Beginner Tenor, Low c problem

ukwoody

Member
Messages
81
Location
Milford Haven, Pembrokshire, Wales
Hi all,

As some are aware. I've just switched to a Tenor from Alto (i'm at a very early learning stage)

I have a problem with getting the lower C. If I go down the cromatic scale GFEDC, I can get the low note (though occasionally goes high). However if I try to start off on the low C it is always sounds an octave above where it should be. I also have trouble going from say g straight to the lower C, again it goes high. i have tried not to press the reed etc etc. Is this a common problem or just me?:(

thanks all

woody
 

FastFred

Member
Messages
80
That's not a chromatic scale run by the way but ask that later.

Suspect it is just you. Try opening your throat more, relaxing your mouth or pushing your lower jaw out a bit. Worth letting someone else play it to check it out also. Cheers.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,416
Location
Daventry
Is this a common problem or just me?:(
In answer to these questions, yes and no. As with almost anything to do with these strange and compulsive instruments, it's about practice, practice, practice. Try giving the low notes a slightly more enhanced belt of air as you hit them. You could also try taking in more of the mouthpiece just for those notes - this probably won't be a long-term solution but it gives you a base to start from.

As an almost entirely self-taught player, I offer no warranties with these freely-offered, and probably valueless solutions.....
 

Lupifaro

Member
Messages
199
Location
Wales
Hi all,

As some are aware. I've just switched to a Tenor from Alto (i'm at a very early learning stage)

I have a problem with getting the lower C. If I go down the cromatic scale GFEDC, I can get the low note (though occasionally goes high). However if I try to start off on the low C it is always sounds an octave above where it should be. I also have trouble going from say g straight to the lower C, again it goes high. i have tried not to press the reed etc etc. Is this a common problem or just me?:(

thanks all

woody
Hi woody:) If you are passing the gateway to Wales Abergavenny:welldone call in and i will be happy to check your sax out no charge to a fellow CS member:welldone

birdman

www.studiosaxophones.co.uk
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,983
Location
The Athens of The North
It is a common problem and not just you. G to low C is a wide and awkward interval, and not easy. You will have to change your embouchure to play the tenor. Follow FastFred's advice.

Jim.
 

FastFred

Member
Messages
80
I bought a 1940 Conn 10M about 8 months ago and was convinced there was a problem with the low D. Google revealed pages of hits that revealed the same 'problem' and the need for more air support. It just went away after about a month, longer then I expected but i never ever get the warbling that I had and is common and can't even reproduce it anymore.
 

SaxinNZ

Member
Messages
76
Location
North Canterbury, New Zealand
Hi all,

As some are aware. I've just switched to a Tenor from Alto (i'm at a very early learning stage)

I have a problem with getting the lower C. If I go down the cromatic scale GFEDC, I can get the low note (though occasionally goes high). However if I try to start off on the low C it is always sounds an octave above where it should be. I also have trouble going from say g straight to the lower C, again it goes high. i have tried not to press the reed etc etc. Is this a common problem or just me?:(

thanks all

woody
I too had this recently (after getting a tenor), I couldn’t get any low notes, but I ditched the stock MP that came with the sax, got a Yamaha 6C and went down to 1 ½ Rico’s from 2….. also practice practice. Now I can pick up the tenor and hit any low note just perfect without running down to it. I think that also you have to imagine the note you are after, which may be part of the problem when you are used to fingering one note on the alto, and getting a certain ‘pitch’, but then subconsciously imagining the same ‘known pitch’ when you finger the same key on the tenor. Also, your muscle memory. That is you learn instinctively how to use the embouchure along with certain keys and breathing, until you find it becomes easier, which is because then you don’t have to think about it. That’s great until you pick up another instrument which requires a different embouchure/breathing combo… then its hard at first to make yourself change what you are instinctively trying to do “right”.


I found that you have to relax into it, lower the jaw more than you would expect (coming from alto land), and also I found that for me if I tongue the reed as if I am saying ‘tut’, just very slightly, it seems to help me to get the low note, instead of it coming out an octave higher. This helps me immensely. I think it may have something to do with helping the reed instantly achieve a longer, slower oscillation (low pitch) without resorting to having to start it off higher and curving it down through the keys etc.

Another thing that I did was to practice the 12 bar C Blues scale over and over (over the course of a couple of weeks) which really helped… the down side to that however, the neighbours cat committed suicide three days into the second week, our friends don’t pop round anymore, and there is a permanent grey drizzly cloud hovering about twenty foot over our rooftop! But hey, sacrifices have to be made.;}
 

SteveK

Member
Messages
149
Location
Guildford, Surrey
...all of the above....
but give yourself time. If you go around changing reeds and mouthpieces etc you will introduce too many variables.

My top two (OK, three) pointers are:

1) Pre-hear the sound in your mind before you play the note.
2) Give a little push from your diaphram.
3) Maintain the same embrochure - but you can loosen it slightly - it's more in the back of the throat and the supporting air column. (otherwise you'll be adjusting your embrochure all over the place)


...and don't loose that 'octave above' sound as you'll be working to get that under yours fingers later on when you move on to playing harmonics and altisimo.

Steve
 

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
293
Location
Tasmania
Another thing that I did was to practice the 12 bar C Blues scale over and over (over the course of a couple of weeks) which really helped… the down side to that however, the neighbours cat committed suicide three days into the second week, our friends don’t pop round anymore, and there is a permanent grey drizzly cloud hovering about twenty foot over our rooftop! But hey, sacrifices have to be made.;}
:))):))):)))
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
I'm having the exact same problem :(

They are fine if I run down to them or go from another note but if I try to play them as a first note I have trouble - probably from about F downwards, getting worse the lower down I go.

I'm encorporating the low notes into my scales practice as much as possible (whereas before I would avoid them!) and although the problem is still there I'm hoping it will improve
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,013
Location
Just north of Munich
loose embouchure and experimenting with the tonguing methods helped me a lot. Plus a more positive blow. Plus taking more mouthpiece in. But I think we all have this problem.
 
OP
U

ukwoody

Member
Messages
81
Location
Milford Haven, Pembrokshire, Wales
I'm gonna have to just keep blowing then!

however i shall replace the very cheap plastic mpc and dreadful lig that came with it. I tried an experiment and put my alto lig on the tenor and that alone made it easier!!!!

dunno if Ill go for a Yam 5 mpc or a David Hite one that pete also recoomends. budget is limited so I cant get a vandoren or the like:(

Anyway, glad to know i'm not alone in the problem. thank you very much for your suggestions - all taken on board.

woody
 
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