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As I work more on overtones and shaping my sound with my oral cavity and throat I'm pondering a question.

Often I'm feeling that to match the overtone, it takes adjustments in the back of my throat and oral cavity (usually expanding it/making it bigger). It results in what I perceive as a better sound, however I'm wondering if this a natural way to play as it must create tension since that is not my natural state. And I've heard that tension is bad.

I'm really trying to get into Getz ballads on tenor right now so that's what I'm referencing as sound concept.

Any advice here?
 

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Make sure the tongue is high in back. Then you will know that it's the soft palate that raises (that's what 'open throat' really is) to get the proper voicing.
 

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Mark Watkins Jazz Professor at BYU Idaho has done some interesting studies of saxophone tone production with videos showing what the inside of the oral cavity looks like when producing different sounds and effects.
Be warned, the images are a bit "graphic" and not for those with "weak stomachs" :).

 

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Thanks for sharing, this is really cool stuff, makes me cringe a bit over the continuous x-ray exposures but I guess it's not more than a day of high elevation skiing (or so they say)
 

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Very interesting. My take-away is that these show the same throat expansion on altissimo (same technique as "overtones") as the OP. So perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about. Just do what works.
 

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