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Tenor problems

czimmer01

New Member
Messages
3
*I'm very new to playing saxophone, please bear with me...

I have a fairly new Maestro tenor saxophone, and from what I've been told it's a great starter sax. With that being said, problems are to be expected especially in the hands of someone who hasn't been playing for more than 6 months.

I'm absolutely dumbfounded and frustrated at this point. I was playing it yesterday doing C scales and going through the entire range, and had NO problems whatsoever.

It began when I got home from going to the music shop to buy a new strap. I use 2 1/2 grade reeds, applied a new one, and started a scale. Upon playing, I noticed I could play C and B just fine. As soon as I hit A, it wouldn't produce sound. G did almost the same thing, and I had to really blow hard to produce any sound (yielding only high pitched squeaks), and it "felt" as if their was something clogging up the key hole. I looked; nothing. Then when I tried playing the lower F, E and D keys, it would only play an octave higher!

I'm beginning to think there is something definitely wrong with this thing.

Any help with this would greatly be appreciated; I don't feel like driving 30 miles to get turned down again at the shop (the tech wouldn't touch it as he doesn't work with this brand. Quite frankly I think he just didn't want to :crying:)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Have you tried another reed? It's possible that the new one is faulty.

Another problem could be a sticking octave key. There are two, one on the neck, and the other at the top of the body tube. Both should be closed normally. When you press the octave key, one should open. As you finger a scale, say cbagfedc, you should see the neck/body octave keys swap, as one opens the other closes. It's controlled by the G key. With G closed, the body vent should be open, with G open, the neck vent should be open.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
*----snip--- I don't feel like driving 30 miles to get turned down again at the shop (the tech wouldn't touch it as he doesn't work with this brand. Quite frankly I think he just didn't want to :crying:)
I think that is horse feathers. I know I'm a novice but as I understand it, the mechanics and actions on modern instruments are more-or-less the same.

I'm sure if you posted your (approximate) location the good people here would have some recommendations for a tech for you. I'm not much better off: my tech is in Shrewsbury 23 miles away (where in fact there is a choice of several), alternatives being places such as Chester, Liverpool, or Manchester. I've got used to nothing being on my doorstep!
 

jeremyjuicewah

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,890
Stick with it. After 18 months of alto I bought a tenor. All of that stuff happened, still does just a little. Starting with 30 minutes a day rising to 60 currently, practicing long notes and scales every time, I now get the full range of notes (not up to altissimo yet) with reeds from 1 1/2 through to 3, squeaks and closing very rare and its just not an issue anymore. I said the same things as you about the sax but when I gave it to a musician, it played superbly. I had it with my first alto, my second alto, and the tenor . Get the sax checked but be prepared for it to be down to you. Its been just over two months now and there is plenty more work to be done but it gets better every week. Good luck.
Mike
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Clasic Symptoms, I don't have to say any more do I!!!!!!!!!

John.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Reed on....................................

Reeds can be a very variable issue - depends on what mouthpiece you use, how hard/playable each reed is, how you prepare them if at all, what type of reeds you use, how much you tighten your ligature, how tight your embouchure is and so on.

My guess, from what you say, is that you have been using one reed for a fair while, and reeds do soften over time. Hence playing a new one straight off means generally playing a harder reed than the one you have just been playing - which may be slightly harder anyway. To play a harder reed we will usually tighten our embouchure to produce a sound, which risks playing notes an octave higher, almost randomly. Many more experienced players will probably have up to 4 or so reeds on the go - all prepared by soaking and massaging so that the fibres are compacted, and wet each time before they are played, and stored in a reed holder to dry. If you alternate/rotate your reeds each day then they are all likely to have a similar consistency and a longer playing life.

Adopting a consistent regime for preparing reeds (see the alexander superial website for reed prep guidance!) will help you avoid this, if my hunch is accurate. It is best to eliminate this as an option before deciding whether it is a sax problem, which will be more costly to solve.
 
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czimmer01

New Member
Messages
3
Thanks to all that replied!

After putting it down for a couple of hours and coming back to it, I noticed there's one of those little felt pads missing, not enabling the A/C key to close completely. And the best part - I found the missing felt piece in the case.

So what's the best way to attach the felt to the key? I heard clarinet players can use rubber cemment...
Thanks again guys, you have been a light at the end of a tunnel!
 

czimmer01

New Member
Messages
3
Not sure they sell Evo-Stik here in the States (Houston, TX) but I know some of these places probably have some similar kind of impact adhesive. On the way now!
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
You do! What exactly is a "Clasic" System..............? It is David Sanborn's new reed preparation endorsement.................
Hi Tom, Clarification of the "Clasic SYMPTOMS" are now on the ATG thread.
As for the D.S. endorsement, that's almoast as good as the Ridenour clips:))):)))

John;}
 
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