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Tone Overblowing Sixths on Tenor

Guenne

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Austria
Hi,
overblowing C# with octave key gives Bb on Alto.

In his book "The Science and Art of Saxophone Teaching", Dr. Ray Smith states that it should be a major sixth on Tenor too, and a semitone below on Bari. He says that some people would add side C (on Tenor), but he wouldn't need that.
When I overblow on Alto (Selmer Reference), it works. But on my Yani Tenor, it is a minor sixth, and I have to add the key to get near a major sixth (gets better from palm D to B).
Is the problem me, or is the big differences in the horn? Or is Dr. Smith wrong?

Cheers, Guenne
 

Guenne

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Location
Austria
Major 6ths for me, but they are pretty flat without considerable adjustment to tongue position.
Thanks. Which Tenor?
Of course it doesn't overblow a minor sixth, but I could make a minor sixth (hardly a major), but the fingering is absolutely unuseable for altissimo playing on Tenor.
 

Pete Thomas

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Weird isn't it?

I believe the reason overtones on a saxophone can be unexpectedly out of tune is due to the inherent acoustic imperfections. (This is how the aux F works, it's a minor 6th overtone of A)

In a perfect acoustic world the cone of the tube decreases to as close as possible to infinity (about 8'7"), but that is not possible as we need a mouthpiece. This truncates the cone, part of which is made up for by the volume of the mouthpiece.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 
Last edited:

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
This is all new to me and I am trying to understand. The harmonics above C#2 theoretically should be an octave C#3 and a 12th G#3. Is that harmonic so sharp due to the shortness of the tube that it sounds an A#(Bb)? Is this the same as the front F fingering generating the 12th above A sharp enough to sound an F rather than an E natural?

I just read Pete's post and I can add that as the sounding length of the instrument (the body tube) gets shorter, the "natural resonant frequency" (like blowing across a bottle) becomes weaker. This is why we can bend the pitch on higher (short tune) notes using just the oral cavity and the reason we can play altissimo notes using "altered" fingerings. Perhaps the weaker "natural resonant frequency" of the short tube notes also alters the harmonics so that they are no longer exact whole number multiples of the fundamental.
 

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