Brightening up Tone

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    Default Brightening up Tone

    Hey guys. So I'm trying to figure out a way too brighten and thicken my tone. When I record myself on a mic it sounds very dark to me. I want a fatter, brighter tone and I don't know if it would be more embouchure or mouthpiece. I currently play on a YTS-62 purple logo, v16 metal mouthpiece narrow chamber, and Java red 2.5. I see the jody jazz metal mouthpieces and how they claim a fatter richer tone, I don't know if it's all marketing or if it really makes a difference.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    Hey guys. So I'm trying to figure out a way too brighten and thicken my tone. When I record myself on a mic it sounds very dark to me. I want a fatter, brighter tone and I don't know if it would be more embouchure or mouthpiece. I currently play on a YTS-62 purple logo, v16 metal mouthpiece narrow chamber, and Java red 2.5. I see the jody jazz metal mouthpieces and how they claim a fatter richer tone, I don't know if it's all marketing or if it really makes a difference.
    I suggest extensive tone studies, from the top of the horn to the bottom, from ppp to fff and back again, preferably done outdoors in an open area without reflecting surfaces nearby as much of the time as you can.

    Apply this remedy for 2 years, then check in with us.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    Hey guys. So I'm trying to figure out a way too brighten and thicken my tone. When I record myself on a mic it sounds very dark to me. I want a fatter, brighter tone and I don't know if it would be more embouchure or mouthpiece. I currently play on a YTS-62 purple logo, v16 metal mouthpiece narrow chamber, and Java red 2.5. I see the jody jazz metal mouthpieces and how they claim a fatter richer tone, I don't know if it's all marketing or if it really makes a difference.
    You can do a lot with your existing gear.

    Have you worked with a teacher that has discussed how to manipulate tone with adjustments of your oral cavity?
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

    As a Veteran for Peace, I am already against the next war.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Overtones will do more for your tone than long tones. Of course, you play them long too ... so I guess it's really "long overtones". This is how you learn to manipulate your tongue/throat position.

    NOTE - do not use your jaw or lip tension to do the overtones!!!! That way failure lies...
    Steve Keller
    Straight ahead and strive for tone

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Hi Dave,

    You say your sound is dark in the recordings, but how does it sound to you when you play the sax?
    It may be some element of the recording process that darkens the sound like mic type or placement.
    What v16 model and tip size you use? It could be the tip is too big for you and you can not fill the mouthpiece/reed combination with the air needed for a full big and bright sound.
    Try to increase the air flow to brighten the sound

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Llareggub View Post
    Hi Dave,

    You say your sound is dark in the recordings, but how does it sound to you when you play the sax?
    It may be some element of the recording process that darkens the sound like mic type or placement.
    What v16 model and tip size you use? It could be the tip is too big for you and you can not fill the mouthpiece/reed combination with the air needed for a full big and bright sound.
    Try to increase the air flow to brighten the sound

    It sounds better when I play against a wall but it is still on the dark side. My mouthpiece is a v16 T55 so it's not too open. You guys are most likely correct and it's probably more of an embouchure issue. I do the overtone exercises I just can't figure out how to play without using more pressure with the lower lip to get the higher overtone. I try to use a faster airstream, and lifting my upper lip on high notes too build the support but most of the time I can't produce the note playing that way. I also rotate a lot from alto to soprano so that doesn't help much either as my tenor embouchure goes to hell doing this.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    It sounds better when I play against a wall but it is still on the dark side. My mouthpiece is a v16 T55 so it's not too open. You guys are most likely correct and it's probably more of an embouchure issue. I do the overtone exercises I just can't figure out how to play without using more pressure with the lower lip to get the higher overtone. I try to use a faster airstream, and lifting my upper lip on high notes too build the support but most of the time I can't produce the note playing that way. I also rotate a lot from alto to soprano so that doesn't help much either as my tenor embouchure goes to hell doing this.
    "Lifting my upper lip"???

    Are you familiar with the concept of arching the tongue?

    One great exercise is learning to voice the second octave so you can play it without using the octave key.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

