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Home Alt Forums Problems With Your Sax? inconsistent squeaks

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      To begin, I’ve been practicing on my alto on and off for about a year and can play a few basic pieces. As I work to get better, I work hard on transitions (speed and fingering) from one note to another (any direction, up and down with the octave key, any number of steps) and have pretty good success, especially slurs. Articulating the notes though; when going slowly, the notes play well most of the time, but when I speed up (not by any major increase), I experience a nice squeak. even if I go from an A to a B. I’ve tried 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 reeds and several mouthpieces (most inexpensive, and hoping not to have to purchase a $100 mouthpiece to fix the problem), and a new Rovner ligature. I tongue the reed mostly just below the tip though i am working on getting the tip of my tongue at the tip of the reed i’ve also worked on my breathing and am breathing deeply (using the diaphragm) and keep the airflow somewhat consistent. I think I covered all the things I’ve tried, so is it more practice or technique or what?


        It’s hard to pinpoint without watching a hearing you. I don’t think it’s the mouthpiece. Regarding reeds, don’t worry about the different sizes as much as trying different reeds. Each reed is different, even from the same box so just keep to the strength that is comfortable for you to play. Get the full box of reeds into a glass of water so they’re about half covered for 5 minutes then play each one and see if they all do it or not. This test will let you know if it’s a reed problem or not, then you can carry on from there. Let me know how it goes!

        Also don’t adjust your lig too tight as this will choke the reed.
        Check my video on reeds in the “Tips” section of the lessons.



          Thanks, the reed selection (I put 5 in the water) turned up two that worked and one that is close. I worked through two songs and reduced the number of squeaks but still have them when I speed up, also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I may be overblowing as well. I’ll slow down and blow a little less emphatically, and will keep you posted. Again thanks!!

          Best, Ed

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