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Beginner Middle D is weak, Why?

BeBopSop

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Am I right in thinking that middle D is a weak note to sound on all the sax range, I find it weak (not as clear and bold as all other notes, but I have found I can open up the sound a bit by pressing palm key D at the same time, This isnt just me I hope?
 

Two Voices

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1,113
It is a pale and stuffy note not to mention sharp. The best way to get a full and resonant sound is to press the palm D instead of the regular octave. Still use the other six keys as if you were playing low D. It’s known as the “Long D Fingering”.
 

BeBopSop

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274
It is a pale and stuffy note not to mention sharp. The best way to get a full and resonant sound is to press the palm D instead of the regular octave. Still use the other six keys as if you were playing low D. It’s known as the “Long D Fingering”.
Yes Paul that sounds better,awkward though, just tried it and I can play it better by keeping my thumb on the octave and pressing the D palm key as well
thanks
 

Two Voices

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It's only awkward because you doing something that doesn't feel natural yet but after you've played it a few times you'll play it with ease.
 

Chris

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Middle D can be a stuffy note John. The best way is to work at and make it work.:thumb:. It is possible, and will be better for you in the long run.:thumb:.

Chris..:)
 

Gallen

Senior Member
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397
Middle d on my sax is not only stuffy, it's also quite sharp, and the palm D helps immensely.
Nowadays though, I rely on embouchure to fix these issues, bit tough to describe, it's like channelling the air into a narrower stream with the shape of one's tongue by raising the side edges.... With the palm d nowadays I sound flat....

I'm pretty sure alot of what helped me was overtone matching training, e.g. finger middle C (which sounds thin), then play low C's first overtone (which sounds full) and to get mid C to match low C's 1st overtone. Doing that somehow helped open the sound alot. For D it was play middle D (no palm D and stuffy), then try to match it to palm D key only. Palm D alone is quite sharp, but it has the non-stuffy tone desired.

I still have problems with doing the embouchure thing with vibrato, I need loads more practice :)
 

jbtsax

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There are a few acoustic reasons for the D1 and D2 on the saxophone to behave the way they typically do. The sharpness of D2 is in part caused by the compromise position of the body octave vent. Ideally there would be 12 octave vents for each note of the chromatic scale, but this would be a mechanical nightmare so it has been reduced to just two. For the notes D2 to G#2 the body octave vent opens, and for the notes A2 and above the neck octave vent opens.

On most saxes the body octave vent is set in the ideal position for the note F. The farther notes using that vent get from this note the sharper they become. D2 and G#2 are each 3 half steps from the ideal note's position so they are both sharp when played with the octave key. The neck octave vent is usually set at the ideal position for the note B. That causes both the A and C# which are two half steps away to be sharp when played with the octave key pressed.

The stuffiness of the D can be partly explained by the fact that it is one of the "under vented" notes on the saxophone. This is explained in detail in Curt Altarac's article on Setting Key Heights. Simply stated when one plays a D on the saxophone the note vent's through the low C tone hole, but the next tone hole which is C# remains closed. The next closest tone hole for the D's soundwave is the low B. If D sounds like the soundwave is partly trapped inside the sax, it is because it really is. Low D can be vented by opening the C# key. That is impractical when playing D2 because it makes a sharp note even sharper. Sometimes it is possible to open up the sound of the D by increasing the opening of the low C key, but care has to be taken to keep the pitch at a workable level when experimenting with this. A sharp D2 can be brought closer in tune by closing the low B key. This is only practical when the D2 is a long tone.

As has been suggested in other posts there are things the player can do as well, but dealing with D has always been a part of learning the geography of playing the saxophone.
 
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jeremyjuicewah

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Seems I am spared one problem at least. I have always like that D, at least on this tenor. My probs are below that note. But that's another story.
 
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