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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    I wouldn't say a baffle fattens up tone, I would say it brightens your tone often times at the expense of fattness

    That is my personal opinion/experience. Weight/fattness comes from proper embouchure, brightness can be achieved with the shortcut of a baffle, but also through proper embouchure (proper being whatever embouchure is most relaxed etc etc etc....)

    So fattness is air and relaxed embochure, brightness is baffle driven IMO (generally).

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  3. #22

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Barone View Post
    So I was reading this and it says put the teeth one inch into the mouthpiece. Is it talking about the lower or upper teeth? If i put the mouthpiece too far in my mouth my tone sounds like a duck. Is this normal?

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Dave1003,

    Check on Youtube.com for this series of videos "Joe Allard the Master Speaks", this will help you get a visual of the correct embouchure set up and breath support. Then look for the book, "Top Tones for Saxophone, by Sigurd Rascher". With consistent relaxed practice, you should see a substantial improvement with your embouchure, breath control and overall control of your sound. Consistent use of the techniques will give you the ability to play brighter and hitting altissimmo notes on demand without struggling. The secret is to practice with a relaxed frame of mind, and not give up when you don't achieve the goal the first time out.

    I recently moved back to my Vandoren V16 T75 (Moved from JJ DV) using a Rigotti 2.5 reed. I found I don't need a high baffled piece to hit the altissimo notes consistently and/or achieve a good level of brightness and fatness in the sound, all based upon the resources listed above. Now, you have to understand that the word "brightness" is very subjective. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get that great sound. You simply need to apply the right techniques.
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Huesax View Post
    Check on Youtube.com for this series of videos "Joe Allard the Master Speaks", this will help you get a visual of the correct embouchure set up and breath support.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    So I was reading this and it says put the teeth one inch into the mouthpiece. Is it talking about the lower or upper teeth? If i put the mouthpiece too far in my mouth my tone sounds like a duck. Is this normal?
    you might sound like a duck the first time as I did but this is just for the first days of practicing. Once you get used to it, you will be able to control your sound from bright to dark. About the inch, it's more a guideline for me, from what I understood you cannot take too much mpc, so take as much as you can and work on your air stream to not sound like a duck. I tried one week and was able to get back my sound plus more bright notes in the high register.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Geolm View Post
    you might sound like a duck the first time as I did but this is just for the first days of practicing. Once you get used to it, you will be able to control your sound from bright to dark. About the inch, it's more a guideline for me, from what I understood you cannot take too much mpc...
    I respectfully disagree. If you take in too much mouthpiece, you lose some ability to shade your tone, and inhibit articulation.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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  8. #27
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    A teacher I know sent me this when I asked about this type of topic: "My understanding on this (taken from Joe Allard, but other people like Donald Sinta also talk about it as "voicing") - is that each note does have a "spot" where it's most focused, most in tune. That is, when a pitch is "focused," to me that means that all of its resulting overtones are in tune with one another. That results in the most projecting sound possible.

    You talk about throat - yes, it's that, but also the tongue position. I always think of getting my voice, throat tongue all into the same position that they'd be to SING that note. That way, the whole airway is resonating at that pitch!

    I practice this through overtone exercises, finding the "center" of each pitch as I play the overtone, thereby making the fundamental of that overtone all the more solid."
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Move up to a green Java 3.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Well guys here's an update. It seems like my tone isn't as dark as I thought. I think i'm getting a dark sound mixed up with a "thin" sound. I notice in the low range my tone sounds much fuller and brighter. It's when i start moving up the register that I notice the change in tone but I think it's more of a thinning than a darkening. I did notice putting in more mouthpiece did help in getting it sound better in the upper range , but when I come down to the lower range I'm still getting that duck sound. I also noticed the recording is contributing somewhat as sometimes the tone sounds brighter than others. Anyway I'll keep practicing away. It seems I'm heading in the right direction.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    I respectfully disagree. If you take in too much mouthpiece, you lose some ability to shade your tone, and inhibit articulation.
    I agree, I may have expressed myself poorly. In the past I was "afraid" of taking too much mpc because I thought it was impossible to get a good control over the low register. But after I read the phil barone's exercise and watched the joe's allard video I understood that the reed needs to be "free" to vibrate. It helped a lot with my embouchure, I don't take as much mpc that phil barone wrote but I take more than before and my sound is better in the upper register and still good in the low as long as I provide a good airstream. But of course if I exagerate and take too much mpc, I'll sound bad.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Geolm View Post
    I agree, I may have expressed myself poorly. In the past I was "afraid" of taking too much mpc because I thought it was impossible to get a good control over the low register. But after I read the phil barone's exercise and watched the joe's allard video I understood that the reed needs to be "free" to vibrate. It helped a lot with my embouchure, I don't take as much mpc that phil barone wrote but I take more than before and my sound is better in the upper register and still good in the low as long as I provide a good airstream. But of course if I exagerate and take too much mpc, I'll sound bad.
    Thanks for accepting my comment the way it was intended, Geolm. We often see exuberant new players here that take everything literally. There is certainly a limit to "Take in more mouthpiece." If you are listening as you experiment, you are on the right track. I usually try to avoid the infinitive, but we, as good musicians, should always be listening.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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  13. #32
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    I agree with everything said before, even more the part that your set up is bright already, but let me add something to the plate. Jody jazz mouthpieces are ok but they don't have a good level of resistance to push against, although that vandoren does. You NEED a certain amount of resistance (not too much) to keep things under control, not everything is about blowing your brains out. Think about it just as the keys on the piano. On the heavier actions you can control the tone from mellow to bright depending on the the speed/strength you heat the key. On the light action this is more difficult to control. Changing a mouthpiece is definitely not the way to address sound issues when it comes from the player, but sometimes the gear is just the problem. My advice go down to a shop and try the new Daddario select jazz on a tip opening when you really feel comfortable. Try play from dark to bright. If you manage to control it "the resistance" was the answer, but if you don't, then "Forget" about the gear and play along with recordings of brighter-sounding players, M. Breacker, Bop Berg, etc...

