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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000167.txt from 2002/06

From: (David Glenn)
Subj: Re: [kl] S*x Questions
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 16:33:06 -0400

Kevin Fay wrote:

> My alto saxophone is a Buffet "Expression" - a model I never heard of before
> I bought it. I have also never seen another one. Becuase it has a rather
> large bell and adjustable palm keys, however, my guess is that it was built
> after Boosey & Hawkes acquired Keilwerth, and is based on that tooling. I
> have two problems with it - one real, and one for fun.
> The real problem is that it doesn't much like to play above a high D - at
> least with my Rascher mouthpiece, the tone turns into sort of a little
> grunt. This isn't a problem for scales or runs, but is found while trying
> to articulate. I can force the note out by adjusting my embouchure and
> voicing it as if altissimo, but that's too much work much of the time. The
> high C is a bit stuffy, too.
> My first thought was simply that it was my fault - that my saxophone
> embouchure wasn't up to snuff. Turns out, however, that I don't have it on
> my older student-line alto or my friend's Selmer Mark VI.
> My second thought was that there's a leaky pad. This can't be, though,
> becuase all of the holes are open for the high F, and the lower notes speak
> just fine. Is this a design problem I have to live with? Any ideas?
> Second problem - for alto saxophones generally, but esp. this one. I find
> that the perfect position for which to hold the beastie while standing
> cannot be replicated while sitting - my right leg is squarely in the way.
> Because I am unwilling to amputate said appendage to advance my saxophone
> playing, I must therefore put the bell between my legs or off to the right
> side. While both positions are serviceable, I find both less comfortable.
> So - a survey, just for grins. Which way do you go?
> Kevin Fay



Since Lelia's very thoughtful and knowledgeable ideas didn't help, I think the
only thing left must be the reed. The reason is that the Raschèr Sax. mpce is
very closed. You'll need probably a 3 1/2 or higher to get enough resistance for
the high tones. I also think this because you say the low tones come so well.
That's a characteristic of a softer reed. If a harder reed doesn't work, try an
opener mouthpiece but I think the Raschèr is ideal for a doubling clarinetist.
Because it is so close, it's more similar to a clarinet mouthpiece.

Good luck,



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