Home Forums Problems With Your Sax? sax plays flat when it's cold

This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Jeff Jeff 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 10 (of 11 total)
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  • #45026

    Joel Stern
    Participant

    I”m finding that my alto plays very flat when it’s cold in the room. Is there a safe way to warm up the sax in addition to blowing into
    it before playing ? After I’ve played for awhile it seems to lose the “flatness”, but I need the sax to play in tune immediately for a concert
    coming up.

    #45027
    peter
    peter
    Participant

    Just push your mouthpiece in further till it gets warmer,
    I have not heard a good sax busker playing in the cold
    bad weather sounding flat. Don’t forget that metal will shrink
    in the cold, so it would sound flatter IMO.

    #45031

    sxpoet
    Participant

    i’ve only played in two orchestra concerts, and the general idea is you turn up an hour before, take out your instrument straight away, so it comes up to room temperature, and then start tuning up 15 mins before starting like everyone else, with the conductor.

    If i am going for a sax lesson, which is 5 mins away in the car, i warm up/tune up the sax before i leave my house. What i do is leave the mouthpiece on the neck, with the reed on the mouthpiece in the case and cover it with a cloth.

    So when i setup the sax in the lesson i can play straight away.

    #45061
    Jeff
    Jeff
    Participant

    re. Warming up the sax

    Have you tried some of this on your sax?

    #45069
    Jeff
    Jeff
    Participant

    And if you like it extra hot!

    #45083
    Mel
    Mel
    Participant

    Mindi does a good job. I also liked the Phil Collins Big Band video that comes up at the end of her video.

    Thanks Jeff!

    Mel

    #45136
    Jeff
    Jeff
    Participant

    Nice catch Mel.
    I hadn’t watched that video before. Excellent timing hey?
    Great solos and a very clean and crisp sound from Phil’s band!

    The chap in the striped suit performs a good example of circular breathing on the black lacquer Tenor.

    #45315
    Mel
    Mel
    Participant

    Some more Haute sauce about 5 minutes in.

    #45934

    jak Swift
    Participant

    Man, Mindi has an unreal alto tone. If you are into circular breathing check out Lenny Picket playing Sunday Driver with Richard Tee. WHOAH !!
    Ever played with Lenny , Johnny ?
    Oh yeah….A slightly belated but Happy New Year to you all. Hard Blowin, and focused.
    Best…jak

    #45971
    Jazz Cat
    Jazz Cat
    Participant

    true re flat in cold; I keep/play my horns in my big finished basement, which here in colorado in winter is around 68 degrees… good tip re just pushing mp in more than usual, at least the first 30 minutes of practice, otherwise I’m nearly 1/2 step flat (really stands out when using backing tracks) … I always use a snark tuner clipped to music stand to check intonation, a Big help
    https://www.amazon.com/Snark-ST-2-Multi-Instrument-Chromatic-Tuner/dp/B01H62TQ68/

    #46122
    Jeff
    Jeff
    Participant

    I think the drop in tone has more to do with the temperature of the air column within the sax. The speed of sound varies from substance to substance: sound travels most slowly in gases; it travels faster in liquids; and faster still in solids. The higher the density of the medium, the faster the sound travels. Colder air is more dense so the sound travels faster, extending the reed’s wavelength of oscillation, thus lowering its frequency. Just like the siren on a moving vehicle, the faster the vehicle travels away, the lower the siren’s perceived frequency becomes.

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