All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

octave problem

Anton

Member
Messages
68
I have a problem with my Bauhaus Walstein alto: It is diffcult play the lower octave D, E, F, G and A without the notes going an octave higher (I don't use the octave key there). Especialy the first G and A easy goes an octave higher. Is there anything I could check on my alto?
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,063
If the mouthpiece fits snuggly and is in the right place tuning wise and there's no sign of cork wear, you probably have a leak.

Check the octave mechanism on the crook isn't sticking and the pad is seating as it should. A gentle clean of pad and seat with a soft cloth will help.

Have a look at the actuating lever while pressing the octave key, it may have had a knock and be out of adjustment or bent.

Hold the octave key while switching between A and G to check the side octave is switching and operating/seating as it should.
A little clean between pad and seat won't do any harm if you're careful not to dislodge anything.

Check the Palm keys and side keys to make sure they're operating and the pads are closing as they should. Clean here too.

If all this reveals nothing it will need to be checked with a leak light.
 

Anton

Member
Messages
68
Thanks for the reply. I checked all the pads, position and mechanism with a leak light and thats all ok

I narrowed down the problem notes: F#, G, G# and A. I also changed the moutphiece S80 C* for another S80 and now it's much easier to control. The problem is nearly gone now. Could it be a moutpiece problem?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,063
I assumed that it was something that had just cropped up.

If your original post had indicated problems with the lower register with one mouthpiece and no problems with another then the answer would have been shorter and simpler

Selecting the wrong mouthpiece isn't a mouthpiece problem.

I'd stick with the one that works for you and leave the other one alone.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,000
Thanks for the reply. I checked all the pads, position and mechanism with a leak light and thats all ok

I narrowed down the problem notes: F#, G, G# and A. I also changed the moutphiece S80 C* for another S80 and now it's much easier to control. The problem is nearly gone now. Could it be a moutpiece problem?
Any low note on the saxophone can be made to play an octave higher by "voicing" the note differently---especially the 4 notes you mentioned. If a leak or problem with the octave mechanism have been ruled out, it points to something that you (not the mouthpiece) are doing to cause the notes to jump an octave.

An easy way to understand "voicing" the notes is to blow the pitch of the note on what I call an "air whistle". For example play low G on your alto saxophone or play Bb just below middle C on a piano. Hum that pitch to get it in your mind and then blow an airstream that makes that pitch. (Don't let it go to a clear whistle sound---just an air stream with a pitch). Then play the low G on the sax with that same airstream and position of the tongue inside the mouth. Next do the same with the G (Bb Concert) an octave higher. You will notice that the higher "air whistle" requires faster air and moves the back of the tongue higher and more toward the front of the mouth. With this "voicing" you should be able to play a high G whether the octave key is pressed or not.

By practicing going back and forth between the high and low octave without the octave key by using this "voicing" technique, you will gain better control of your tone production, and as an added bonus, you will begin to understand playing harmonics and the altissimo register which will come later as your playing skills develop.
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I just tried what jbtsax suggested, and it really works. I often get the higher note by accident, and I think I am now at least beginning to understand why that might be. It also seems to be useful for hitting the low notes (which means anything below low D to me :eek: ). Thanks, jbtsax :)
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
Thanks. That's a pity, as I have a wife, children and cats to consider, but I'll certainly try it as long as there are no bleeding ears.
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom