Palm key D,E,F

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584
Location
East Manchester
#1
There's probably a similar post to this but I can't find it.
On my Elkhart alto, have tried 3 different mouth pieces and various reeds, I have started failing to play palm key D,E,F.
They either play an octave low or extremely high. If I get lucky and get D correctly I can slur up to E and F. This problem started about 2 weeks ago. Any suggestions please.
 
Last edited:

jbtsax

old and opinionated
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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
#4
I would suggest playing long tones on the mouthpiece alone matching the pitch A=880. This will help to get the embouchure at a "firmness" that will facilitate all of the notes on alto. Next make sure the reed is not too soft. Of course it is mouthpiece dependent, but typically the reed should be no softer than 2 1/2. The third item is perhaps the most important, and that is to speed up the airstream when playing the notes this high in the register. Good luck. Hope this helps.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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11,722
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Burnley bb9 9dn
#5
Try playing tunes on just the mouthpiece. You should be able to get about an octave by just altering your oral cavity and throat. This helps to train your embouchure. The other thing is not to squeeze out the high notes. Let them happen. Think low and aim high.

Take a run in semitones at palm D and hold it when you get there. When you've got the feel of it and can produce it at will. Do the same with the rest of the palm notes.

Sometimes playing a tune low then middle then high helps to get the feel of things.

Do you soak your reed? Sometimes a reed won't give you the full range till it's been played for 10 or 20 mins. Soaking helps speed up the process.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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404
Location
New Mexico, US
#6
The way I read this, OP stated it used to not be a problem, now recently has become a problem (on same horn).

So, IMHO, if you previously were able to get those notes to speak with relative ease, and now you cannot....you want to go thru a short list of troubleshoots.

You hit one already: mouthpiece/setup

Another obvious one would be: is there a leak somewhere, or has adjustment/regulation on the horn gone off someplace ?
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
404
Location
New Mexico, US
#8
Both octave key pips remaining open simultaneously, one example.

The high E or F pad having a leak effecting D, Eb, E from speaking well, another.

Possible leak at mouthpiece/cork.....

Another suggestion: have another player try the horn. Do they encounter the same issue ?
 
Messages
584
Location
East Manchester
#9
2 hours playind top D E F . Lip gone, tongue numb, ear wax melting, but improving acces to these notes already. The only thing I've not been able to try is a reed harder than a rico 2 as can't get one till RNCM sax day on Sunday. Thanks for your suggestions. Any further ideas would still be appreciated.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
404
Location
New Mexico, US
#13
2 hours playind top D E F . Lip gone, tongue numb, ear wax melting, but improving acces to these notes already.
This just seems odd given that you aren't a newbie player and it wasn't an issue previously. When you have to struggle like that with your horn, and the problem just sorta 'popped up recently', it often times is a 'hardware' issue.

Best of luck working it out. I'd really try to get someone else to give your axe a toot, if you can (sorry to repeat myself)
 
Messages
584
Location
East Manchester
#14
As Jeannette said earlier, it may be that I have only been using my alto for my lessons and doing all my practice on the bari so my emboucher has gone off. I have not been having problems with top notes on my bari.
 
Messages
584
Location
East Manchester
#16
Playing this way may seem odd, but I play bari with the cafe septet, my lessons however are only about a mile from home and it's not worth uiing the car but I'm not lugging the bari that far on foot. Well thanks for the help guys, I'll just have to make sure I do a bit more practice on the alto.
 
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