Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by Shanta Roy
A mouthpiece like a saxophone is not difficult to learn. But there are few things one needs to while learning it.
For instance, making the right embouchure is one of the important aspects of playing the saxophone.
Embouchure has a lot to with the sound quality. The air quality is crucial as well.
In that case, your throat has a lot to do with how a sax is going to sound. There are more details related to the aspects we just mentioned. You can learn about this in this article.
We are not going to give just some of the steps that will explain how to blow into a sax. Instead, we will provide you with thorough details on the aspect one needs to pay attention to in order to blow in a saxophone.
In the discussion, you will mainly find some techniques and tips to help you with blowing air into a saxophone. Find everything you need to know to learn to blow in a saxophone.
Before anything else, you need to learn how to form the correct embouchure. This will be helpful for complete beginners, who possesses no basics about wind instrument.
Embouchure is the structure of your mouth to play the saxophone. There is a particular need to hold their mouth to blow in the embouchure.
The Correct Form The Embouchure
It’s a little tricky to explain but have a look at the points below to build the initial understanding.
- Embouchure includes your teeth, throat, cheeks, and lips. You form your mouth in the right form by holding all the organs in a certain way.
- Think about the way you would make your lip while saying ‘Poh.’ Remember the name of the hero panda from the ‘The Kung Fu Panda’ movie?. More or less, that’s the way you shape your mouth.
- The lower need to be cushioned to place the mouthpiece inside your lips in the mouth.
- Once the mouthpiece is inside your mouth, you close your lips. Keep the upper lips as normal as possible. Then, tighten the mouth from the corners of your lips. Not too tight, just a little to blow the air.
- The bottom lip is not supposed to be gathered at a point and over your lips. Keep it a little spread.
- The lips need to be as relaxed as possible. Yet, you to keep them a little tense just to produce sound.
- The region around the mouth should not be tense. That means keep it relaxed as much as you can.
- You don’t puff out your checks either. They will stay neutral.
The way we described how to form the embouchure is the way most saxophonists do it. But there is some well-known saxophonist, who has a different approach to it. And they are capable of creating mind-blowing sounds.
Some of them have double embouchure. That means both lips tighten. Also, some of them have upper lips tensed. So, it looks like people could have their own comfortable way of doing that.
You might find your very own style as well. But to start with it, you can take the suggestion we are given about the embouchure.
To make an amazing sound, or at least the way a saxophone should like, you need to keep your throat completely open. It’s exactly like when you are yawing.
Try to remember how your muscle usually acts while yawing. You should be able to remember or practically do it as we have muscle memory for that.
However, that’s the way your throat should be. A throat as open as that will produce excellent quality air. Also, it will ensure the air flows freely.
Always remember, a closed throat will obstruct the air. And, with that sort of air, you won’t be producing the best quality sound with your sax.
How Much Of The Mouthpiece Do You Take In?
There is part of the mouthpiece called a reed. It helps the sax to create a resonant sound. Anyway, the reed is not all the way attached to the head of the mouthpiece.
If you take a good look, you will see that, there is a point where the reed is not attached to the head anymore. That point is where your place your lower lip on. Even if not exactly there, you should at least try to place your mouth around the mentioned point.
If you are taking in more of the head crossing at that point, the saxophone is going to sound different. And, that the right kind of sound.
Also, if you place your embouchure way forward, the point of the sax will sound different too. Once again, that’s not the sound you want from your saxophone.
The Jaw Pressure
Your jaw pressure is another variable for the pitch of the sound. The more pressure you put, the higher-pitched the sound would be.
In the beginning, you simply start with normal pressure once you form the embouchure. Gradually, you can try putting more pressure on the reed to inspect the pitch of a particular sound.
The Lower Lip
We already talked about how your lower lip should be in the embouchure section. Still, there are a few more ideas to mention.
If you take your lower lip inside your mouth too much, the saxophone won’t sound good. Then again, if you are sticking it out too much to hold the mouthpiece, the sound will be bad as well. So, this is an important variable to blow into the saxophone properly.
You can try blowing just by taking the mouthpiece. After that, you can attach the mouthpiece to the horn. Follow the details we have given. You can play the harmonic initially to check if you are blowing right.
With the wrong embouchure and closed throat, you will certainly see the difference in the sound quality.
To know what an embouchure looks like and how a saxophone should sound, watch, and hear expert saxophonists playing. Once again, free saxophone guides could be a huge help for that.