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Unable to get high F using front F key

SaxMart

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136
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Kent England
Hi I've been back playing now for several months after not playing for many years. I am getting all the range reasonably well now although I still have to work quite a bit on the high D and above. problem is I can get high F using palm keys but it just refuses to speak using the front F plate. My embouchure still has a long way to go as it still tires after a relatively short time and I wonder could this be the problem rather than a mechanical issue.:(
 

BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
Front F seems to need more air siupport than the palm key one. I find it difficult on soprano but a piece of cake on the baritone. You are remembering to press the A key, right?
 

SaxMart

Member
Messages
136
Locality
Kent England
Front F seems to need more air siupport than the palm key one. I find it difficult on soprano but a piece of cake on the baritone. You are remembering to press the A key, right?
Thanks for advice so it's probably me not the sax, yes I am pressing front f key and LH 2 key. Would some work on overtones help to firm up my air support?
 

BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
Thanks for advice so it's probably me not the sax, yes I am pressing front f key and LH 2 key. Would some work on overtones help to firm up my air support?
I'm really not an expert. But I'm sure it couldn't do any harm. You can work on your breathing away from the sax. You need (IMO) to be thinking about getting air into the bottom of your lungs and squeezing with your abdominal muscles to create air pressure. The smaller the sax, the more pressure you need. Are you playing alto?

Could also be the sax of course. But it's worth working on your breathing anyway if you haven't already done so.
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
Messages
401
Locality
Wiltshire, UK.
I have the same problem with my tenor and largely forgot that the front F key was there, was only reminded when looking up alternative fingerings for E and Eb. Will try again now that I'm working on long tones and over tones.
 

SaxMart

Member
Messages
136
Locality
Kent England
I'm really not an expert. But I'm sure it couldn't do any harm. You can work on your breathing away from the sax. You need (IMO) to be thinking about getting air into the bottom of your lungs and squeezing with your abdominal muscles to create air pressure. The smaller the sax, the more pressure you need. Are you playing alto?

Could also be the sax of course. But it's worth working on your breathing anyway if you haven't already done so.
I do consciously try to fill the bottom of my lungs but this squeezing thing confuses me, am I supposed to pull my stomach in as I exhale only or should I pull it in as I inhale as well. Books don't seem to make this clear or am I being a bit stooopid:confused: and yes I play alto it's a King Zephyr circa 1949
 

BigMartin

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Manchester, UK
I do consciously try to fill the bottom of my lungs but this squeezing thing confuses me, am I supposed to pull my stomach in as I exhale only or should I pull it in as I inhale as well. Books don't seem to make this clear or am I being a bit stooopid:confused: and yes I play alto it's a King Zephyr circa 1949
Out when you breathe in and in when you breathe out, like squeezing bellows. Try just breathing from the abdomen with the ribcage hardly movig at all. Gets you used to using the right muscles. If you need more air for a long phrase you can then start filling the upper part of you lungs. After a while you just start breathing like that all the time, playing or not.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
Locality
London SE/Kent & Rickinghall
Thanks for advice so it's probably me not the sax, yes I am pressing front f key and LH 2 key. Would some work on overtones help to firm up my air support?

Worth asking another (experienced) player to check the sax out before concluding that it is you.....
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
- Make sure you are not playing on a reed that is too soft. A 2 1/2 or 3 depending on the mouthpiece.

- Make sure the front F key is opening the palm F about 4mm.

- Play high C forte then push the stomach in and double the speed of the air while adding front F key.

- Think the vowel shape "OO" on high C and "EE" when going to high F.

- When high F comes out clearly with the front F fingering, add the 3rd finger and try to go to high E.
The "front" high E has even more resistance than F and takes even more fast air.
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
Messages
401
Locality
Wiltshire, UK.
Ooh, my front F is working! And the E too. Thank you :) at the risk of slightly hi-jacking SaxMart's thread, is there an Eb fingering that uses the front F too?
 

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