Tutorials

How to play the saxophone in tune

Altolady

Member
Messages
59
Location
sunny, hot, North-West England
Brilliant article, it's clear and easy to understand.

(Quote-'If only it was that simple.'
The 'was' should be 'were'. Think you stuck that in to make sure we were paying attention ;})
Edit-Actually, think it was right, I think it's me!! Very poorly today and can't think straight.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,982
Location
Just north of Munich
looks good

add reed & sax temperature to things that affect tuning (para 2)
earn -> learn step 1, para 2

Tuning tendencies, lower register box - not clear which C# or other notes you're talking about.

Intonation checklist, find Ornette Coleman, where -> were

Needs an ending
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,356
Location
Sweden
Very good. All clear. I keep asking myself why I like to play tenorsax in bands with harmonica, accordion, violin .... ? Most people like it. And we are not "that clean". The bassplayer is a piano tech and he use to tune the piano, if there is a aucostic piano, so it's not to clean!!!!
 
OP
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,240
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
looks good

add reed & sax temperature to things that affect tuning (para 2)
earn -> learn step 1, para 2

Tuning tendencies, lower register box - not clear which C# or other notes you're talking about.

Intonation checklist, find Ornette Coleman, where -> were

Needs an ending
Thanks. I did mention ambient temperature, which is probably the same as the saxophone conducts heat quickly, so I'll change that to instrument temperature. Thanks
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Location
Leeds
Thanks. I did mention ambient temperature, which is probably the same as the saxophone conducts heat quickly, so I'll change that to instrument temperature. Thanks
Just to nitpick, it's the temperature of the air inside the horn that affects pitch. Don't know if tht's an important enough distinction to wrrant mention. Instrument temperature is a good enough proxy for it anyway.
 
OP
Pete Thomas

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,240
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Yes you are right. People often think that metal expands as it gets warmer, so the saxophone gets longer so flatter.

In fact that's why I originally said ambient temperature come to think of it, as the air inside would be the same as outside. maybe, maybe not.

If the ambient temperature is cold, the players breath would warm it up.

If the ambient temperature is hot, the players breath would either make no difference or maybe even cool it down.

Hmmm, maybe I'll just say temperature. It won't make much difference, knowing the science won't make a scrap of difference when you are in a marching band at 10 degrees below.
 

RedBottom

Member
Messages
191
People often think that metal expands as it gets warmer, so the saxophone gets longer so flatter.
Surely metal does expand as it gets warmer - remember the brass ball and hoop from physics lessons? And if it does, then doesn't the sax (as well as getting slightly longer) also become narrower inside as the metal expands, thus sharper?

Does the warmth of our breath on an average British day make much difference? Has anyone ever actually measured a saxophone in cold and warm conditions to see how much difference there is, if any?

Whatever, I drive an MR2 at the moment, so I've taken to putting the sax in the boot right up against the bulkhead to catch any warmth from the engine.;}
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,982
Location
Just north of Munich
Sure the sax does get longer as it gets warmer, but not significantly. It's the effect of air temperature on the speed of sound that really makes the difference. Which is why Morgan's saying it's the air temp inside the horn. I've noticed more than a semitone difference in tuning, compared to a cold sax at about 15 degrees C and when it's all warmed up.
 
Top Bottom