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Saxophones Not happy NSD

ptg

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After much soul searching (and with the encouragement from wonderful folks like the people on this forum) I did not renew my sax rental and purchased a new horn.

Did research for months trying to decide the level of instrument I should get.

Narrowed it down to an alto Yamaha 480 or a Mauriat (I have liked the tone for the price on each one I have heard but was not sure which model to get.)

Found a local store with the Yamaha and a PMXA-67R for just $200 more.

Have my teacher come down and help decide.

I found the Yamaha to be easier to play but very thin sounding and cheap feeling (nylon key touches, very lightweight.) But, of course, built very well.

The Mauriat sounds warm and full but has slightly more resistance.

Teacher tries both and says the Mauriat has a lot more upside.

Buy the Mauriat only to find when I really play the heck out of it when I get home (well, at my pathetic level of playing) that the b-flat key is tucked under the bell and almost impossible to play quickly without your pinky getting caught on the bell! How can they even design a sax this way?

My teacher mumbled something about that when he tried it but it did not happen to me in the store and I completely forgot about it.

I will find out today if the store will let me swap the horns out but it stinks because the Yamaha did nothing for me. :(
 
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Jeanette

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You could try a different mouthpiece on the Yamaha

Jx
 

Colin the Bear

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There's more than two horns.

The most important thing is that the keys fit your hands.

I'm not familiar with the Mauriat but I would suggest that if the Bb is so very close to the bell the horn has had a knock and something has moved.
 

jazzdoh

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I owned a P Mauriat alto for 7/8 years can't ever remember having the problem with key layout.
 

ptg

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You could try a different mouthpiece on the Yamaha

Jx

I did not think of that...I am using a Meyer 6 which is a pretty warm sounding mouthpiece...not sure what else to try!

There's more than two horns.

The most important thing is that the keys fit your hands.

I'm not familiar with the Mauriat but I would suggest that if the Bb is so very close to the bell the horn has had a knock and something has moved.

You would think so (as far as having had a repair) but it was new right out of the box (they did do a setup).

I am at work but will try to post a picture.
 
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Stephen Howard

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I suspect it's to do with the larger bell on the Mauriat.
It's one of those things that's going to be a problem for some players depending on their natural hand position and the size of their hands. It may well be possible to adjust your hand position to take the larger bell into account - but that'll take time and practice.
If the bell keys had been knocked out of line, I doubt you'd get any low notes at all.

As for the Yamaha's weight - it's actually slightly heavier than the Selmer MkVI.
 

ptg

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Here are some pics but I don't know how well they illustrate the point.
 

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ptg

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I suspect it's to do with the larger bell on the Mauriat.
It's one of those things that's going to be a problem for some players depending on their natural hand position and the size of their hands. It may well be possible to adjust your hand position to take the larger bell into account - but that'll take time and practice.
If the bell keys had been knocked out of line, I doubt you'd get any low notes at all.

As for the Yamaha's weight - it's actually slightly heavier than the Selmer MkVI.

Won't that slow me down? Instead of lifting my pinky and then lowering it, I have to lower it and do an extra maneuver to slide it across.
 

jazzdoh

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I don't have mine any longer but have just looked at photos of it and the pinky cluster is closer to the bell but it didn't cause me any heartaches,i bought it because the sound was close to my mark VI.
As Stephen has said its because of the flared bell.
 

Stephen Howard

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Depends how far you're lifting it.
A lot of players will simply slide their fingers across, tilt the little finger at the knuckle.
Others will still lift..but it's more of a hop than a lift
 

Colin the Bear

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It looks like you've developed a habit that doesn't suit your new horn.

The rollers on the table are there to help you slip and slide. Positioning your hand so that your finger sits almost on the G#, means it's just a little slide across the table for the bell keys.

A modern tilting table is a wonderful thing. All those links make the table much simpler to negotiate. Fudging the bell keys or doing it on purpose, will still give you a G#. Hitting the C# and G# together will still give you a C#. Remove the right hand fingers and it's a G#.

