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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

I've been playing Bari sax for about 3 weeks and I've begun reading about correct embouchure and how you shouldn't puff out your checks.

I've been trying to shape my face in a way that my checks dont puff out when I blow, but then I end up putting too much pressure on the reed and can't get a sound after G. I've also read that you have to drop your jaw, but then again my checks puff out.

Can anybody help me out? Is there some trick to it?
 

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Sounds like you need someone in person to watch you and help - a teacher.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll try to look for one, but for now all I have is my band teacher. He plays sax, but his main instrument is trumpet. Do you have any tips?
 

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Oh yes, he mentioned breathing from the "gut". I'll make a conscious note of it when I practice from now on.

And thank you for the videos, i'll watch em all.
 

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cheers! Have fun!
 

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I would ask around and find someone who would give lessons.
 

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You might ask your teacher to work with you on breathing. It's easier to show than explain, but basically you want to use your lower abdominal muscles to inhale--pretend like your lungs are just below your belt and try inflating from there. If you've ever seen a little kid stick out his belly (before Mom comes along and tells them not to do that), that's kind of the thing you're after--like you're inhaling into this giant beer-belly. It's feel weird, but when you blow it helps you use a LOT more air.
 

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Oh, geez... these threads fill up fast. Never mind all that stuff up there. ^^^^
 

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Puffing your cheeks isn't recommended, but enough players do it at least some of the time that I wouldn't call this a hard-and-fast rule. I've seen pics of myself playing, and occasionally it looks like I've got some cheek-puff thing going on, but I don't think I do it a lot. Again, this is something that's much easier to work through with a teacher, as they can hear what kind of sound you're getting, and make recommendations based on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Can you puff out your cheeks if you push the corners of your mouth in towards the mouthpiece? Form like an "0" around the mouthpiece.
Thats actually exactly what I'm trying right now, while looking at myself in the mirror as I do it. Its working.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Puffing your cheeks isn't recommended, but enough players do it at least some of the time that I wouldn't call this a hard-and-fast rule. I've seen pics of myself playing, and occasionally it looks like I've got some cheek-puff thing going on, but I don't think I do it a lot. Again, this is something that's much easier to work through with a teacher, as they can hear what kind of sound you're getting, and make recommendations based on that.
Here's a few recordings, not sure if it'll help give any more suggestions

http://vocaroo.com/?media=v90Tek4hB7cxil0d0

Occasionally I'll hit the Bb, not this time though http://vocaroo.com/?media=vOAdDlm0Bskg5QlWf

It usually seems like I can go down easily enough, but cant just straight up start on the note (referring to D and down)

I'll keep practicing though. And using everything I've learned from this thread to aid me.
 

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First of all, is bari your first instrument altogether, or have you already played a wind instrument before? Your original posts mentioned nothing of this.

I listened to your recordings and the sound of your breathing immediately before the tone begins is what concerns me. It sounds too "loose" for lack of a better term. It sounds to me as if you are exhaling using a loud "H" or "Ha" type of sound. Try blowing without the instrument a few times with your lips formed in a tight circle as if trying to blow out candles, but also without puffing the cheeks. You want a cold, fast stream of air, not a slow-moving, warm airflow.

Additionally, it could be that whatever mouthpiece you have is too open for your current skill level. What mouthpiece are you using? Is it possible to switch to another?
 

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Bari is a beast! Takes lots of air and breath support. You'll get there with practice. Low Bb will come out at a whisper, and the high will sing. Listen to "Kansas City". This is me on Bari (my 1926 King with a Drake Custom .115 Ceramic mouthpiece): http://soundcloud.com/nissanmarkvii/isaac01-20110612-142543

I would try and give suggestions on how to improve what you're doing or not doing, but I can't do it on-line. Face to face is much easier!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First of all, is bari your first instrument altogether, or have you already played a wind instrument before? Your original posts mentioned nothing of this.
I'm a bassist, this is my first wind instrument though.

I listened to your recordings and the sound of your breathing immediately before the tone begins is what concerns me. It sounds too "loose" for lack of a better term. It sounds to me as if you are exhaling using a loud "H" or "Ha" type of sound. Try blowing without the instrument a few times with your lips formed in a tight circle as if trying to blow out candles, but also without puffing the cheeks. You want a cold, fast stream of air, not a slow-moving, warm airflow.
I will try this, thanks.

Additionally, it could be that whatever mouthpiece you have is too open for your current skill level. What mouthpiece are you using? Is it possible to switch to another?
Its a selmer S 80, I could probably switch but not to one as expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bari is a beast! Takes lots of air and breath support. You'll get there with practice. Low Bb will come out at a whisper, and the high will sing. Listen to "Kansas City". This is me on Bari (my 1926 King with a Drake Custom .115 Ceramic mouthpiece): http://soundcloud.com/nissanmarkvii/isaac01-20110612-142543

I would try and give suggestions on how to improve what you're doing or not doing, but I can't do it on-line. Face to face is much easier!

Woah! You're a beast! You sound great. How long have you been playing?

And yes, I understand face to face is best when teaching to play an instrument.
 

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S80 mouthpieces aren't expensive in the mouthpiece game. What facing is it? C, C*, C**, D, E, F? It can't be a B, no one plays on those lol !

What reed strength and brand are you using? You should be on a 2 or 2 1/2 at this point, even with something as closed as a C*.
 

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Woah! You're a beast! You sound great. How long have you been playing?

And yes, I understand face to face is best when teaching to play an instrument.
Thanx :) 24 years on sax, roughly half of that on Bari (I'm mainly an Alto and Soprano player, with Tenor and Bari picking up some gigs every now and then).

Also what brand of Bari are you playing, and when was it last serviced? Leaks will wreak havoc on even the best players (and we learn to "play past the leaks" all too often!), and in the hands of a beginner, leaky sax = little to no sound!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
S80 mouthpieces aren't expensive in the mouthpiece game. What facing is it? C, C*, C**, D, E, F? It can't be a B, no one plays on those lol !

What reed strength and brand are you using? You should be on a 2 or 2 1/2 at this point, even with something as closed as a C*.
The facing is C, and I'm using Rico 2 1/2
 
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