Tutorials

Is it me?

Messages
56
Location
Isle of Skye
I finally took delivery of my gorgeous Bauhaus-Walstein Tenor Sax and I'm like I'm starting from scratch again. I had got used to the Alto and stopped squeeking and squealing now I'm back to square one. On some of the notes it sounds like that noise that Cewbacca makes in Star Wars, particularly when changing from say a low A to a high F, also when trying to start from a low D or C. The low B gives a sort of pulsating sound almost like a slow vibrato. Has everyone had these problems or is it just me? Another thing, Is it normal for gallons of spit to pour all over your left hand? If so where can I get some of those sexy white cotton gloves that you see some sax players wearing?:)
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
Agreed, it's not uncommon - for your 'spit' issue the angle you hold the sax sometimes means the *ahem* condensation comes out of the top (left hand side key) tone holes rather than collecting in the bell.

The funny noises are probably due to you getting used to a larger mouthpiece - play some long notes (like most of a breath long), starting from middle B, stepping up first, for an octave or so, and then back down right to the bottom of your range.
This is a good exercise for tone in general!

Then start practicing slow jumps in thirds, fourths, and fifths, and getting quicker.

Good luck with it!
 

Howard Long

Member
Messages
51
Location
London
I used to dribble from my tenor but it appears to have corrected itself, I don't know what I did right. My fingers would get wet through.

I found that for the first couple of weeks on a new horn (although in my case I went from tenor to both alto and sop), there was a 'correction' that seemed to occur naturally without any conscious effort other than practice.

Cheers, Howard
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,982
Location
Just north of Munich
I think he meant cotton, not latex :)))
OK, the joke's on me, :shocked: I've just been infomed by my wife that the white cotton gloves are stocked by chemists for people with dermatitis - apparantly they put a thick layer of lotion/cream on their hands at night and use the gloves to keep it in place/protet the bedding. Sorry.
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
I had a dribbling problem with my tenor when io started but it does seem to have sorted itself out now. I have white cotton gloves but for use in the darkroom handling negatives.
Just for info NOT A GOOD LOOK WITH A TENOR. A bib might work!!
Good luck >:)
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,349
Location
KIC 8462852
I got a new tenor about a month ago and all the old 'beginner' problems came back, wrong octave, squarky G sharp, muffled low D, honky low C and B. Also got the left hand condensation which seems to be a tenor thing because I never got it with the alto.
Most of the problems have gone away with practice except the low notes, I can hit them on warm up but miss on a sudden drop in a tune, more practice.
The dribble seems to happen when I'm playing something unfamiliar so I'm concentrating, (tensing)and hesitating more and goes away when I'm playing things I know well, so I think it's to do with angle, stance and strength of air stream.
 

Howard Long

Member
Messages
51
Location
London
OK, the joke's on me, :shocked: I've just been infomed by my wife that the white cotton gloves are stocked by chemists for people with dermatitis.
Well until now I never knew why they have them in chemists, so I learnt something! FWIW the only reason I know where to get them is that I use them sometimes when handling, building and debugging electronic circuit boards. They avoid getting grease on both the board and the parts that makes soldering difficult. Sometimes the boards are for use in a vacuum enviroment where any grease will evaporate, causing tiny explosions (known as outgassing) enough to cause physical faults. Are you bored yet?

Anyway, I fear cotton gloves might get a bit soggy if you have a dribbling problem. They might go down well if you're in one of those marching bands though.

Cheers, Howard
 
OP
C
Messages
56
Location
Isle of Skye
I discovered that the reed that came already fixed to the sax was a 1.5 Vandoren. I changed it to a 2.5 Rico and it seems much better to play but the sound has gone more muffled. The thinner reed needed a much more gentle touch with the embouchure. The slightest alteration in pressure was changing the note quite drastically. Another question, would you recommend "plasticover" reeds over normal reeds or vice versa?
 

RobatBlueRock

Member
Messages
100
Location
Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
I had a dribbling problem with my tenor when io started but it does seem to have sorted itself out now. I have white cotton gloves but for use in the darkroom handling negatives.
Just for info NOT A GOOD LOOK WITH A TENOR. A bib might work!!
Good luck >:)
My cat's got dribbling problems.... and she doesn't play any kind of instrument at all!! so think yourself lucky. :)))
 
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dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,406
Location
Daventry
I discovered that the reed that came already fixed to the sax was a 1.5 Vandoren. I changed it to a 2.5 Rico and it seems much better to play but the sound has gone more muffled. The thinner reed needed a much more gentle touch with the embouchure. The slightest alteration in pressure was changing the note quite drastically. Another question, would you recommend "plasticover" reeds over normal reeds or vice versa?
From personal experience I would recommend Hahn synthetic reeds rather than Plasticovers - expensive but they do play like a very free-blowing version of the real thing.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
I finally took delivery of my gorgeous Bauhaus-Walstein Tenor Sax and I'm like I'm starting from scratch again. I had got used to the Alto and stopped squeeking and squealing now I'm back to square one. On some of the notes it sounds like that noise that Cewbacca makes in Star Wars, particularly when changing from say a low A to a high F, also when trying to start from a low D or C. The low B gives a sort of pulsating sound almost like a slow vibrato. Has everyone had these problems or is it just me? Another thing, Is it normal for gallons of spit to pour all over your left hand? If so where can I get some of those sexy white cotton gloves that you see some sax players wearing?:)
Exact same things happened to me when I went from Alto to Tenor. It gets better with practice so hang on in there :D
 
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