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Squeaking noise when switching between octaves

eyeofthetiger

New Member
Messages
5
I've found that when slurring between certain notes the sound is changing to a horrible squeaky noise. If I do the same sound but tonguing this doesn't happen. An example of where it often happens is switching between B and high D. It doesn't happen all the time, maybe only 1 in 4 times. I've noticed that when it does happen that the octave key pops up for a split second. I think I've narrowed down what exactly is causing this but I can't think of how to stop it. If I'm playing high D, my fingers are down on the octave key and 6 other keys, the octave mechanism will be down (even though the octave key is depressed). To switch to B I need to release 5 keys and the octave key simultaneously. What I seem to be doing some of the time is releasing the third key down a fraction of a second before releasing the octave key. This means that the octave mech is going up and back down causing the squeak. Now, what I'm trying to do is release all the keys at the same time. This inevitably means that occasionally one of the keys will be released quicker and caused this problem. I can't see how I can stop this from happening. To release the octave key a little bit before the other keys seems to difficult to be realistic. Has anyone else experienced this? How did you overcome it?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
switching notes over the break can be tricky. I find that having the breath ahead of the keys helps in this situation.

By third key down, I think you mean the G key (3 fingers down on the left hand). This key controls the octave mechanism switch from neck to body pip, and is probably causing the movement you're seeing. Real answer is practice. Lots of it. And concentrate on the timing. Worth doing some work here, going slowly to get it right, then building up speed.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,551
I had a grade 4 (I think) piece which required the B-D slurred transistion and had real problems with it for a long time. It required real determination to keep playing (rather than tensing up, thus compounding the problem) and to make a concerted effort to get all of my fingers down together. As you say, tonguing that transition is straightforward.
Be confident when playing and try to ignore the sqeaks, otherwise it becomes a vicious circle.
But certainly working on getting all fingers and the octave key thumb down together will be beneficial.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,943
Every instrument has this type of issue. On bowed string instruments it's either timing the fingering change with the change of bow direction, or crossing strings etc. Practice and more practice, and a tutor....
 

nlancaster

Member
Messages
36
Have you tried slurring from d with oct key to a g without the oct key? All oct keys switch between the hole on the neck and the body at g. if your octave key is really taking a long time to close however, maybe take it in to get some oil put on the mechanism. My first sax in the year 2000 (a 12 year old student jupiter i bought for 300 bux) did the same thing, I didnt know what it was until my teacher pointed out that the octave key was sticking and was bent out of shape so it wouldnt close properly. I put some oil and (as it was a cheap sax) bent the octave key back myself, and it fixed the problem.

However, as I said first, if you move from D to G and there are still squeeks, it may mean your mouth needs to get used adjusting from and to different notes, or it could still be a problem with the sax. Check it out slowly and see how it goes
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Have been working on sound quality a lot. I agree with Kev and Mandy. Practice, ignore dont get too upset by it and concentrate on fingers and breath and even, I find, shove the mouthpiece on a bit harder. Good luck.
Mike
 
Saxholder Pro
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