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M/Pieces - Ligs Tenor MPC help!

joeyjoejoey

New Member
Messages
9
Dear all,
I have been playing tenor since last March as a hobby. I started on a JP042 and in August purchased a Buffet 400 Tenor which I really enjoy playing. From the beginning I have used a yamaha 5c with a rovner light ligature.

Whilst I can play all the notes required for the music I'm on I don't find it very free blowing and quite exhausting at times with the occasional squeak when I play a D with the octave key.
I have experimented with the buffet mpc it came with and find that easier to blow but the sound quality is not as good and almost sounds tinny. The opening is slightly wider on the buffet mpc which I guess is why it’s easier to play?
The reeds I am using are vandorean no 2 and jazz 2.5.
I know you need to get the balance right but I'm just not sure if what I am currently using is correct, if this sounds fine then maybe I need to work at it for longer?
I also play an alto with a yamaha 4c and with no 2 vandorean reeds and have no problems aswell as finding the mpc very free blowing.
Someone said to me a while back to try a yamaha 6c or a rico graftonite but I really don't know and would like some advice on what others think. I mostly play jazz. I don't want to spend a fortune ideally but I am open to ideas.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
Joe
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
It is not easy to reply to your question at this distance. If you started from scratch last March, much of the problem could be due to the fact that you simply need more experience. The problem with D2 (I assume that that is the one referring to) seems to be rather common for beginning tenor players. FWIW, I eliminated much of the problem with the D2 when I started to use a Yamaha 6C, but I couldn't claim with any certainty that the 6C made the difference. The reason for this is that when I went back to mouthpiece I used to play, the problem with D2 had disappeared also. So, maybe it was just a case of doing something a little bit differently.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,013
Your tenor should be free blowing as well. As a matter of fact I think that tenors are more free blowing than altos. Are you sure that your sax is OK? Leaking pads could be making your sax hard to play. The Yamaha mouthpiece should be just fine and you could try softer reeds such as Rico Royal 1.5 or 2. Even Vandoren Jazz 1.5 or 2. Buffet mouthpieces don't have much of a reputation, at least among clarinet players. I hope you resolve your problem soon.

Jim.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
If you're near one of the sax shops, it's worth taking your sax along and trying them out. I've tried a few tenor mouthpieces, have settled on the PPT(cos I fell in love with the sound), but I started on a Graftonite B5. The PPT is much freer blowing (but it's an 8*). Am having a lot of fun with a modern Selmer Solist on alto at the moment, but it's a lot more resistant than the PPT. Lakey's blow freely and are quite inexpensive.

Problem may also be that you're embouchure is too tight for tenor, after playing the alto - in which case a harder reed may help. Even though the Selmer is only an E opening and I'm using soft reeds on it, I have to really relax when I go from alto to tenor.

Cound be the sax, as Jim said.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,013
It could also be your embouchure as Kev rightly points out. The tenor requires a looser embouchure that produces a joyous feeling, and a wonderful sound. Now you know what you are after. You are a beginner and you are having the usual problems. The second register, beginning with the D you refer to, comes as a shock to us all. Practice, practice.

Blow into your hand. Go on, give it a good hard blow and note the temperature. Cool air? Now do the same again but this time breathe into your hand, as in haw, and again note the temperature. Warm air? Play your saxophones with warm air.

Jim.
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,027
Hi..
What I am going to say might be a little controversial for this friendly place ,but it is only intended to be an honest bit of advice from my completely personal perspective. I don't intentionally set out to belittle or disagree with any other poster, Irrelevant of how much or little experience they may have.

My first Sax was an Arta Guban bought second hand from a small local music shop way back in 1980 .Up to that point I had only played whistle and brass instruments. So I bought the horn not even knowing if it was going to be able to play. “ stupid” It had a plastic no name mouthpiece and if I remember well enough the bottom was a bit leaky. I was an apprentice plumber back then so already I was a bit mechanically experienced.
The thing is. I practiced and practiced every day for about 2 hours EVERY day and after a year or so was lucky to be invited to sit in with an established Rock Outfit..Now even a newbie like me living out in the sticks way way before the days of the Internet, was aware that I was going to need a louder and brasher tone if I was going to cut through the amplified Din, so I went to the big city and tried a few metal pieces settling on a Berg. I stuck with that piece for about the next 12 years and learned how to play with it all over my saxes. “I got my 10M in the early 80`s.”

