think that you are rushing it a bit, so do put the Tenor away for a while and concentrate on the other two for a few months, at least. For what it is worth I either play a metal Tenor (Barone Jazz 8), or an Alto sized HR type mouthpiece (Francois Louis Spectruoso ML280) - I do not find the wider tenor HR mouthpieces that comfortable to play particularly.

You may be suffering from toxic levels of GAS, so take it easy and stick to no more than 2 instruments at a time if you can show some discipline.

Lots of Love
Tom
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Tom,

I am probably being impatient! However, since I swapped the Yamaha for a Yanagisawa I've seen a huge improvement in my playing. A break over the Christmas period as helped a bit as well. For now i'm concentrating all my efforts on the Tenor in hope of get my tone sorted top to bottom. The Low notes are fine but I struggling a little a the break to the second octave. I'm sure it'll come shortly :D

Would beer increase the toxic levels of GAS? if so that could be a strong possibility!

Happy New Year,

Paul
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Paul!

At least you now have a decent Tenor now - it is an excellent sax. Common problem for playing Tenor, but it will come with practice.
I am also liking the new piccie - proper black garments, shades etc.

At least you have the enthusiasm to counter GAS (or make use of it, at least!)

Happy New Year and kind regards
Tom
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Thanks Tom :D I'm loving the new Tenor, much better than the previous one. The crossover is improving daily as I practice. Might get a 92 Neck when I improve my sound top to bottom - something to work for I suppose!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Great news - the 92 neck does produce a very appealing sound and would be worth getting at some point, certainly - glad to hear that you are putting in the practice!

Kind regards
Tom
 
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