Knowing a few saxophone tips can make learning to play this soulful instrument less frustrating and more satisfying. One of the first things to know about the saxophone is that you should adjust the strap so that the sax mouthpiece comes to your mouth. If you bring your mouth to the mouthpiece, it will put a strain on your neck. Your head should stay erect and straight to the front. It should not be twisted to the side.
Other tips deal with the way you hold the mouthpiece in your mouth. For one thing, the lower jaw should be a bit relaxed. The chin should be flat, while the lower lip is rolled over the teeth. The top teeth should hold the mouthpiece firmly but gently in the mouth. The lips should form an airtight seal around the mouthpiece. The name for the correct position of the mouth is the embouchure.
Many experts say to practice playing so that the entire sax is filled with air. When playing short or staccato notes, the tongue has to be engaged for each note. This is called tonguing the notes. You should be making the motion of saying tu, tu, tu. This makes the notes clear and crisp, but the tongue should be used lightly. It should not be fatiguing.
Choosing good reeds and keeping them in good shape are other saxophone tips. If the reed is warped, cracked, or chipped, it can contribute to those awful sounding squawks that the sax is capable of making. Practice often, too. Practice different types, tempos, and volumes of sax music. Learn to play with feeling and expression to get the most out of the saxophone.
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