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Beginner Sax Octave delay

shamba504424

Member
Messages
175
Location
Edgworth near Bolton
Hello everyone,I have a couple of questions I hope you can help me with
1)When I play for example the octave G there is a delay of,what seems to me, to be a couple of seconds when I release the octave key for it to sound the lower note,I don't mean that there is no sound it's just the higher register still sounding,similarly say on octave D,the sax itself is only about 4 weeks old and bought from new.
2) am finding that the joint of my left thumb is beginning to ache,I do a lot of practising,maybe too much for a ground floor flat,anyway I know I put too much pressure on the octave key sometimes but part of my problem is having small hands and having to reach over the palm keys and was wondering if anyone can suggest something to stick onto the octave key pad to bring it a little closer to my make it a little more within reach,has anyone else had or has this problem
 
Are you a beginner? Do you have a teacher?

If the answer is yes and no, I’d venture to suggest that maybe you are not yet aware that an octave key is not an automatic pitch changing device and can need input from the player especially when slurring down.

My apologies if I’m wrong about that supposition. Even If I am I’d suggest before going any further a teacher would be able to check the instrument and check your embouchure, though in these times would need to be virtual
 
Hello,well yes I am a beginner,been playing about 5 months now,been doing the Youtube online thing but started with Dean Masser just this last week,however I have only just noticed this in the last few days and it never happened with my rental tenor or indeed with my current one,just seems to be on the G and D
 
Hello,well yes I am a beginner,been playing about 5 months now,been doing the Youtube online thing but started with Dean Masser just this last week,however I have only just noticed this in the last few days and it never happened with my rental tenor or indeed with my current one,just seems to be on the G and D
OK, so it seems then you should know that it is tricky (and not automatic).

It only needs a very tine leak to exaggerate the difficulty of slurring down the octave. With a totally leak free instrument I may probably still want to add an imperceptible tongue touch to help. Once there is a leak, it can need a bit more help, maybe not just articulation but relaxation of embouchure.

If it's just started, then this points towards a leak. Saxophone is 4 weeks old, could just be acork settling in a bit but I so suspect a leak if it was OK before.
 
I also have small hands and had trouble clearing the palm keys (and this was on an alto). One thing I did to help was to place the tips of my left hand fingers, not in the center of the pearls, but on the outer rim, thus giving my palm more clearance from the keys. I also curve my fingers to give even more clearance. I have a vintage alto with a very small left thumb rest and octave key so I know how you feel about reaching it. Try relaxing your hands consciously while you practice. Not at all easy, but with time, it will become automatic.
 
A trick I sometimes use is to "mentally" play the lower note while I am still on the higher note before the change.

A test to check the embouchure tightness given by Larry Teal in "The Art of Saxophone Playing" is to play low A as a long tone, and with the free hand flick open the neck octave key and quickly let it close.

  • if the note goes to high A and stays there before dropping back down, the embouchure is too tight
  • if the note goes to a flat sounding high A, the embouchure is too loose
  • if the note goes to nice sounding high A and quickly drops back down, the embouchure is right
 
Try playing the G1 (IE the normal ) without pressing the octave key and then overblowing that fingering to the G2 (upper register).This will prove if its you or the sax If that is fine without the octave key operating have a look at the vent which opens when you press the octave key .Its not a big problem and an easy fix..Have fun mate and welcome to the Cafe..Regards
 

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