The point of this post is to encourage you to look at your sax playing in a more long term way. I`ve stuck with 3 pieces in 30 years and one of them a no name bit of plastic at that. I look at a lot of guys on the various forums changing this and changing that and feel that if they were prepared to just stick with the program they would probably end up happier and definitely wealthier.

Anyway my advice is get a piece that you believe will be able to produce the tone and the notes you want, then go to work on producing that tone and these notes. You'll probably get there if you work hard enough.:)
 
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joeyjoejoey

New Member
Messages
9
Thankyou all for you posts so far. I realise its a hard question to answer.
I will certainly persue lessons in the future with a teacher. I was never sure how much I would enjoy playing the sax but truth is I love it and helps take me away to another world for an hour each day which I really need!
I realise I need to work at perfecting my embouchure and work on loosening it. I have ordered no 1.5 vandorean java reeds to experiment.
The sax was brand new from buffet in August so I'm confident that there are no leaks. I suspect its more my technique.
I read all the books but recently realised I wasn't blowing properly with a huff as Justin put it and could tell the difference when I started to do that.
I recently tried my friends baritone that she recently purchased and found it a joy to play and much more free blowing.

I suppose my initial question should have been is this setup OK. As that removes the question from my mind.
Its very easy to pickup all sorts of advice!
Someone I know said to try a rico A3 as the 5c I am using has a very closed tip and would strangle the horn and actually make it harder to play?? Is there any truth in this?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Joey and so on!

Equipment wise the Yamaha 5C is a small tip - 0.075". I find that my Tenor pieces are usually larger than my Alto pieces (If I play 6 or 7 on Alto I play 8 on Tenor. The Yamaha is smaller by a long way, so could be problematic. The Rico A3 is a large chamber piece with a tip of 0.085", so reasonably larger than the Yami - I have played Rico on Soprano and Alto - very solid good options. It is cheap enough to buy by way of comparison, certainly, and may be spot on (There is also the Rico La Voz tenor pieces). Also, make sure that you use a good ligature, and do not over-tighten. Lots of us soak reeds beforehand, and use the method on the Alexander Superial site - every little helps!

Kind regards
Tom
 

joeyjoejoey

New Member
Messages
9
Tom, thanks!
I am tempted to buy one of the ricos just because they are soo cheap.
Which one would you recommend?
Do I want a larger tip opening or is it the chamber that is key?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Joeyetc.!

It's risky to guess - the Rico's are 3 (0.085") 5 (0.095") or 7 (0.105") - with 3 different size chambers A,B & C. Given that breath is a consideration, I would probably either go for an A3 or possibly a B5. The best value currently is from www.rapidreeds.com - about £15 inc. P&P. At least if you get one you will know, and they are crazy prices!

Kind regards
Tom
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Hi Joe, I think Cliveys advice is very good, don't start spending money until you have proved that there is a problem with your current setup.
I honestly believe that a lot of the time, in cases like this, it's the reed that's the problem.
You might like to try my reply number #22 to "Advice on emboucher please" started by Philly123, and posted by her on July20th.
This is about the cheapest way to prove your kit (the cost 1 reed). If after this, the notes don't come in with easy blowing, then you have a problem and can start throwing cash about.
Good luck!
John.
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
2 points -

just cos the sax is new, doesn't mean that it's set up correctly.... But it doesn't sound as if it' the problem here.

lots of sense in what Clivey said. But if you do go Rico, try the 5 tip, not the 3.
 

joeyjoejoey

New Member
Messages
9
Hi,
Thanks Tom and Kev- I have ordered a Rico B5, what no reeds should I use with this piece? I now have the java 1.5's I ordered yesterday aswell as my existing java 2.5's.

John- I'll check out that thread as you suggested.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
You'll probably find the 2.5s a bit hard, and the 1.5s a touch soft, but work up from the 1.5s - it's trial and error really. But don't get rid of the othe reeds - you'll wantt hem if you decide to move to an even wider mouthpiece...
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Most 2 strength reeds should be fine - recommend Rico Jazz Selects, Marca Jazz, Alexander Superials. As Kev said start with the 1.5 reeds and "feel your way". Half size steps can be the difference between playable and unplayable. I have never felt OK with a 3 strength reed, for example, and am happy at 2.5, sometimes playing softer.

Good luck!
Tom
 
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