All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Beginner How to play louder?

Tommy Ng

Member
Messages
575
Locality
South Yorkshire
Hi,

How to play louder? Do you bite the mouthpiece and blow more air into it?

Cheers
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Café Supporter
Messages
3,582
Locality
The Malverns, Worcs
Never bite the mouthpiece!
If you don't do it already, you need to play from your diaphragm. Fill you lungs and they use your diaphragm to push the air out, rather than using your ribs. You need a bigger (faster?) air column to play loudly, and a smaller (slower?) air column to play quieter, but both need to be well supported by your diaphragm.
If you use a soft reed, you may find eventually that you need to move up a reed strength.
Also, to play loud, you may find that you need to play quietly first - most beginners can do loud, it's quiet that's possibly harder to achieve as a beginner.
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,687
A lot of people make a big mistake in this as they think they must put more mouthpiece in the mouth, in fact the total opposite is the best way to build projection if it is for bigger thicker sound so put less mouthpiece in your mouth and relax the bottom lip more and push a lot more from your diaphragm, by pushing warmer air through the instrument. This allows the full reed to vibrate and with maximum air but when you put more in your mouth you actually are stopping the reed from fully vibrating.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,215
Locality
Skabertawe, South Wales
For a louder sound you do have to put more air in but the mouthpiece is very important here - the Otto Link metal is not really suited to loud playing. You need a higher baffle piece on the whole - like a Rico Metalite, Claude Lakey, Vandoren Jumbo Java and similar.
I use a Phil-Tone Isotope on Tenor which can be very loud where necessary, as with my Rift Alto mouthpiece. Main problem then is that lots of higher baffle pieces can tend to sound a little thinner. I have a Rico Graftonite C7 tenor mouthpiece which is excellent for £14 and produces loud quite naturally. Biting a mouthpiece mainly just damages the mouthpiece on HR, or damages the teeth on Metal!
 

Desgranges

New Member
Messages
3
Try practicing long tones with changing dynamics, going from quiet to loud and back. As Mandy points out, this is achieved by controlling your airstream and has nothing to do with your embouchure.

If you find this hard to do, keep at it. It took me a good three months of playing before I could vary my playing volume and the aforementioned long tones are now part of my warmup.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,777
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Simply.....Stick a half strength stronger reed in and blow harder. No biting....ever. Well... perhaps some very high altissimo notes on Baritone. Bottom teeth on the reed that is.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,329
Locality
London
the Otto Link metal is not really suited to loud playing.

But is suited to develop a proper embouchure, before moving to higher baffle pieces if you fancy the sound they give you. And I can be quite pretty loud anyway on few Metal Links of mine.

But one question springs to mind: why do you need to play louder?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,215
Locality
Skabertawe, South Wales
But is suited to develop a proper embouchure, before moving to higher baffle pieces if you fancy the sound they give you. And I can be quite pretty loud anyway on few Metal Links of mine.

But one question springs to mind: why do you need to play louder?

Tommy is NOT a beginner! He has been playing for several years, but does not post as often as some members.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,917
Cheap way to play louder: buy a Bari plastic reed.

Dear way to play louder: buy a Guardala mouthpiece.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,432
Locality
Sweden
Practise long tones with full volume and "unleash the animal inside you" (Clarence Clemons). A loud mpc helps up. The right design and big tip opening increase the loudness. But most important is the player. So practise a lot. I've been working with my tone for the last 40 years and my saxhero is Clearence Clemons (rip). I have been trying to get the same energy and sound into my sax, so I did my own excersises to sound in the same style as the Big Man.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,215
Locality
Skabertawe, South Wales
Practise long tones with full volume and "unleash the animal inside you" (Clarence Clemons). A loud mpc helps up. The right design and big tip opening increase the loudness. But most important is the player. So practise a lot. I've been working with my tone for the last 40 years and my saxhero is Clearence Clemons (rip). I have been trying to get the same energy and sound into my sax, so I did my own excersises to sound in the same style as the Big Man.

So, you are recommending that Tommy "Big it up" ?! :w00t::w00t::w00t:
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,687
Dear way to play louder: buy a Guardala mouthpiece.

Expensive, not really if it sets you up for life on your sax but I say well worth it, tho joking aside, before i switched to Guardala's (from Lawton's) i was loud in general due to much Pop gigs with HUGE P.A. systems so i developed more power to compensate for the extra stage volume but this also went hand in hand with helping to develop a better dynamic range which also can help with expression so i say good luck to you Tommy NG and i hope you get something useful from all the replies here.
Ian
 

Tommy Ng

Member
Messages
575
Locality
South Yorkshire
Thank you so much for all the comments :)

My main problem with playing loud is intonation. Will putting more air into the mpc not making the note sharp?
 

photoman

Daydream Believer
Messages
235
Locality
County Limerick Ireland
My main problem with playing loud is intonation. Will putting more air into the mpc not making the note sharp?

As a complete beginner (7 weeks playing first Sax - alto), I have been trying (and am being taught) to play more softly. I had no problem at all getting a very loud and harsh sound out of a Yamaha 5C mp with a variety of reeds, mostly 1.5 grade, inclusing Marca Jazz and Gonzalez. I also could manage an ocean liner in a fog impression with a a Rico #2.

I have spent several weeks trying hard to control the sound using just the mouthpiece and/or the full horn - incidentally, it's a great name for the instrument, considering the inital sounds I made!

Bascially, I have been working on getting the sound as quiet as possible with long notes, and then builing up to louder notes, and back down again in one breath (or via versa) - technically: crescendo and diminuendo exercises. Personally, I find playing quieter, for a longer (or with a long note) much harder than playing loudly. This type of exercise is doing a lot for my breath control, my intonation and also my general tone quality.

My teacher now has introduced crescendos and diminuendos into my tune player and it's taken me (already) from basically just playing the notes to (what he calls) "making music".

Stephen
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,733
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
As one increases the volume of air to play louder it is easy to increase the speed of the air as well which raises the pitch. To keep the pitch from going sharp the player needs to compensate for the increased volume of air by increasing the oral cavity. Some players overdo this and their loudest notes come out flat.

Another tendency of the reed woodwinds is to go sharp as they diminuendo. To keep the pitch down requires a slight loosening of the embouchure and taking a bit less of the reed in the mouth.

A great exercise is to watch the second hand of a clock and the needle of a tuner. You take a giant breath and beginning pianissimo at 12 you crescendo to fortissimo at 3 where you begin to diminuendo back to pianissimo at 6. It is very difficult at first to control both the dynamics and the pitch at the same time. An easier version would be from piano to forte then back to piano. You can even put a 15 second rest period in the middle if you like. Eventually it is important to use the ear to keep the pitch constant.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,777
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
That sounds like a great and fun exercise. I'm off to find some blue tac to stick the tuner on the clock.
 

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom