Saxophone Forum

by TrevorNoah
(1 post)
1 year ago

Can't hit the first overtone from low A on bari

Hey guys, I'm an intermediate bari player and I've started practicing overtones in the last few days. I'm not really able to get a lot of them, but I can hit the first overtone from everything up to G pretty confidently. My only problem is that when I play low A, only the 2nd overtone comes out. Bb gives me the octave, B gives me the octave, C gives me the octave, etc. but A gives me the octave + a fifth instead. The horn hasn't been repaired in years, could it be something to do with that? Thanks!
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  1. by GFC
    (794 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Can't hit the first overtone from low A on bari

    It seems that leaks tend to have the opposite effect, weakening the fundamental and causing octave splitting/jumps in the bell notes, rather than making the first harmonic less accessible.

    One thing about Low A horns is that the taper of the bore beyond the bow is sometimes different than the taper on the body.  It's a design compromise to keep the bell a reasonable size with the extended bore.  If the bell section has a small enough taper, or in the case of the Conn low A simply a cylindrical extension between Bb and A, you may get overblowing characteristics resembling a cylindrical bore at the bottom end.  It seems a minor issue, since you still have plenty of opportunity to develop your overtones with or without the weird result on low A.  

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