Some of the old horns were like having your pinky negotiate a maze and any fudges created all sorts of squeaks squawks and overtones

With any new horn it takes time to adjust. Adapt your technique to get the best out of it. To play fast you need to keep your fingers on the buttons. This modern new horn demands a slick technique. No finger trampolining. Slick and tight.

You'll soon get used to it. Four hours a day for a week or two and you'll wonder what the problem was. ;)
 

ptg

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It looks like you've developed a habit that doesn't suit your new horn.

The rollers on the table are there to help you slip and slide. Positioning your hand so that your finger sits almost on the G#, means it's just a little slide across the table for the bell keys.

A modern tilting table is a wonderful thing. All those links make the table much simpler to negotiate. Fudging the bell keys or doing it on purpose, will still give you a G#. Hitting the C# and G# together will still give you a C#. Remove the right hand fingers and it's a G#.

Some of the old horns were like having your pinky negotiate a maze and any fudges created all sorts of squeaks squawks and overtones

With any new horn it takes time to adjust. Adapt your technique to get the best out of it. To play fast you need to keep your fingers on the buttons. This modern new horn demands a slick technique. No finger trampolining. Slick and tight.

You'll soon get used to it. Four hours a day for a week or two and you'll wonder what the problem was. ;)

Lol! Just 4 a day? I was willing to go for 5!

The C# is fine...It's the Bb that's going to drive me crazy! (unless you meant to say B or Bb instead of G# or I am misunderstanding you ???)
 

ptg

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Finally got a hold of my teacher. He said to give it a few days and see if I can adapt.

I hope I can...When I play the bass, I'm one of those people whose fingers fly out of position; I could never play just close to the neck like most.

Why is everything in life such an ordeal?
 

Pete Thomas

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I hope I can...When I play the bass, I'm one of those people whose fingers fly out of position; I could never play just close to the neck like most.

This is your issue then, I think it's good technique to not lift your fingers any further than necessary. I hd this habit and I got over it by glueing my fingers to the keys when practising.

Of course that won't work for the Bb as you do need to slide your finger from one key to the others - but this is what it should be, a slick slide rather than a frantic flap.

I've played that mauriac and I found the ergos to be very nice so I don't think it's a design fault or damage (so if you've played it unlikely to get a full refund), you just need to either work on your fingering technique or get a different horn.
 

ptg

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This is your issue then, I think it's good technique to not lift your fingers any further than necessary. I hd this habit and I got over it by glueing my fingers to the keys when practising.

Of course that won't work for the Bb as you do need to slide your finger from one key to the others - but this is what it should be, a slick slide rather than a frantic flap.

I've played that mauriac and I found the ergos to be very nice so I don't think it's a design fault or damage (so if you've played it unlikely to get a full refund), you just need to either work on your fingering technique or get a different horn.

Thanks Pete! I'll start working on it straight away but being a new player with so many other things to work on, I was hoping a new sax would make my job easier and not harder!
 

Pete Thomas

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Thanks Pete! I'll start working on it straight away but being a new player with so many other things to work on, I was hoping a new sax would make my job easier and not harder!

Actually that big bell will help, because it may force you into a better technique.
 

kevgermany

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Just play around with hand position. The photos don't look as if it's more than that, but Stephen is much better placed to comment.
 

LloydR

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I have just bought a new Sakkusu tenor,and I am where you are in ability..
The ergonomics are much the same(ish) as other tenors I have tried.
The "pinkies"are very good but different to other tenors.I find the more practice,then the more practice..is helping me "gel" with my horn.There are some nights I don't play a single note but practice fingering..!!..I have a basic Yamaha 5
mouthpiece which will bring every note to life.....then I have another night of just fingering,not playing..my own personal secret is "fun"...just chill,put your horn away
when you are stressed...I do,then I miss my Sakkusu...
Go at your own pace,I do....
.....then one day......things will come together...
wish you a great journey ptg.
 
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