How to Fix Cracking Or Spitty Saxophone Sound
It’s unrealistic to expect to be the best when you’re just starting out. However, you should still expect to be able to produce a good sound from your saxophone.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your tone and understand why you may have cracking or spitty sound:
1. Listening to good players is the first step to becoming a better player
Listening to the pros is one of the best ways to improve your tone. Look for recordings of professional saxophonists on YouTube and take notes on how they sound.
If you’re just starting out, don’t expect to sound like a pro. You can, however, use recordings as a source of inspiration and as a tool for improving your tone.
Trying to produce a good saxophone tone on your own can be difficult if you don’t know what it sounds like. You can gradually improve your tone production by using a few recordings as a reference.
2. Holding Your Saxophone Properly Is Vital
It may appear simple, but holding your saxophone at the proper angle is essential. You won’t get the best sound if you hold it too low and don’t adjust your head.
Keep your mouthpiece in place by pressing it firmly against your lips. In order to get the best sound possible, you should hold your head in a straight line and look straight ahead.
If your saxophone is set too low, you may have difficulty getting a good sound out of it. When playing, even the best players can benefit from utilizing the proper position.
3. Open Your Throat
Your throat must be as wide open as possible when you play the saxophone in order to produce the best sound.
That will allow the air to flow into your mouth and lips more easily.
It is possible to produce a cracking or spitty sound on the saxophone if you close your throat too much, so it is important not to do so.
Without playing the saxophone, try some exercises to open your throat. It will be easier to open your throat when you finally get your saxophone and start playing.
4. Sing and Play
It’s easy to open your throat if you start singing. Since singing and playing the saxophone at the same time is difficult, you can do this while playing the saxophone.
Pay attention to the sensation in your throat when you sing a note. Although the pitch of the note does not need to be exact, singing it should feel natural for you.
Feel how open your throat is, as well as the rest of your body, particularly your abdomen. When playing the saxophone without singing, the same muscles will be used to open your throat.
It’s a good idea to work on opening your throat and singing at the same time if you’re able to do so. However, learning to sing and play the saxophone is a skill that requires a lot of practice.
5. Take a Deep Breath
If you use a small amount of air, you may crack some notes or produce a cracking or spitty sound. Take deep, full breaths while playing the saxophone to get the best sound.
Keep inhaling until your lungs are full to the brim, then exhale. You can then hold your breath and slowly but steadily exhale.
Try it a few times without the saxophone and see how long it takes. Breathe in for at least four seconds and exhale for at least eight seconds.
After that, work on increasing your breathing speed while maintaining proper air intake. You’ll be able to take in more air and hear a more defined, richer sound when you reintroduce the saxophone.
6. Put More Emphasis on Your Mouthpiece
Some exercises on the mouthpiece may be familiar to you from your days as a newbie. You can do a lot with just that part of the saxophone, so practice more with your mouthpiece.
Use the mouthpiece and saxophone embouchure when you exhale during breathing exercises. You can also use the mouthpiece to sing and play.
Another important aspect of getting the best possible response from the saxophone is the embouchure. While working with the mouthpiece, you may discover that it’s a bigger issue and that you need a new one to play at a higher level of quality.
7. Work on Long Tones
Rather than playing scales or other technical exercises, this is a method of playing a single note for as long as possible. It allows you to fine-tune the timbre of individual notes.
8. Begin with an Easy note
Pick a note in the middle of your saxophone range that you can easily produce. When doing long tones, this will help you achieve better results faster.
Improve the quality of your tone by concentrating on just one note. Take a deep breath and try to keep the pitch as stable as possible without allowing the note to go flat.
Once you’re satisfied with the sound, chromatically move up or down to the next note. All of the notes you’ve learned so far should be re-learned in this manner.
A beginner may only know a few notes, so don’t worry about it too much. In any case, it’s better to start working on your tone now so you can apply similar techniques when learning new notes later.
9. Practice Harmonics
Focusing on the harmonic series is another great way to achieve a stable tone.
This is a technique that allows you to play a wide range of pitches by simply changing your air and embouchure, but fingering stays the same.
10. Note and Resolve Tension
Paying attention to tension is another critical component of getting a good sound. Take note of when your arm flexes too much or whenever your throat closes up.
Open your throat by stretching your arms and singing. Do some lip exercises if you’re feeling a little tense in your mouth.
As a result, you are unable to produce the best sound possible. It doesn’t matter if you normally get a good tone; even if you do, a little tenseness can ruin it.
11. Consider getting new equipment
Try a different saxophone or mouthpiece if all of your other options have failed. Instruments and accessories aren’t all created equal.
Even though you don’t need special equipment to get started, this may change as you gain more expertise. It’s possible that switching to a different brand of saxophone will improve your performance.
You could also need a different type of mouthpiece than the one you currently have. Before purchasing a new saxophone or mouthpiece, be sure to experiment with a variety of options to find one that works best for you.
That may be the answer to your saxophone’s sound woes.
Can The Cracking Or Spitty Sound be Due to a Bad Saxophone?
If you have a faulty saxophone, you may hear a cracking or spitty saxophone sound. Since your air needs to travel the entire length of the instrument, a leaky water key could also be a concern.
Repairing a saxophone can be difficult, even for the best players. Take your saxophone to a professional before making the leap to a more advanced model.
Even if your instrument is the source of the issue, this does not rule out the possibility of a fix. Repairing a saxophone rather than buying a new one can save money.
How Do You Test If the Saxophone Can Produce a Good Clear Tone?
When inspecting a saxophone, keep an eye out for dings or dents. A saxophone’s sound can be adversely affected by even the smallest dings.
Fortunately, a skilled repairman may be able to remove or minimize the dings’ impact on your sound. They can also check for leaks in your water key saxophone, which can cause tone issues.
The saxophone is probably the problem if you get a great tone with your mouthpiece. To ensure your saxophone is free of leaks or dents, you can perform the inspection yourself or ask a saxophone teacher or another player to do so.
In this case, it’s possible to determine that the instrument is the problem or the fact that you’re a beginner and need more practice.