    I recommended you to try that piece because I believe you are at that level where you might confuse BIG SOUND with VOLUME, and BRIGHT with CHARACTER and rich in overtones, because as it was said before, your set up is really bright already.
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  14. #33
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    It seems like my tone isn't as dark as I thought. I think i'm getting a dark sound mixed up with a "thin" sound. I notice in the low range my tone sounds much fuller and brighter. It's when i start moving up the register that I notice the change in tone but I think it's more of a thinning than a darkening.
    I realize we all have our own subjective interpretation of what 'bright' and 'dark' means. But to me some of what you are saying is contradictory. In general what I've noticed is that a brighter sound tends to be somewhat thin in comparison to a darker sound which is usually fuller or 'fatter.' You seem to be indicating the opposite. If you are getting a dark sound AND a thin sound, either your definitions for these terms are different than mine or something very strange is happening. Ideally you want to maintain a relatively full sound whether playing bright or dark, but when going very bright, the tone will naturally get a bit thinner and more cutting.

    In terms of set up, especially mpc/reed, it's a bit of a trade off. With a really bright high baffle mpc, you'll get plenty of brightness, but will have to work hard at getting a full sound. And just the reverse with a large chamber, low baffle mpc, which will tend toward a dark and full sound, but take some work to brighten up.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Hey guys, so I ordered a jody jazz and daddario to try them out and compare and I liked the vandoren the best. The jody jazz was extremely bright and I didn't like the sound and the daddario was louder and projected more but I had somewhat of a honky tone on it. What I want is a thicker tone and it looks like that's more embouchure than anything else as you guys have said. The only thing I noticed is that on those 2 mouthpieces the fork fingerings and altissimo was much easier to play than my vandoren. I had my sax repair man play on my mouthpiece and he said it was more difficult than his also. So my new question is this, do you guys think that a more open v16 would help my altissimo register? Also would a medium chamber of the same mouthpiece help the thickness?

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Picking the mouthpiece that feels easy and fun to play makes a huge difference. If we can go from the bottom of the horn to the top of the horn without difficulty and like what we "Hear and Feel" that's the mouthpiece,reed and horn setup we should use. If we pick a tip opening or a chamber size larger than we are comfortable with we'll be fighting the setup. We should have a setup that lets us play or practice for hours like Bird,Trane, Brecker etc.
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  17. #36
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    So my new question is this, do you guys think that a more open v16 would help my altissimo register? Also would a medium chamber of the same mouthpiece help the thickness?
    A more open tip may or may not help with altissimo. In my experience, there is no direct correlation between tip opening and altissimo. There are many factors involved in altissimo, most importantly your embouchure and 'voicing.'

    What IS true about tip opening is it can have a significant effect on how dark & 'thick' the sound is. As a general rule, given the same baffle and chamber, a more open tip will result in a darker and thicker tone. This is why I prefer an open tip on med or high baffle mpcs. Regarding chamber, a larger chamber also tends to give a darker and thicker tone quality.

    And what jazzoetry says is very true. You'll definitely enjoy playing, and will practice more, on a mpc/reed setup that feels good and that you can play comfortably.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post
    A more open tip may or may not help with altissimo. In my experience, there is no direct correlation between tip opening and altissimo. There are many factors involved in altissimo, most importantly your embouchure and 'voicing.'

    What IS true about tip opening is it can have a significant effect on how dark & 'thick' the sound is. As a general rule, given the same baffle and chamber, a more open tip will result in a darker and thicker tone. This is why I prefer an open tip on med or high baffle mpcs. Regarding chamber, a larger chamber also tends to give a darker and thicker tone quality.

    And what jazzoetry says is very true. You'll definitely enjoy playing, and will practice more, on a mpc/reed setup that feels good and that you can play comfortably.

    Awesome. I've noticed in just the last few weeks doing the overtone exercises my tone has gotten thicker. I recorded last night and for the first time ever I thought it sounded good so I'm headed in the right direction. My current v16 has a .98 opening. I think i'll try one with a .104 opening and a medium chamber with the .98 opening and see the difference. Another question, my current mouthpiece has a lot of the gold plating peeling off. Is this something that I should worry about?

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    I wouldn't worry about the gold plating peeling off. That seems to be fairly common with gold plated metal mpcs.

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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1003 View Post
    Snip.... If i put the mouthpiece too far in my mouth my tone sounds like a duck. Is this normal?
    Fairly normal yes...Unless you're talking about the Fulvous Whistling Duck...

    then no...not really. Seek medical attention.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Brightening up Tone

    Others have already said this, but take a lesson from a good sax instructor. I am mainly self taught, but after a few years of being generally unhappy with my tone (I also wanted to brighten and fatten it) and some other issues, I decided to start lessons. I could have stopped after the first lesson and got my money's worth. In the very first few minutes we changed the way I was holding the sax and the height of the strap, both of which affected the angle of the mouthpiece entering my mouth, and some breathing and breath support changes, and some changes to my embouchure, and in just 30 minutes my tone was profoundly improved and much closer to what I was looking for. I'm still working on it a couple of years later, but it helped me to make a quantum leap towards what I'm looking for. And while I have found that different mouthpieces work better or worse for getting my desired sound, the changes my instructor helped me with had a far greater affect than the mouthpiece or reed (or sax, for that matter).
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