1. Anchor the weight of your head and teeth down
onto the mouthpiece approximately 3/8 inch.
2. Never remove
the teeth or top lip from the mouthpiece.
3. Drop the jaw
to take a breath.
4. The natural
resting position for the tongue is on the reed
(ready to be released).
5. Keep your body
position straight, head erect and always bring
the mouthpiece to you. If yourhead is straight
the mouthpiece should meet your lips in the middle.
6. Support the
instrument with your right thumb, keeping it away
from your body slightly. The mouthpiece should
enter at this angle:
7. Keep the saxophone to your right side, not in
and finger position:
a. The natural
position of the hand forms a "c".
b. Place tips of
fingers in the center of the pearls.
c. Keep the fingers on the pearls when playing.
d. Squeeze keys down, don't hammer.
e. Don't bend the first knuckle of the fingers. Keep
them slightly arched, as in playing the piano.
f. Relax hands.
1. Form an "O" or
"Ou" position, evenly around the mouthpiece.
2. Turn corners into the
mouthpiece while pulling down slightly.
3. Drop jaw from the hinges
(near ears). The jaw must be relaxed.
4. The jaw and lower teeth
pull away from the reed, while the lower lip lifts
up onto the reed in the opposite direction. (like
exaggerating the letter F)
This dynamic of the jaw, lower lip and teeth working
the reed with just the correct amount of opposite
tension, is one of the most important elements
in playing the saxophone. Perhaps the
saxophone embouchure can better be described as
an "Ouf" position.
5. If the position described
in step 4 is correct, it should create an opening
in your mouth when playing, as if there were a
ping-pong ball in your mouth.
6. Bottom lip must be
rolled in enough to create a good cushion to work
the reed, but too much will damage the ton and
your lip. Don't swallow your lip.
Just go by the natural formation you get when
1. Put the index finger
on your bottom lip. Press lip over bottom teeth
and pull down. This will hurt unless you resist
by lifting your bottom lip up and away from the
teeth, using the facial muscles in conjunction
with muscles in the bottom lip. (F)
2. Play long tones with
upper lip off the mouthpiece.
3. Bring the corners down
as far as you can, independent of all other facial,
lip and chin muscles.
4. Integrate all of this
with the long tones, embouchure studies and scales
throughout the full range. Keep a stationary embouchure.
Open in "Hee" position.
Stomach muscles press against the resistance of
"ee" position. The tip of the tongue is placed
on the tip of the reed. (approximately 1/16-1/8
inch from the top of the reed). This is the natural
resting position of the tongue when the mouthpiece
is in your mouth. Form an embouchure - apply air
pressure and then release and return the tongue.
The tone should sound full if the support is sufficient
and the release is accurate. All the while air
presssure must continue from the abdominal muscles,
even when there isn't any sound, due to the placement
of the tongue on the reed.