All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Problems with High G and Low Register

ewh1995

New Member
Messages
2
Hi. I have been playing Alto Sax for five years on this horn, and now I have developed a problem.

When I play a high G, I have a 50/50 chance of the horn squeaking really bad. it happens mostly when I am trying to play softly, and it has really become a pain.

Also, the lower register notes (starting around low F) are difficult to play, with D and below almost impossible. I have tried playing on a friend's horn with my mouthpiece with no problems, so it's gotta be my horn.

I play on a Yamaha Student sax(I can get the model if needed). My sister, a flutist, took a look at it and noticed that the screw holding the left palm keys was really loose. Could that be the problem, or are these issues the doings of a leak or some other problem with my horn. I appreciate any help I can get.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
If the screws are loose, it could be introducing a leak, they're easy enough to tighten. But best get a repairer to take a look if that doesn't fix it. Could be another adjustment going out, or a pad that needs tweaking. You haven't changed anything else, reeds, mouthpiece, ligature recently, I assume.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,010
A loose rod in one of the palm keys could certainly cause the pad seat to mismatch with the tonehole and cause a leak. I suggest that first you get a small screwdriver and tighten those hinge rods holding the palm keys in place.

Another problem what you described may be a symptom of is an octave mechanism that is out of adjustment.

Check to see that there is at least a 1/16" gap between the neck octave key ring and the post extending from the body. If there is no space, place your thumb between the ring and the body of the neck and then gently push down on the octave key. Should you go too far, place a pad slick or tongue depressor under the pad and carefully push back on the ring until the desired gap is achieved.

To test the octave key adjustment---finger G and forcefully hit the thumb octave key several times watching the neck octave pad. It should not move if in good adjustment. Then finger from G to A while pressing the thumb octave. The neck and body octave keys should alternate opening and closing completely.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Another thought - make sure you're not accidentally touching/pushing on one of the lh palm keys, doesn't take much to get a squeak from there.
 

ewh1995

New Member
Messages
2
A loose rod in one of the palm keys could certainly cause the pad seat to mismatch with the tonehole and cause a leak. I suggest that first you get a small screwdriver and tighten those hinge rods holding the palm keys in place.

Another problem what you described may be a symptom of is an octave mechanism that is out of adjustment.

Check to see that there is at least a 1/16" gap between the neck octave key ring and the post extending from the body. If there is no space, place your thumb between the ring and the body of the neck and then gently push down on the octave key. Should you go too far, place a pad slick or tongue depressor under the pad and carefully push back on the ring until the desired gap is achieved.

To test the octave key adjustment---finger G and forcefully hit the thumb octave key several times watching the neck octave pad. It should not move if in good adjustment. Then finger from G to A while pressing the thumb octave. The neck and body octave keys should alternate opening and closing completely.
After checking with a senior in my section, we adjusted the loose screw with a successful effect on the lower notes.

With the octave mechanism problem, could that cause the octave pad on the neck to occasionally get stuck up, either momentarily or until i push it back down?
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,010
After checking with a senior in my section, we adjusted the loose screw with a successful effect on the lower notes.
Cool.

With the octave mechanism problem, could that cause the octave pad on the neck to occasionally get stuck up, either momentarily or until i push it back down?
Unfortunately what you describe here is most often caused by friction somewhere in the octave mechanism. Usually a key gets bent and doesn't turn freely. I can tell you how to check for this, but the repair is complicated and requires special skills that should be done by a repair technician.

To check for friction in the octave mechanism, do the following:

- Remove the neck from the saxophone
- Finger the note high G
- With your free hand move the post that contacts the neck octave key ring up and down
- It should move very freely with no resistance or hesitation if it is working properly

The octave mechanism is quite delicate and to work properly requires springs that balance one another and frictionless motion in the keys. Unfortunately this is one of the parts of the saxophone that often get bumped by players causing keys and rods to bend and not move freely.
Fortunately this also provides gainful employment for people like me who fix band instruments. :welldone
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Cool.

Unfortunately what you describe here is most often caused by friction somewhere in the octave mechanism. Usually a key gets bent and doesn't turn freely. I can tell you how to check for this, but the repair is complicated and requires special skills that should be done by a repair technician.

To check for friction in the octave mechanism, do the following:

- Remove the neck from the saxophone
- Finger the note high G
- With your free hand move the post that contacts the neck octave key ring up and down
- It should move very freely with no resistance or hesitation if it is working properly

The octave mechanism is quite delicate and to work properly requires springs that balance one another and frictionless motion in the keys. Unfortunately this is one of the parts of the saxophone that often get bumped by players causing keys and rods to bend and not move freely.
Fortunately this also provides gainful employment for people like me who fix band instruments. :welldone
Could also be a weak spring, but you may find it difficult to tell which one.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,010
Could also be a weak spring, but you may find it difficult to tell which one.
That is another possibility. The one I also forgot to mention is the neck octave key rubbing the side of its guide also called the "saddle". Either the octave key is bent or one of the sides of the saddle is bent inward.
 
Saxholder Pro

Staff online

Members online

Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom