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Saxophones Yamaha YAS 62 & getting back into saxophone after a long break.

Beko

New Member
Messages
15
Hey everyone!
I joined this forum a long time ago, when I was playing in primary school with my $200 Suzuki saxophone. Now I'm in college, it's been about a year (maybe even more) since I last played, and I just got myself a YAS 62 to kick things off again! I've had my first practice session today. It was fun but really hard (my embouchure endurance and breath control is gone) and I have some questions. I used the tonal energy app to practice long tones and while some notes were just on point (in the +-5 range), others were +10 to +20 cents. Now my neck cork is too hard to push the mouthpiece onto and I need some advice on that, and I'm also wondering is the off tones likely due to the mouthpiece position or my lack of embouchure control? Also I'd appreciate any advice on practicing, instrument care, or anything else you can tell me while I get back into the hobby! I have many books and methods including the universal method for saxophone, and I'm planning to practice going through them. I probably won't be able to hire a private instructor in the near future, but I'm planning to practice on my own every day.
Thanks!
 

AndyB

Member
Messages
348
Locality
Durham, NC, USA
Hey everyone!
I joined this forum a long time ago, when I was playing in primary school with my $200 Suzuki saxophone. Now I'm in college, it's been about a year (maybe even more) since I last played, and I just got myself a YAS 62 to kick things off again!
Hi. I have a YAS 62-II and the middle C# on mine was about 5 miles flat causing me to tune the horn too sharp to accommodate that note. My solution was to replace the neck with a Barone third-party Selmer-style neck and then it was right as rain. Good luck.
 

Beko

New Member
Messages
15
Hi. I have a YAS 62-II and the middle C# on mine was about 5 miles flat causing me to tune the horn too sharp to accommodate that note. My solution was to replace the neck with a Barone third-party Selmer-style neck and then it was right as rain. Good luck.
woah. that's a tough solution
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,349
Locality
UK
My advice is to get some cork grease for your saxophone neck, and to ignore the tuner for a while.
Seconded.

You're nearly always going to run into a few anomalies when you switch horns because each manufacturer has their own philosophy when it comes to dealing with the inherent flaws of the saxophone (and the tempered scale).
In short, no horn plays in tune - you have to 'steer' it to some degree.
Now, Yamahas are noted for their tuning - to the arguable point where some warmth of tone is sacrificed for accuracy.
Using a tuner during the 'getting to know your horn' stage is asking for trouble. In fact it's nearly always asking for trouble - and I always advise clients with tuning problems to ditch the tuner and rely on pitching a note to a given tone (such as from a piano or a tuning fork etc.).
 

AndyB

Member
Messages
348
Locality
Durham, NC, USA
woah. that's a tough solution
It was actually very reasonable priced neck and the tone is great.

I love the YAS 62-II. But after reading some internet discussions I am wondering if the action may be a bit stiff. It does seem to take more pinky wrestling than my two tenors.

I recently restarted after at least a 3 year break. It took me 6 months to get my embouchure back. Long tones with the tuning app like you are doing helped me a lot too. Try tuning your horn to middle B and working outward both up and down and then back to middle B with your tuning app. Also play chromatic scales in long tones first from high G down and then high G up. Try to play each tone up to 30 seconds in tune. Then try octaves. You will eventually discover the best tuning note for your horn. Also playing melodies in whole tones with the tuning app is a bit more interesting. If you have a keyboard with a hold pedal or some drone tone mp3s I would play two octave arpeggios in half notes over drone tones for an hour because I couldn't play anything else in tune at first. Major pentatonics in COF over a drone note is fun too, Personally, I find that hours on the horn fixes more than any magical exercise. And practicing something simple that I could work in tune was better for me than attempting to play what I used to play but playing it poorly. Be patient and hope you have success.
 
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Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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16,306
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
The best advice I ever received about tuning the saxophone was to tune it to itself.
Adjust the mouthpiece so that overblown bell notes to match that fingered note. ie Bottom C to middle C and G etc.

I occasionally use the tuner to check how I'm lipping from there.
 

ESJohn

Member
Café Supporter
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608
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Ohio USA

saxyjt

Saxus Circus Maximus
Café Supporter
Messages
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Locality
France
I joined this forum a long time ago, when I was playing in primary school with my $200 Suzuki saxophone.
I was not aware Suzuki made saxophones! Oh, that's not the motorbike's Suzuki... Well, Yamaha 62s are great horns. I enjoy mine thoroughly...
In short, no horn plays in tune - you have to 'steer' it to some degree.
Hear the professional here. And play with your ears! Your brain will tell you if it's right or not.
 

Beko

New Member
Messages
15
It was actually very reasonable priced neck and the tone is great.

I love the YAS 62-II. But after reading some internet discussions I am wondering if the action may be a bit stiff. It does seem to take more pinky wrestling than my two tenors.

