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How to play good C# in alto sax

ssyleung

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Hong Kong
After playing for about a month on my Yamaha alto sax, I am quite happy with the sound quality and handling. I am now playing some songs other than scales. However, I found it difficult to play C# with all keys off. It tends to start with a squeaky octave high note before coming to the right pitch. How to avoid that first part of the high pitch? The problem comes very prominent when I am playing a song with C#, once I release all the keys it squeaks. It gets a little better when I put a rest before playing the note but then is not right.
 

jbtsax

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Check to be sure you are not touching the thumb octave key slightly when you play that note. Check also that you are letting the neckstrap support the entire weight of the saxophone and you are not supporting it with your thumbs. Lastly, check to see if there is about 1.5 mm space between the post that extends from the top of the saxophone and the ring attached to the neck key.
 

ssyleung

Member
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Hong Kong
I feel shame to ask this question again, after playing sax for half year.
When I release all the keys from other notes on my sax, I found it difficult to hit the C# note right. Either the reed is not vibrating or the sound burst out loud.:headscratch:
 

Rob Pealing

sax in a kayak (apprentice sax tamer)
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There's no need to be ashamed, C # is a difficult note to play well. Having said that I don't have the skills to help you, however I am sure some of the tutors in the Cafe do.
 

MikeMorrell

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Interesting! I've definitely developed the "don't do nr. 1" habit: a thin sliver of reed extending over the mpc tip. I finely adjust the reed position when warming up to get the best tone/playability across the range. I'll experiment. Maybe using slightly stiffer reeds.

Mike

QUOTE="6441, post: 417218, member: 6441"]
Perhaps this might help. I've found reed placement can make a huge difference.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TjwidIa6kw
[/QUOTE]
 

nigeld

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I had learned that the end of the reed should line up with the end of the tip when the reed is touching the tip. This means that there is definitely not a black line visible when the reed is free.
Can anyone say whether this is right?
 

6441

 
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6,296
I had learned that the end of the reed should line up with the end of the tip when the reed is touching the tip. This means that there is definitely not a black line visible when the reed is free.
Can anyone say whether this is right?
This is one of those "two schools" things. I find showing a thin line works best, but others have said the opposite. However, one thing I noticed in that video is that he removes the neck to place the reed. I started doing this and it's saved a lot of fiddling around with reed placement by feel.
 
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Nick Wyver

noisy
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Minster On Sea
I had learned that the end of the reed should line up with the end of the tip when the reed is touching the tip. This means that there is definitely not a black line visible when the reed is free.
Can anyone say whether this is right?
Yes, it's right.
And so are all the other methods.
Just do it the same each time.
 

Hipparion

Member
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Nantes
As for me, I also use sometimes the various positions (on, over or under the tip when the reed closes on the tip) to adjust for reed strength...
Looks like another case of 'experiment yourself', with its inevitable counterpart : whatever works for you...
 

GCinCT

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The reed lined up perfectly with the end of the mouthpiece is the default. We are all different and have to find what works best for us. I like the thin black line and I often make reed placement adjustments while I'm warming up. I also place the ligature higher than what is considered standard.
 

Colin the Bear

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Burnley bb9 9dn
Reed placement depends on the individual reed. They're all a little different and change while playing.

If a reed is a liitle hard move it back away from the tip. As it softens move it forward towards the tip.

There is no one place.

As for side to side, this may be to accommodate mouthpiece anomolies and flaws.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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I feel shame to ask this question again, after playing sax for half year.
When I release all the keys from other notes on my sax, I found it difficult to hit the C# note right. Either the reed is not vibrating or the sound burst out loud.:headscratch:
Look back at what jbtsax replied in May about thumbs.
When you take your fingers off you might be lifting the sax with your thumbs which alters the position of the mp in your mouth, it only takes a small movement to get the result of not playing that you describe.
It's the wrong thing to do but try holding one or more keys down with your right hand as you play C#, that will keep the 'pressure balance' between thumbs and fingers. If that helps you play the note correctly you know what the problem is and then learn to do it the right way.
 

Hipparion

Member
Messages
354
Locality
Nantes
Could it be a leak ?
I mean, once I had a problem similar to this one, and after a while I just found out that I was inadvertently moving my hand to much and accidentally opening (slightly) some palm keys. And it was enough to make the note hard to blow... Once I fixed my hands, everything came back to normal (aka a normally ugly C#, but I suppose everyone has to go through that stage at some point...).
 
Messages
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Locality
Switzerland
This is one of those "two schools" things. I find showing a thin line works best, but others have said the opposite. However, one thing I noticed in that video is that he removes the neck to place the reed. I started doing this and it's saved a lot of fiddling around with reed placement by feel.

The size of the tip rail may also be a factor.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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16,306
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Burnley bb9 9dn
Sling position is crucial too. Adjust the sling so that you can play C# no hands.
 
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