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Okay, is this embouchure correct? Naturally I tend to play the lower notes as if my mouth is smiling and as I move higher, usually when I press the octave key, I bring the corners of my mouth in to hit the higher notes like I'm whistling. I'm not sure if this is correct can someone clarify for me. I've also read that with correct embouchure you shouldn't need to move your mouth at all. It's as if you're consistently blowing and when you press the octave key it just goes an octave higher no movement whatsoever and this doesn't happen for me I just can't hit the notes without bringing the corners of my mouth in. Which is this correct? I've only been playing for a month in a half (id that means anything).
 

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Yes and no.
There are some nice x-ray videos on youtube of people playing different instruments.
Not moving your mouth certainly looks different. You will adjust from note to note.
But the movement is sublte unless there are issues with your sax and you're compensating massive differences that should not be there.

It is a good start to get the lowest possible notes to speak with a relaxed embouchure. From there the adjustments are or should minuscule.
You may lip notes a bit up and down, but you should have the same basically relaxed embouchure up and down the instrument.
If you apply 'a lot of presssure' to the reed from the bottom on the higher notes, ask a teacher for guidance to avoid biting.

And welcome to SOTW!
 

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I've recently started playing with a new embouchure & I think it's really pretty straightforward & can produce an exquisite tone: rest the weight of your head on your mouthpiece (via your top teeth), & let your bottom lip go essentially limp on the bottom of the reed.

Adjustments for different notes should mostly be happening in your throat & vocal cords. Articulate from the tip of your tongue to the tip of the reed.

Like butter.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I should probably correct my self by saying my mouth does not move but my lips kind of move closer together it isn't tense or anything but I have trouble hitting a high G-C above the staff without doing it. While I'm at it, I checked out my intonation which isn't right. An Eflat sax is a minor 3rd or a major 6th to concert pitch. I tune with and F# on the "F" space of F A C E (you know the memory thing FACE and Every Good Boy Does Fine) so I tune to concert A. Then once I play a G to C in the staff it is a half step flat. How can I fix this?

Note: I tried changing my embouchure in numerous different ways in an attempt to raise the pitch yet nothing worked well enough while outlining the fundamentals of embouchure that I just read from The Art of Saxophone by Teal.
 

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The bulk of the intonation is adjusted by pushing the mouthpiece in (to make the instrument shorter and make the pitch higher), or pulling it out (making the instrument longer and the pitch lower). Try playing a concert Bb (your G) and as you play, slowing push the mouthpiece in until it is in tune. If the horn is just radically different for every note, it might be a problem with the instrument.
 

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Okay, is this embouchure correct? Naturally I tend to play the lower notes as if my mouth is smiling and as I move higher, usually when I press the octave key, I bring the corners of my mouth in to hit the higher notes like I'm whistling. I'm not sure if this is correct can someone clarify for me. I've also read that with correct embouchure you shouldn't need to move your mouth at all. It's as if you're consistently blowing and when you press the octave key it just goes an octave higher no movement whatsoever and this doesn't happen for me I just can't hit the notes without bringing the corners of my mouth in. Which is this correct? I've only been playing for a month in a half (id that means anything).
Does playing like this sound good?

Would it sound ok to someone else?

The greatest technique guide is feedback from the players own ears.

If it doesn't sound that great then try other things and pick up a few tips to try from SOTW or other players for instance.

If the players ears are tone deaf and/or they have no conception of musical timing then there is not much that's going to be gained even if that player has private lessons from Eugene Rousseau for a year.

I for instance can't sing very well and when I sing I am probably doing stacks of wrong things and trying different singing techniques would maybe help a bit but basically I don't sing because to my ears it doesn't sound that great.

I'm sure I could improve a bit using different techniques but not much and I know my limitations which are not the musical timing so much it's the pitch range and tone, so I could improve that somewhat, so if I had to sing I would be trying different singing techniques that might help.

If I didn't sound that great on the sax I would do the same ie try different playing techniques and see what I could use and what I couldn't.
I would not just follow a set of rules.

Following rigid rules is not using your ears as the final judge.

If a playing technique just doesn't work for a particular player according to their ears then drop it and maybe go back and try it later.
 

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If I didn't sound that great on the sax I would do the same ie try different playing techniques and see what I could use and what I couldn't.

I would not just follow a set of rules.

Following rigid rules is not using your ears as the final judge.

If a playing technique just doesn't work for a particular player according to their ears then drop it and maybe go back and try it later.




This "let your ears be the judge" idea should come with one caveat. Unless you're going to take the time to develop the embouchure, you won't know what your results could be. When folks attempt to play with their lips rolled outward away from their teeth after playing exclusively with some over-the-teeth style embouchure it usually takes a few months to adjust. Since the jaw not the lip was previously doing all the work, those muscles have not been used properly and must be trained and strengthened in a new way of doing things.


Give it time then let your ears be the judge would be my take.



:glasses7:
 

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If you are playing alto a way to check your embouchure tightness is to play the mouthpiece and neck alone. The embouchure that gives an Ab concert pitch is the one to use. On tenor it is the embouchure that plays E concert.

The corners should be "in" all the time as you are learning tone production on the sax. The embouchure is formed by saying "EE" the corner muscles stretch out, and then saying "OO" (like too) another set of muscles push in. Both sets of muscles work against each other to firm the corners, but the "OO" muscles slightly overpower the "EE" muscles in the tug-o-war. This same embouchure is used throughout the normal range of the saxophone.

If the high notes are not coming out clearly, you may want to try blowing faster air and/or trying a reed 1/2 strength higher.
 

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Here's a really good embouchure exercise:

Take just your mouthpiece and a tuner. Starting on your F# (concert A) play this note until it is in tune. Then lip down half a step to an F and then back up the F# until in tune. Then down to the E and back up to the F#. Keep doing this chromatic down (and always back up to the F#) until you get to the lowest note you can play. Over time your range will expand.

This will teach you to play with a very relaxed embouchure which is desired. If you keep doing this exercise every time at the beginning of your practice you will find that you need to push your mouthpiece way further in to compensate for your more relaxed embouchure. When you learn to play like this, your tone becomes much much better and you can bend notes much further.

Good luck!
 

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If you are playing alto a way to check your embouchure tightness is to play the mouthpiece and neck alone. The embouchure that gives an Ab concert pitch is the one to use. On tenor it is the embouchure that plays E concert.

The corners should be "in" all the time as you are learning tone production on the sax. The embouchure is formed by saying "EE" the corner muscles stretch out, and then saying "OO" (like too) another set of muscles push in. Both sets of muscles work against each other to firm the corners, but the "OO" muscles slightly overpower the "EE" muscles in the tug-o-war. This same embouchure is used throughout the normal range of the saxophone.

If the high notes are not coming out clearly, you may want to try blowing faster air and/or trying a reed 1/2 strength higher.
I read this after the fact, but this is the same idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks I'll start adding that exercise to my routine. I've been playing for about a month and a half and the part I'm still struggling most with is my embouchure. I started already reading music so the whole breathing thing is a big transition and one of the biggest problems for me compared to the usual instrument I play.
 
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