Antigua Winds
AW Reeds
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Default How to tune a sax?

    What is the proper way to tune your sax to a tuner when you first starting a session? I meant, you move the mouthpiece up and down by playing which note? and do you re-tune the sax after it warms up?

  2. #2

    Default

    I believe the F# is the most in-tune note on the saxophone. As long as you don't tune your sax with C#, arguably the worse note on the sax or use any trill fingerings, any note should do. Also really high notes (D, E, or F with ledger lines) would also not be a good idea.

    I typically use G (concert Bb) just because I always tune with other instruments in band, and Concert Bb is the "standard tuning note" in band, but not necessairly the best for tuning a sax.

  3. #3

    Default

    Play middle C and high C (without the octave key, by raising your tounge) and if the 2 are in tune, the rest of the horn SHOULD be in tune.

  4. #4

    Default

    There may be some other issues: I notice I deliberately tune a bit sharp when checking against an electronic tuner. The reason being that when I play with another instrument or play-a-long CD the overall results are a bit better. I believe this may be due to the fact that my embouchure is falling off a bit as I play. I heard a presentation by a very knowledgeable band director once who made the point that it's easier to lip a note down than to lip it up, Also as your embouchure fatigues, you are likely to drift flat. All this said, I find electronic tuners to be very useful and helpful, but in the end, your ear has to be the final judge, but not so much on the tuning note, but as to the final intonation you are achieving when you actually play with others.

  5. #5

    Default

    Play middle C and high C (without the octave key, by raising your tounge) and if the 2 are in tune, the rest of the horn SHOULD be in tune.

    Could you be a bit more specific and say the range of the two "C's" as expressed by lines and spaces on the musical staff? Do you mean middle C as being the note one line below the staff, and high C as being the note two lines above the staff?

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies.

  7. #7

    Default

    When saying "middile C" and "high C", I was prefer to the sax... The middle C is the "one finger" note

    Kenny.

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Columnist
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Gandalfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,804

    Default

    Maybe it's the engineer in me, but I really appreciate C1 (low C), C2 (middle C), and C3. However, middle C was perfectly clear to me.
    "I played the wrong, wrong notes." - Thelonious Monk
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns ~ Woodwind Forums ~ The Bis Key Chronicles

  9. #9

    Default

    From what I read here, sounds like F# of G is the note to tume with.
    2 Questions:
    1. Which F# or G? With register key pressed or without?
    2. ON alto I always seem to play sharp in the upper register. So should I tune for the upper resister and "tighten up" in the lower register, just the opposite, or what?

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Columnist
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Gandalfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,804

    Default

    C is the tuning note for tenor sax and G for the alto sax for most bands because they tune to the concert key of Bb. For an alto C2 is a notoriously hard note to get in tune with the rest of the notes on the sax. If I have a sustained C2 or C3 to play, I will usually add the middle right palm key to bring it in tune with the ensemble.

    I usually tune to G3 because I can hear the differences easier than in the middle and lower ranges. Playing out of tune by more than 5 cents really ruins a song for most musicians.

    Saxes constantly need to be tuning as their instruments warm up. Ear training is essential to be a performing saxophonist. If you ignore this, you don't get gigs because the dissonance caused by intonation problems hurts most people's ears, especially your fellow musicians.
    "I played the wrong, wrong notes." - Thelonious Monk
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns ~ Woodwind Forums ~ The Bis Key Chronicles

  11. #11
    sskilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ammanford, Wales
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Hi folks, apologies for butting in here, but could some one please clarify how I tune my alto sax. I can never remember which way the mouthpiece goes for sharp and flat. If I am tuning and am flat, do I push the mouthpiece further on or pull out?

    Has anyone got an easy way for me to remember what to do (which way).
    Sax Playing is for Life. Not Just Christmas.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2013
    Sigmund451's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    8,482

    Default

    Dont think of pushing or pulling in or out. Rather consider that you are lengthening and shortening the entire instrument. Then it becomes apparent that if your flat your playing an instrument that is too long (so push in). If your too sharp your horn is too short so pull out to lower the pitch. Think about how different lengths of rubber bands (or strings) would vibrate at the same tension (long strands would vibrate at a lower frequency, shorter at a highter one).

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2012
    Sasquatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandalfe
    I usually tune to G3 because I can hear the differences easier than in the middle and lower ranges.
    Am I reading this correctly? You tune to an altissimo note, and the most notoriously difficult one to emote at that!

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member and Columnist
    Forum Contributor 2014
    Gandalfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,804

    Default

    Oops. G2 is what I meant. Sorry for the noise.
    "I played the wrong, wrong notes." - Thelonious Monk
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns ~ Woodwind Forums ~ The Bis Key Chronicles

  15. #15
    sskilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ammanford, Wales
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Thanks ever so much for your reply Sigmund. That has helpped a lot actually. I can remember the 'S' of Sharp and Short, go together.

    Thanks for that.
    Sax Playing is for Life. Not Just Christmas.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •