Saxophone Embouchure – how to use your mouth and face to play your saxophone.
Learning how to play the saxophone is not quite a case of simply shoving your sax in your mouth and blowing.
You need to hold you face in a certain way, hold your mouth in a certain way and use your tongue and breathing in a certain way.
This is known as using your “saxophone embouchure”.
In a simplistic nutshell, your saxophone embouchure is the combination of your facial muscles – especially your mouth – plus a little bit of tonguing and breath control thrown in.
It’s not hard, but if you don’t know about it then playing your sax will become hard….and we don’t want that !
Playing the saxophone should be a joy, not a battle.
By learning how to play the saxophone properly and correctly from the very beginning, you will develop good habits and will become the rich and famous rock star that you deserve to be much, much faster.*
Step 1. Put your saxophone mouthpiece into your mouth – you only need a few centimetres (one inch or there abouts) of mouthpiece actually between your lips.
Step 2. Your bottom lip should curve and fold over your bottom teeth, so that your bottom lip is between your teeth and the reed on your mouthpiece.
Step 3. Rest your top teeth gently on the top of your saxophone mouthpiece.
Step 4. Do NOT bite !
Step 5. Keep your cheeks firmly in place. Do not blow them out wide like some kind of puffer fish.
Step 6. Keep your lips firmly in place. Saxophonists make the best kissers, because their lips are firm, yet subtle, and in control.
Warning: Never attempt to kiss a trumpet player.
Feel free to kiss as many saxophone players as may be appropriate, subject to their approval.
Step 7. Blow.
Step 8. Do not tighten your lips, or mouth, or jaw. They need to be firm, but air still needs to flow through into your sax.
Step 9. If you are met with deafening silence, perhaps put a little more of the mouthpiece into your mouth. If you are met with an ominous rushing of air, then perhaps put a little less of the mouthpiece in your mouth.
Step 10. Ensure that you use the tip of your tongue when tonguing the tip of your mouthpiece and reed.
And that is pretty much it. If you can co-ordinate these few steps an facial components, then you are well and truly on your way to being awesome.
Don’t forget to have fun along the way !
*Note and Disclaimer – reading this blog post may or may not make you a rich and/or famous rock star. You may need to do some practice on your saxophone first, rather than just reading about it or watching a saxophone lessons video.
P.S. If you would like simple step by step instructions to help you learn how to play the sax (just like this one in the video above), all neatly organised in the one convenient location, all provided by an experienced saxophone teacher who can help you to play the music that you want to play quickly and easily, then check out our saxophone lessons membership options. Get started on your saxophone journey today !YES – I want to Have Fun, Play Sax, Be Awesome and Repeat !
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