I recently restarted after at least a 3 year break. It took me 6 months to get my embouchure back. Long tones with the tuning app like you are doing helped me a lot too. Try tuning your horn to middle B and working outward both up and down and then back to middle B with your tuning app. Also play chromatic scales in long tones first from high G down and then high G up. Try to play each tone up to 30 seconds in tune. Then try octaves. You will eventually discover the best tuning note for your horn. Also playing melodies in whole tones with the tuning app is a bit more interesting. If you have a keyboard with a hold pedal or some drone tone mp3s I would play two octave arpeggios in half notes over drone tones for an hour because I couldn't play anything else in tune at first. Major pentatonics in COF over a drone note is fun too, Personally, I find that hours on the horn fixes more than any magical exercise. And practicing something simple that I could work in tune was better for me than attempting to play what I used to play but playing it poorly. Be patient and hope you have success.
so what I found today is from low Bb to mid C I'm all in tune (-3, +3) but once I get above that and press the octave key the tuner is off a lot. Do you think this is a problem with my embouchure or something else? What can I do to fix this?
The best advice I ever received about tuning the saxophone was to tune it to itself.
Adjust the mouthpiece so that overblown bell notes to match that fingered note. ie Bottom C to middle C and G etc.

I occasionally use the tuner to check how I'm lipping from there.
wow I'll definitely try that. thanks.
I think you are doing everything you should be at this point. Like AndyB said above, just be patient!
Welcome back to the journey!
Thank you!
I was not aware Suzuki made saxophones! Oh, that's not the motorbike's Suzuki... Well, Yamaha 62s are great horns. I enjoy mine thoroughly...

Hear the professional here. And play with your ears! Your brain will tell you if it's right or not.
Lol, they're really bad at it tbh. thanks!
 

AndyB

Member
Messages
348
Locality
Durham, NC, USA
Beko, speaking only from my personal experience, until you can hold the easy mid-range notes in pitch with good volume and tone for at least 20-25 seconds then you may just need to work long tones and your embouchure. If you're not back up to that level then its probably too early to think about equipment problems. That was my experience restarting at least. You are probably are far better player than me but this is what I experienced.

On the other hand, I find the YAS62 VERY sensitive to different mouthpieces and reeds. For example, one brand of synthetic reed that I used to have good luck with on my 2 tenors had horrible intonation on the YAS62. And its not too forgiving with worn out reeds either. Some cane reeds don't seem to intone well for more than a week or two on the YAS62. I am having better luck with the Legere 2.25 now.

My old Conn tenor doesn't seem to care until the reed is completely dead but that horn is wide open and not as centered as the YAS62 so I probably subconsciously adjust the pitch more on it out of habit. And I have a lot more experience on tenor than alto.

For example listen how different Dr. Wally sounds with 2 different mpc on the same YAS62:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9TjBvmm8p4
 
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turf3

Member
Messages
951
Locality
Earth
Sounds to me like you need to get the horn basically tuned (most alto players use middle G) then turn the damn tuner off, and practice. Concentrate on long tones (pppp to ffff and back to pppp, over the full range of the horn), overtones, and slowly but accurately played interval studies. Until you rebuild your chops, watching a tuner for 3 cents here and 4 cents there is a total waste of time and effort.

I'll let you in on another secret: after 43 years of playing saxophone, I just put the mouthpiece up to the pencil line and play. If I'm getting ready to record, I'll see what the tuner says about several different notes. If a subjective "eye-verage" says I'm in the ballpark, I'm good to go. It's those things on the side of your head that tell the tale.
 

Beko

New Member
Messages
15
Beko, speaking only from my personal experience, until you can hold the easy mid-range notes in pitch with good volume and tone for at least 20-25 seconds then you may just need to work long tones and your embouchure. If you're not back up to that level then its probably too early to think about equipment problems. That was my experience restarting at least. You are probably are far better player than me but this is what I experienced.

On the other hand, I find the YAS62 VERY sensitive to different mouthpieces and reeds. For example, one brand of synthetic reed that I used to have good luck with on my 2 tenors had horrible intonation on the YAS62. And its not too forgiving with worn out reeds either. Some cane reeds don't seem to intone well for more than a week or two on the YAS62. I am having better luck with the Legere 2.25 now.

My old Conn tenor doesn't seem to care until the reed is completely dead but that horn is wide open and not as centered as the YAS62 so I probably subconsciously adjust the pitch more on it out of habit. And I have a lot more experience on tenor than alto.

For example listen how different Dr. Wally sounds with 2 different mpc on the same YAS62:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9TjBvmm8p4
great advice! thanks.
Sounds to me like you need to get the horn basically tuned (most alto players use middle G) then turn the damn tuner off, and practice. Concentrate on long tones (pppp to ffff and back to pppp, over the full range of the horn), overtones, and slowly but accurately played interval studies. Until you rebuild your chops, watching a tuner for 3 cents here and 4 cents there is a total waste of time and effort.

I'll let you in on another secret: after 43 years of playing saxophone, I just put the mouthpiece up to the pencil line and play. If I'm getting ready to record, I'll see what the tuner says about several different notes. If a subjective "eye-verage" says I'm in the ballpark, I'm good to go. It's those things on the side of your head that tell the tale.
thanks.
 
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