Starter Pack Videos

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Mouthpiece

Elements of the mouthpiece

Embouchure

Get It Right First Time

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The assembly of reed, mouthpiece and ligature is probably more important than most sax players appreciate. This video aims to cover the main setup to gain optimum performance. As a starting point make sure the reed is moistened at both ends. Attach the reed to the mouthpiece with the ligature (reed holding device).  When pressed gently, the tip of the reed should be level with or very slightly below the tip of the mouthpiece.The sides of the reed should be square to the rails (edges) of the mouthpiece. The ligature, should be finger tight and sit back slightly behind the cut line on the reed. This is visible in the photo above.

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‘Embouchure” is a word derived from the French language and means to purse the lips. It is important for allowing the reed to speak correctly and for good tone production. The top teeth need to be placed directly onto the mouthpiece. Make an ‘O’ shape with the lips and create a pad under the reed. Feel that any pressure applied is from the sides. Do not bite with the jaw! Just use the facial muscles to add gentle pressure whilst breathing warm air into the sax

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Tone

Breathing and Articulation

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Good saxophone tone comes from several important elements. A good embouchure is an important starting point. The source of the air used must be from the lower abdomen. This is the air used for steaming your glasses and not for blowing out a candle. You can practice blowing cold and warm air onto the palm of your hand. Another element is to use a singing technique. This is where instead of adjusting the pressure on the reed when playing throughout the range of the sax. We use the tongue as we would for singing to  change the shape inside the mouth. Raising the back of the tongue for higher notes and lowering it for the lower notes. Try this; Make the embouchure ‘O’ shape and sing up and down whilst maintaining the ‘O’ shape. This will create an evenness of tone and preserve the tuning throughout the range of the sax.

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The Singing Technique

The way to better tuning

Brief summery of video content

 The singing technique will help maintain control over the whole range of the sax and will go a long way to good intonation within the instrument Instead of adjusting the pressure on the reed when playing throughout the range of the sax. We use the tongue as we would for singing to  change the shape inside the mouth. Raising the back of the tongue for higher notes and lowering it for the lower notes. Try this; Make the embouchure ‘O’ shape and sing up and down whilst maintaining the ‘O’ shape. This will create an evenness of tone and preserve the tuning throughout the range of the sax.

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More songs to practice in the sax express system