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Thread: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

  1. #1

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    Default Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    First of all, I am very thankful to all for the very useful information I've gotten on SOTW. It's like an online college of music.

    Now that I'm retired, I have time to practice and re-learn what I used to know. It's a bit of a struggle at 62 years old but it's also very rewarding. I wanted to know some opinions on practicing overtones vs. playing just the mouthpiece to improve intonation and voicing, especially the higher notes. At this point I'm not looking to go too far with notes above F#, I just want to sound better over the full normal range of the horn. Maybe I need to work on both but I'm just trying to make the best use of my practice time.

    Thanks for your help and opinions.
    Carmen
    Carmen

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    I never just played the mouthpiece ever. I had some great teachers, and no texts that I refered to ever mentioned that as a core part of tone production and intonation. Overtones and long notes for me all the way. The Rasher book, or Saxophone Altissimo: High Note Development for the Contemporary Player by Robert Luckey were two great books for me.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    Thanks Evan. That's basically what I've been doing -- long tones and struggling with overtones. I notice that when I neglect those areas of practice, my tone and intonation suffer.
    I'll keep plugging along.
    Carmen

  4. #4

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    Overtones, long tones, David liebman's book Developing a personal saxophone sound, D.Sinta's Voicing book. Great resources for that tone your looking for. Good luck.

    sent from Mikey's Super Inspire 4G

  5. #5

    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    I second the use of Sinta's and Luckey books. I've used them in my teaching for many years. Each person has their own timetable as far as being able to play the overtones at least to the perfect 4th. Some manage in a few weeks, others take a year. 5 minutes a day, but every day. As far as mouthpiece practice, use it to check correct lip pressure. For alto, the pitch produced should be A first ledger line. For tenor, G a step below.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    For what it's worth, you may find helpful my short videos on overtone production.
    Here's the first of 4 parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ager431_kN0


    sincerely,
    ~Rick
    Rick Hirsch
    RickHirschJazz.com: main site
    HirschMusic.com: HirschMusic Publications (music for saxophones, jazz combo, big band)

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpetruzzi View Post
    Thanks Evan. That's basically what I've been doing -- long tones and struggling with overtones. I notice that when I neglect those areas of practice, my tone and intonation suffer.
    I'll keep plugging along.
    No problem. Its the most important, and perhaps most mundane part of a practice routine. You know I tell my students this week in week out at their lessons and I can hear that they still do not DO these exercises. One of my students, who is a very good young player, sat for her classical exam, and received honours. The comments by the examiner were that she still needed to work on her "sound" and "intonation". I hope this brings it home.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    Thanks for all the helpful replies. I'm going to look for the Sinta book and I will continue with overtones -- as hard as they are so far. The videos make it seem so easy but I continue to struggle. I'll stick to it.
    Thanks again.
    Carmen
    Carmen

  9. #9

    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    My teacher had me playing just the mouthpiece. His theory is that because the mouthpiece is so short that to get the tone correct you have to play it perfectly. A tiny bit one way or the other and the tone is horrendous! Took me a while to get the correct pitch and a decent sound out of the mouthpiece on it's own. Well worth the effort. I also do overtones.
    Teach a man a song and he can play for three minutes. Teach a man a Philip Glass riff and that cat can play forever!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Overtones or Mouthpiece exercise?

    I'm a mouthpiece exercise fan. Once one can play simple melodies, with "correct pitch and decent sound" over a range of perhaps an octave - then you're got the main part of the exercise. MP alone is a great pre-work for overtones.

    I first read about Shooshie mp exercise here:
    http://www.bobrk.com/saxfaq/2.6.html

    [ ATTACH=CONFIG]32278[/ATTACH]

    Video: http://www.tsmp.org
    Click Band / Tips for Saxophone / Buzzing the Saxophone Mouthpiece
    Attached Images Attached Images

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