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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Is it ok if some air escapes through the side of the mouth while playing or is there something wrong in the emboucher that needs correction.
Please shed some light on this.
Many thanks in advance.
 

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well, I am no expert but I'll share my thoughts with you , a sound clip would be helpful though..... I guess it is ok as long as you are trying to produce subtones and besides a little " fffff" you can hear the sound of a sax
 

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If you have air leakage through the sides of your mouth while you play then you probably "smile" when you play, which is pulling the corners of your lips back. This allows air to escape through a thin slit between your lips. To fix this you should play long tones and focus on pushing the corners of your lips forward while you play.

Say "Oooooo" outloud and remember how the sides/corners of your lips are formed. That's how they should be positioned while you are playing to get rid of the leaky lip problem. Place the mouthpiece alone inside your mouth, your teeth on top and your lower lip underneath the reed as usual, then let the sides of your lips move forward as if you were saying "Oooooo," if done properly your lips will form around the mouthpiece and block any air from leaking.
 

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I think it is ok if you do this on purpose to create a certain "sound", but its practical to be able to play without the leak too. I guess it takes some time to master those changes....listen to my attempt on this on: www.myspace.com/magnefalk - choose "fools rush in" in about 1.54 there is some serious "leaking"...hehe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is through the side of the lips itslef. But I don't think I am smiling while playing may be its just that sides of the lips aren't sealed. I will consider the inputs of tententooter

Thanks.
 

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In his book "Saxophone Master Class" Eric Michael Hester describes the purpose of the embouchure:

- connects the player to the instrument
- seals the mouth around the mouthpiece and reed
- cushions and supports the reed, while both allowing and controlling the reed's vibrations
- allows a homogeneous and focused timbre throughout the entire range of the saxoophone.


Larry Teal in his book "The Art of Saxophone Playing" says:

"The most obvious duty of the embouchure is to serve as an airtight connection so that the pressure of the air column is maintained and transfers its energy efficiently to the mouthpiece and reed."


The short answer is if air is leaking out of the corners of the mouth, the embouchure is not formed correctly. The suggestion to use more of the "OO" muscles when forming the embouchure is the best solution.
 

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TenTenTooter said:
To fix this you should play long tones and focus on pushing the corners of your lips forward while you play.

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Long gigs in between lapses in practice can cause fatigue leak i agree with Ten Ten---LONGTONES:)
 

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Joe Allard had an exercise where you deliberately leaked from one side then the other. On this as well as several other things he disagreed with Larry Teal. Joe's thinking was that a little leak was fine. He pointed out the air leak you could hear with lots of great players. I remember him specifically mentioning Getz regarding this exact point.
The point is that tight corners can cause the reed to bow slightly and so will not seal as efficiently on the mouthpiece as it vibrates. Relaxed (somewhat) sides allow the reed to move better. The reed should be flat, to mirror the mouthpiece facing.
 

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I have one mouthpiece that does this. It's one of those $35 metal Selmer Jazz clones. It sounds great, possibly better than the real Selmer does, but air leaks out the side. I gave it to my son and he used it last year during marching season.

What I found was that the facing curve on this mouthpiece is particularly long. Thus the open space between the rails and reed travels further up the mouthpiece.

After following Phil Barones tips on improving embouchure and tone, I began taking in more mouthpiece into my mouth. After doing this for a while, I tried the old Selmer clone and did not have the leaks anymore.

So I recommended you look up Phil's two posts on improving embouchure and see if that helps. You may get improved tone and control in the bargain.
 

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Pgraves said:
Joe Allard had an exercise where you deliberately leaked from one side then the other. On this as well as several other things he disagreed with Larry Teal. Joe's thinking was that a little leak was fine.
I think it is important to remember that Joe Allard worked with saxophonists who were already highly skilled players when they began to study with him. Taking nothing away from his advanced concepts of tone production that produced many fine professional players, I think it is advantageous for players just starting out to master the more traditional embouchure and tone production concepts to give them the proper foundation upon which to build these more advanced skills later on.
 

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If you use a mouthpiece with a large tip opening and take too little of the mouthpiece into your mouth, possibly air can escape from between the moutpiece and the reed even if you have a relatively "tight" embouchure? So, taking more mouthpiece, which is alo good for the sound anyway, may reduce air leak too.
 
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