Maybee you think your saxophone is the key factor in you signature sound. Well....

Think again! It only contributes to about 5% of the timbre or sound color of your setup. Its just the MODULATOR

Say What?

Sorry to bust your bouble but you need to rethink your instrument setup. YOU and your setup witch are all the points explained earlier forms a kind of vibrational alliance - it is not your sax that takes center stage when it comes to the final output: timbre.

I am not saying you sax is unimportant - far from that! I am saying its important BECAUSE of other factors than timbre or tonal color. It plays a vital role in your approach to music. It makes the journey fun and pleasurable if your instrument truely becomes an extension of you.

So.... an old vintage horn can bring you 5% better sound/timbre than a new one - and if it has a perfect playable keywork layout you have gained the last 5%! And that can be important if you got the remaining 95% figured out.

What about bore?

Bore design plays a role in timbre or the over all sound dynamics of a given saxophone. A bore is seen one accending conical shape but in fact its more a sequence of different bore designs put together. Gennerally the bore is wider in the middle witch facilitates better low notes, but truth is that the bore changes shape many times from start of cone to the bell rim.

Bore design is what makes a Conn sound different from a Selmer and an SML. Bore design plays a role in the overall dynmaics.

  •  Your saxophone is the MODULATOR
  •  Your tool to change pitch
  •  Your tool to make music of the tones
  •  Your sax is the link to you body
  •  Its the tool you shape and color with
  •  Its how you feel the vibrations

Body and soul

You are looking for is a vibrational marriage between you woodwind setup and YOU.

When it comes to the the timber or tone color and quality the saxophone itself plays a small rone less than 5%! Yes thats right. What the saxophone does contribute to is the ease with which the tone is modulated. And another very important role: how the tones intonate. The pitch of every single tone is determined by the placement of tone holes/bore design.

It also is the tool the artist uses to change pitch from tones into music. Keywork and how easy it responds can make playing a saxophone a joy or a pain.

Today modern saxophones have a tonal reach from high F# (some even high G) to low Bb (baritone low A) across 2 octaves. The keywork layout is almost standardized. So playing a new Selmer, Yamaha, Yanangisawa, Rampone & Cazzani, P. Mauriat or SaxGourmet saxophone pretty much feels the same to the hand. Of course there are minor details specific for a sertain manifacture, but the overall layout is the same. They all play fairly in tume. Not all play fairly egal but they pretty much get the pitch right witch is VERY IMPORTANT.

Choise of material naturally plays a role in terms of timber, but it is NOT a big difference it still is below the 5% limit. Reed, mouthpiece and ligature (player excluded) makes up more than 60 % of the sound or timbre.

What DO matter and I think this is a very important point: Music is a sequence of vibrations and the musician and the instrument forms a vibrational alliance and that is like a perfect chord if it is a harmonic match - or a real bad disharmonic if they hate each other. It can not be emphazised enough: instrument and player must create a vibrational marriage that has this simple mathematical formular: 2+2 = 5

Sadly sience has no way of  calculating the vibrations of a musician  or an instrument for that matter. We must learn to trust the most sufisticated   music vibration detection tool in the universe: The HUMAN EAR. The musician must trust his ear and feel the vibration in all of his body - and every one without exception knows deep down the right instrument for them. It can not be measured only sensed. But since that is what music always has been about I think its time all saxplayers started listening for this vibrational marriage.

So choose an instrument setup that feels right in ALL aspects.