    As a Veteran for Peace, I am already against the next war.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    It sounds better when I play against a wall but it is still on the dark side. My mouthpiece is a v16 T55 so it's not too open. You guys are most likely correct and it's probably more of an embouchure issue. I do the overtone exercises I just can't figure out how to play without using more pressure with the lower lip to get the higher overtone. I try to use a faster airstream, and lifting my upper lip on high notes too build the support but most of the time I can't produce the note playing that way. I also rotate a lot from alto to soprano so that doesn't help much either as my tenor embouchure goes to hell doing this.
    For me, others may disagree , problems with embouchure indicate lack of proper air support. When that is fixed the embouchure falls in place as something natural.
    You only need very little lip pressure from lower and upper lip to just not allow air escape, but that comes only from proper air support.
    You say that T55 is not too open but this is only in relation to you, your air support and the reed strength.
    In general v16 is not a bright mouthpiece but it can still project when used the right way.
    Sure you could find more bright mouthpieces , cheaper and more expensive, but i think what you have is a good piece to learn and develop your sound.
    If you go for a brighter piece now it will do all the work for you but wont allow you to learn to be able to fine tune the sound in an expressive way.
    And better dont play against a wall, learn to achive that sound away from it, and practise outside if you can.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Other problems that are related to undeveloped air support is that you try to compansate by bitting the reed too much and not taking the right amount of mouthpiece inside your mouth.
    both can lead to darker, as to not vibrant,and smaller sound.
    Try softer reed.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Llareggub View Post
    For me, others may disagree , problems with embouchure indicate lack of proper air support. When that is fixed the embouchure falls in place as something natural.
    You only need very little lip pressure from lower and upper lip to just not allow air escape, but that comes only from proper air support.
    You say that T55 is not too open but this is only in relation to you, your air support and the reed strength.
    In general v16 is not a bright mouthpiece but it can still project when used the right way.
    Sure you could find more bright mouthpieces , cheaper and more expensive, but i think what you have is a good piece to learn and develop your sound.
    If you go for a brighter piece now it will do all the work for you but wont allow you to learn to be able to fine tune the sound in an expressive way.
    And better dont play against a wall, learn to achive that sound away from it, and practise outside if you can.
    Thanks. Yeah I guess before I can give a fair assessment I need to figure out how to play without using more pressure with the lower lip. I can play for short periods without putting my upper teeth on the mouthpiece, is this a good activity for building air support? I'm spending too much time on uploading music videos to youtube than working on the fundamentals...lol. Anyway, thanks for the advice guys.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    "Lifting my upper lip"???

    Are you familiar with the concept of arching the tongue?

    One great exercise is learning to voice the second octave so you can play it without using the octave key.
    I'm not familiar with arching the tongue?
    As for playing without the octave key, I can do this but I have to use more pressure with the lower lip.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    I'm not familiar with arching the tongue?
    As for playing without the octave key, I can do this but I have to use more pressure with the lower lip.
    Consider using various vowel sounds to shape your tone (ex. hee, tee, laa, etc.). Listen for the shadow tones, and see if you can mindfully manipulate the pitch up an octave.

    Very difficult (for me) to explain - much easier to do in real time in a one-on-one studio situation. There is also the question of whether you have developed proper support of your air stream. All of this is worth exploring with an adept saxophone teacher. They can also correct the bad habits that you are developing with your embouchure.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

    As a Veteran for Peace, I am already against the next war.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    To use the upper teeth or not is a big subject and i think we should not go there. I think in your case if you dont use them you will bite the lower lip more.
    With or without the upper teeth the pressure from both upper lip/teeth and lower lip should be minimal or you end up choking the reed and the sound and your lips will suffer too.
    For brething support do your long tones and overtones the way Steve said above and check for more threads here in this forum for more exercises.
    Work with arching the tongue as the doctor said above, you do that by saying different vowels like oo, aa ,ee , the result is change in the air flow like when you close a water hose with your fingers.
    You want to have control over that cause it is an expresive device that you can use and it will also improve your sound in general.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    All of the above once you are an established player. But once you are established, the main thing for me is listening to a player who's tone you like and then emulating that sound orally. It works.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    A easy thing to do is just to push in the mouthpiece. It forces you to use less pressure to keep in tune.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Try Rigotti reeds and blow harder.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    From what the op says, you're already playing with a super bright setup. I would work more on the sound in your head first. What do you want to sound like? Just saying brighter isn't enough. Also, there are some players who sound dark on everything. You may discover that you fall into that or not.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Anchor the back of your tongue at each side of the tongue between the molars on each side of your mouth.
    Doing so will arch your tongue to blow a more focused stream of air.
    My wife, whose ears I trust, said that my sound is much fuller, richer, more powerful and resonant on this set up.
    ... but really folks... my wife said, " It sounds like a saxophone ".

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    Hey guys. So I'm trying to figure out a way too brighten and thicken my tone. When I record myself on a mic it sounds very dark to me. I want a fatter, brighter tone and I don't know if it would be more embouchure or mouthpiece. I currently play on a YTS-62 purple logo, v16 metal mouthpiece narrow chamber, and Java red 2.5. I see the jody jazz metal mouthpieces and how they claim a fatter richer tone, I don't know if it's all marketing or if it really makes a difference.
    Try these exercises: https://www.philbarone.com/blog/saxo...ne-development

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Your set up is very much on the bright side already.

    You're going to have to start looking at things like embouchure and breath support in order to get the air moving faster through the horn in order to get the sound to brighten up.

    One of the first big epiphanies for me was learning to push the mouthpiece on a little further than you are used to for tuning and drop your jaw significantly. This allows you to have a more relaxed embouchure and move a lot more air through the horn without going flat.

    Also........... OVERTONES!!!!! :P
    Don't do drugs. Do Overtones.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGPySDpoSiY

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