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Beginner Horrible high screeching sound.

stringy

Member
Messages
34
Any advice regarding what i am possibly doing wrong?
I'm trying to practice different notes and achieve a steady sound, half, quarter, and whole notes. I keep sounding like a parrot being strangled.( A very high screeching sound).

Any suggestions please. I've don't have a parrot by the way!
 

jimmylh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,013
Locality
Warner Robins, Georgia USA
Any particular notes this happens on? I know I have trouble with G2 and G#2 warbling between G and D making it sound like a motor boat.
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,712
Locality
Norfolk, UK
Check you aren't just slightly opening a side key by accident with either of your palms.

That will certainly cause the screeching sound you describe ... :sax:

Say's Sunray in his best Parrot mimicking voice *Peices of Eight* ;)
 

jbtsax

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Café Supporter
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8,783
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Any advice regarding what i am possibly doing wrong?
I'm trying to practice different notes and achieve a steady sound, half, quarter, and whole notes. I keep sounding like a parrot being strangled.( A very high screeching sound).

Any suggestions please. I've don't have a parrot by the way!

The best advice is to find a teacher who can watch and listen to you in person and make suggestions one on one. That said, an easy way to tell whether it is you or the saxophone is to play the mouthpiece and neck. The note that should sound is an Ab concert (F on the top line for the sax).

If that doesn't squeak, then it is something in the sax itself. If the "small saxophone" squeaks then the problem has to do with your embouchure, mouthpiece, and reed.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,162
Locality
Hamilton, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
Kind of reminds me of a recent article in Jazz Times magazine by Dave Liebman in relation to playing the soprano sax Mr. Liebman states in the article "he has a mate that reckons the high register of the soprano sax sounds like a 'pet store on fire'..." barbecued parrot anyone? :w00t::rofl:

Greg S.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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14,944
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
The high screeching sound is called altissimo. Some players strive for years to achieve this and never get there. Well done.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,668
Locality
Rugby UK
I tend to get a "high screaching" towards the end of my practice. Mind you she soon stops when I play her favourite tune :rofl:
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Locality
North Lancs
Another way to make a very high pitched squeal is to touch the underside of the reed with your lower teeth. Just make sure that only your lip is in contact with the reed.Also , as advised previously, be certain not to accidentally touch the side keys.
Best wishes
O.C.V.
 

Alc.

Senior Member
Messages
736
Locality
High plains of N/W New Mexico.
I experienced that awful sound upon receipt of my last Buescher alto and discovered the 1st octave key was stuck shut. Pulled it open, cleaned the pad, oiled the proper places, and it's fine.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,768
Locality
Ilkley West Yorkshire
Any particular notes this happens on? I know I have trouble with G2 and G#2 warbling between G and D making it sound like a motor boat.
Sounds like you've got a leak somewhere, jimmylh. Get your tech to have a look.
 

jimmylh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,013
Locality
Warner Robins, Georgia USA
The problem is me. It does it on every sax and mouth piece I've tried. It's a breath support and embouchure thing. I've gotten better at controlling it. It mostly happens when I have to start on a G2. I'll sometime get a higher D instead of the G.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,783
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
The problem is me. It does it on every sax and mouth piece I've tried. It's a breath support and embouchure thing. I've gotten better at controlling it. It mostly happens when I have to start on a G2. I'll sometime get a higher D instead of the G.
This is a common problem for many players starting out. If the back of the tongue is raised when playing G2 low G's 3rd harmonic high D is likely to come out. Sing "AHH" on a low note then blow an airstream with that shape inside the mouth and throat. Then come in on G2 with that airstream and feeling. Sometimes when players tongue "Tee" instead of "Tah" at the entrance of that note it can go high unintentionally.

Generally speaking. using a warm airstream and imagining the airstream being directed down toward your LH thumb goes a long way to getting the correct "voicing" inside the mouth. Also, make sure the mouthpiece is going straight into the mouth, as that makes a big difference as well.
 

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