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  • #8941
    dave hogwalds
    Participant

    hello
    i started playing 2 or 3 weeks ago and i noticed sometimes after like a hour or two of playing spit starts to come out from my sax (i play alto sax if it matters)
    i searched on the web about it and besides of people telling me to wipe off my sax when i finish playing (which i do) i didnt got a good answer about it? is there a valve like in trumpet and other brass instruments?(is it normal that spit leak out from my sax keys?)
    and for another question is if there's another way to play stacato through another way of blowing in to ur sax( anything beside using ur tongue)
    and last question is about the range of notes in an alto sax, is there a way to produce higher notes or lower from blowing techniques and not only through pressing keys?

    sry for asking too much and tnx for ur answer!!

    #10167
    john
    Keymaster

    Hi Dave, I've noticed a very small amount of spit sometimes leaking out of a tone hole or 2 but very small drops after a lot of hard blowing etc. This is normal, for me anyway. There is no spit valve on your sax, just on the bigger ones such as the bari.

    Your reed can collect spit quite easily and if you become aware of this, you will ensure to have less build-up in your mouth and eventually minimize this.

    When playing staccato notes the only way is to do it with your tongue.

    High notes above the high F# are possible and are called altissimo notes. To develop this technique requires a good foundation of many other things and you shouldn't worry about it after only a few weeks of playing. You'll need more control over your horn to even start producing a controlled altissimo register.

    This doesn't apply to low notes. The lowest note on your sax is produced by playing the low Bb key.

    #10170
    Alan Sizer
    Participant

    Hi Dave,

    Most of the moisture that accumulates is actually condensation – simple physics: force warm humid air through a cold metal tube… you get the idea. I play a tenor & it happens a lot. The fluid diprs out of one of the top hand tone holes because of the angle that the horn's body is held at during playing. I'd expect it to happen less on an alto, but I don't have experience of it. FWIW, I find I have to tip & shake it out of the mouthpiece quite often. Johnny, if you have any other useful tips, i'm all ears.

    Cheers

    Al

    #10174
    Kent Murdick
    Participant

    This used to be a real problem for me, but I (more or less) solved it in two ways. If you concentrate, you can actually stop too much saliva from building in your mouth and then going into the sax and reed. The big build up seems to be in the neck and reed which effects performance. Also, I swab the sax and neck out three (count em, three) times after every half hour of playing. I use Music Medic sax and neck swabs. That may sound like a lot of work but it only takes two minutes. I hope this helps. Oh, and I have a lint free pad drying cloth and a lint free "shove it".

    Kent

    #10179
    Dave Tucker
    Participant

    I've got the same problem with the saliva buildup. As soon as I start to hear a little rasp or crackling sound I take off the mouth piece and shake out the spit. I'm good to go for another 10-15 minutes. I have a towel I dump the contents of the Sax into. I never would have thought you could create that much moisture in such a short period of time. For the first time since I got my Sax 2 months ago I'm getting some good practice time in , up to 4 hours a day. I am unable to work because of a possible S1 disc rupture in my lower back. I'm taking advantage of the down time.
    Johnny,
    Thanks again for putting this site together. It has helped me a lot. BTW you mentioned you had some play along music for Fly Me To The Moon. When you get the time that would be greatly appreciated.

    Dave T

    #10180
    john
    Keymaster

    Hey guys, sounds like there's a bit too much spit getting into your horns. The condensation theory makes sense, but probably not enough to be soaking up towels with! I found when this started to happen, I just made myself more aware and wouldn't let a lot of spit to make it to the front of the tongue and mouth. Eventually the amount that ends up in your MP will be much less.

    I'll go look for the Fly Me backing tracks…

    #10181
    john
    Keymaster

    OK, I've uploaded the backing tracks for Fly Me To The Moon. It's in the "Repertoire" section.

    #10182
    Dave Tucker
    Participant

    Thanks for uploading the Fly me tracks Johnny. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.

    Dave T

    #10186
    Dave Tucker
    Participant

    Johnny,
    I have taken your advice and became more aware of what I was doing. Now I'm at what you might call a normal spit volume. ( a few drops) Thanks for the tips and advice, everyone.

    Dave T

    #10199
    Troy
    Participant

    Dave,

    I've only been playing a few months, and I ran into that problem as well. I had spit coming out on two or three fingers on my left hand and it was driving me nuts at first. I've noticed with time that spit becomes less of a problem, but I've made more of a habit out of starting with a swallow just before I start to play, and like everyone said, I just try to be aware more of how much salava is in my mouth while playing, and trying to swallow as necessary when time permits while in the middle of the music I'm practicing. I started playing the beginning of October, 2011, so we probalby started close to the same time?

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