All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Beginner Problems playing top E and F

Messages
40
Hello everyone,

Now I've been so warmly welcomed to the forum, I'm hoping someone can help me please!

I'm having problems with playing top E and F. Occasionally I can, and if I play the scale legato I can play them, but not I can't start on either note. I'm using the palm key fingering.

I've been playing about 6 weeks, so am I being over-ambitious and this is something that just comes with more practice. Although I don't know how much more squawking my neighbours can put up with - I have to try and coincide it with their son's drum practice so they can't complain too much!!

Any tips/suggestions very gratefully received.

:)
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,551
Well, it could be that you're over ambitious. Or it could be that you're reed is a little soft, or maybe your mouthpiece isn't right?

I've never had a problem getting "up there" I used to have problems hitting the C, B Bb in the basement.

I have just changed to a no. 3 Rico Royal reed and have found it even easier to hit the top notes. It's definitely more difficult with a softer reed, but as a beginner, it's normal to play a softer reed.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,949
Have a bit of patience. Playing top E and F after 6 weeks is possibly a tad ambitious. It probably won't hurt to keep trying, but be careful you don't start biting hard down on the reed. Play slurred scales up to them, trying to keep your embouchure relaxed and steady.
 
Messages
40
Hi Mandy,

Thanks for your response. I'm using a Yamaha 4c mouthpiece and have just gone up to grade 2 reeds from 1.5.

I guess I'll just have to keep annoying the neighbours!
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Four tips ...

Hey Hey Amanda ...

1] Practice is a very important factor ...

2] Developing your embouchure over time is the key ...

3] Balance of reed and mouthpiece to the sax is paramount ...

4] But then - Don't listen to me - I am just a beginner [N00b] ;}
 

AndyB

Member
Messages
203
I found the high end to be difficult on the Yamaha 4c that came with my alto even with a 2.5 reed. I bought a Meyer 6M and the high end just popped out with little effort. I also had trouble with the 4c simply closing down on me. I suspect you would have to go to a really hard reed to get it to work well on a 4c because of the narrow tip opening.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
As Andy hints above - just spend money on more sax equipment.........;}
The more you buy the better you get. That's because:

1. You'll be more relaxed.
2. You'll be more motivated/
3. You'll feel guilty if you don't practice enough.

It has certainly worked for Paul I who just has to become a professional player and earn loads of money or else his debts will cripple him for life.
Life's a Gas! :sax: :gathering::gathering::gathering::gathering:

Love
Tom

PS he even dresses up as Fozzy bear when playing the sax at Children's Parties to raise money!
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Attempting top E and F after six weeks is definitely too ambitious. Any of the standard teaching books will get you there after you have mastered the middle range satisfactorily.
 
Messages
40
:)))He! He! I'm definitely holding off buying a new mouthpiece until my OH decides I can keep Sadie (my sax). Otherwise, I'll look a bit daft just playing a mouthpiece with no sax!!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
:)))He! He! I'm definitely holding off buying a new mouthpiece until my OH decides I can keep Sadie (my sax). Otherwise, I'll look a bit daft just playing a mouthpiece with no sax!!
Get the mouthpiece. If he does take the sax away, just playing the mouthpiece alone will get him to change his mind!!!


btw, expecting you to get that track so quickly is a bit OTT.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Seriously, if you want to sound like Candy Dulfer your best bet is to get a Rico Royal Graftonite Alto C3 mouthpiece from www.rapidreeds.com for £13.61 -they are edgy sounding and as loud as you want, rather than that Japanese tat you currently play, as Paul would say!

Love
Tom

:sax: :w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t:;}
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
As Andy hints above - just spend money on more sax equipment.........;}
The more you buy the better you get. That's because:

1. You'll be more relaxed.
2. You'll be more motivated/
3. You'll feel guilty if you don't practice enough.

It has certainly worked for Paul I who just has to become a professional player and earn loads of money or else his debts will cripple him for life.
Life's a Gas! :sax: :gathering::gathering::gathering::gathering:

Love
Tom

PS he even dresses up as Fozzy bear when playing the sax at Children's Parties to raise money!
:))) :))) :))) The fozzy bear act is certianly attracting attention. However, I don't seem to be seeing this all this money you mention?

Get the mouthpiece. If he does take the sax away, just playing the mouthpiece alone will get him to change his mind!!!
That'll certainly do it :)))

Seriously, if you want to sound like Candy Dulfer your best bet is to get a Rico Royal Graftonite Alto C3 mouthpiece from www.rapidreeds.com for £13.61 -they are edgy sounding and as loud as you want, rather than that Japanese tat you currently play, as Paul would say!

Love
Tom

:sax: :w00t::w00t::w00t::w00t:;}
:w00t: Just because I love my Italian Lady ... :)))
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
Interesting youre , trying the sax from flute !
How much time do you practice every day?
Takes time to develop embouchure.
6 weeks is not long, Why jump up a reed strength already ?
Were you squarking on the 1.5 reed?
Do you squark straight away or after a while when your embouchure gets tired ?
These answers may be more for your benefit than mine?
Have patience girl
Tell your man to back off on the pressure !
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
What you could do with the "Lily" song is to play along with it, adding a few phrases now and then. It is in E Major scale on Alto Sax, so you could use the E Major Pentatonic Scale - E F# G# B C# E. His Nibs might be very impressed to hear you writing your own part to the song - very clever, much easier, once you have got the rhythms and beats at your fingertips. I remember finding a pentatonic scale on my Flugelhorn that fitted brilliantly with a Lily Allen song - all sounded very cool, playing along with actual music on an actual commercial CD.

Kind regards
Tom
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Her man isn't that mean ...

I am sure Tooting's Hubby was saying play Lily in six - was said with a dirty great big smile ... :)

No man could ever take a "Sax called Sadie" away - for any reason ... ;}

PS - If you want the sheet music for Lily was here - it's free download from Candy's website ...
 
Messages
40
Interesting youre , trying the sax from flute !
How much time do you practice every day?
Takes time to develop embouchure.
6 weeks is not long, Why jump up a reed strength already ?
Were you squarking on the 1.5 reed?
Do you squark straight away or after a while when your embouchure gets tired ?
These answers may be more for your benefit than mine?
Have patience girl
Tell your man to back off on the pressure !
Hiya. The first couple of weeks I only managed about 20-30mins per day as my mouth muscles would get to painful, but I'm now practicing about 60-90 mins per day.

I wasn't squawking too much, but low C and B were sometimes difficult to get as well as the top notes already mentioned! i read that using a harder reed may help, and it appears to. Using the grade 2 reed I managed to play the top register OK yesterday, hitting the notes relatively cleanly. So I guess it's a case of practice, practice, practice!!:)
 
Messages
40
What you could do with the "Lily" song is to play along with it, adding a few phrases now and then. It is in E Major scale on Alto Sax, so you could use the E Major Pentatonic Scale - E F# G# B C# E. His Nibs might be very impressed to hear you writing your own part to the song - very clever, much easier, once you have got the rhythms and beats at your fingertips. I remember finding a pentatonic scale on my Flugelhorn that fitted brilliantly with a Lily Allen song - all sounded very cool, playing along with actual music on an actual commercial CD.
Hi Tom,

I wish I could! My other major problem is that having learnt the flute fairly rigidly, ie following music and playing mostly classical stuff, I have difficulty with improvising. I'm sure some of the problem, as well as learning scales (boring!) is gaining confidence and not being afraid of sounding even more stupid!! :)
 
Saxholder Pro

Members online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom