How To Make Playing Saxophone Easier

Saxophone Lessons Q and A 5 | How To Play The Saxophone

Matthew from answers questions about learning how to play the saxophone as asked by readers, subscribers and Members.

Recently one of our Awesome Members, Scott, asked me some great questions about how to make playing saxophone easier.

In this video I give four tips to Scott that are going to be a good place to start making his saxophone playing life easier, from a brand new beginners perspective.


Some short answers to Scott’s questions, perhaps with some questions of my own:


What kind of mouthpiece does your saxophone have ?

If possible, try to get hold of a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece because they are the best “all round” mouthpieces for both brand new beginners as well as seasoned players.

Some default mouthpieces that come with saxophones are difficult to play and make the whole experience rather frustrating.

The Yamaha 4C will make playing your saxophone easier, if you don’t have one already.


What kind and what strength of reeds are you using ?


If possible, try to get some Rico or Royal reeds size 1.5 (one and a half).

These are going to make playing saxophone easier for you and will allow your face/embouchure time to both get stronger and to recover after a practice session.

Any size bigger than a 1.5 (or maybe a 2 if 1.5’s aren’t available) will make your face hurt, take longer to master and again add to the frustration.

I have written about both these Yamaha 4C mouthpieces and Rico / Royal reeds on the Saxophone Resources page.


Experiment a little with putting more or less mouthpiece into your mouth.


If you don’t put enough of your mouthpiece into your mouth, the reed won’t vibrate properly and the sound just stops.

If you put too much of the mouthpiece into your mouth, your sax can sound like a sick duck and will be difficult to control.


Make sure that the reed is on your mouthpiece properly, with only a VERY TINY little of the tip of the mouthpiece showing.

How To Make Playing Saxophone Easier


If you have too much gap between the tip of the reed and the tip of the mouthpiece then playing your saxophone will be a battle that you and your face cannot win.

Similarly if the reed tip is actually higher than the mouthpiece tip.


I hope this helps make playing saxophone easier for you, Scott 🙂



P.S.  If you have some saxophone questions that you would like help with, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them for you 🙂


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