support Tone without tears Beginners' impro Patterns & exercises

Middle D problems on tenor sax


New Member
Hello, this is my first thread but I hope not my last
I have a old Czech Tone king has been rebuilt every note playes well
apart from middle D which sounds very weak is it me I have only been playing for one year or can it be the sax I do play another sax which playes OK
David Harper Upwey Melbourne
I have a 1955 Conn and I must push a little harder on the middle D. It seems that this note may be easier to play on other new saxophones, however; it also is very sharp on some new horns. Therefore, I'm wondering if this is a difference between vintage horn technology and new horns. It almost appears that they tried to make that middle D easier to blow on some new horns but the intonation suffered when they did.

If anybody knows if this is true I would be interested to know for sure.
I have a cheap Jupiter 500 series tenor. The middle D and E are pretty dull. The worst thing is it won't allow me to push harder on this two notes otherwise it will squeak.

I might try the palm key as suggested.
I think middle Eb and D are always a bit stuffy and by the same token middle B, C and C# difficult to control in comparison to the surrounding notes.

Great book to try is Top Tones for the Saxophone. Great exercises for tonality, uniformity of tone character, overtones and much more. It's helped me 'even' out the middle B though to middle E and well, the rest of the register from low Bb to top F# too! Still can't get that altissimo though!
I do tend to find my intonation is always at its worst around the middle D area.

I do think the horn can add or subtract to this but I don't think it's entirely the horn. Since I got my 62 it's become a lot more solid and I don't have to think (worry :p) about my intonation as much.

I find it a lot more pronounced on the tenor sax though where middle D and E are definitely stuffier than the notes around them, D being the worst of the 2. I can 'blow through it' to make it speak more clearly and evenly compared to the others but that affects the intonation, not so much the E as it doesn't take as much to bring the tone in-line.
I tried several on my old Conn and didnt see much difference on that note. The best thing that I found was opening the throat more like yawning on that stuffy D note to make it match the other notes.

Is this problem mainly on tenor....?? My TJ soprano sounds pretty bright on the middle D, even on middle C (close 7 holes).
The construction of the saxophones have changed over the years. The sound and the music from the 20's are complete differnt in comparing to todays needs. The tube and toneholes (placement) makes the most changes. A Conn 10 M from the 20's is a completly differnt sax comparing to a Conn 10 M from the 50's when it comes to playing qualities.

The small key on old Conns on the left side helped to give a brighter/less closed tone. If I remeber right old Kohlert's had the same construction. Some techs rebuilt saxes by adding a x-tra toneholes that helps up.

I had the same problem on a sax I owned. I open up the low C key and I thought that the middle D became slighty brighter. Maybe just imagination!! I have owned I couple King Super 20's and they were more or less suffering from this. The B, C and C# was very freeblowing and suddenly the middle D and E brought out closed tones. The palm D and E keys was the solution for me. But I didn't use the octavekey.


Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

Support Cafesaxophone

Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

Forum statistics

Latest member
Top Bottom