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1958 Selmer Mark VI, 1926 Conn New Wonder
142 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

does anyone have any tips on explaining the sax embouchure to their students. I think this is one of the hardest things for absolute beginners. I'm particularly interested in visualisation/muscle memory techniques, rather than explaining the anatomical process - i think this is better for kids. Methods I currently use are;

- The 'Whee-too' method
- Saying the word 'four'

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
19,650 Posts
Think of your lips as a draw string bag.
When you put the horn in your face... pull the strings.
Nearly every kid has one of those little crap sacks that have draw strings and look like a 'backpack'.
They'll know exactly what you're talking about. :)

Forum Contributor 2015-17
831 Posts
Take in as much mouthpiece as reasonably possible, and when breathing take your lower lip off the reed. This will increase endurance as it will allow circulation to the lower lip.

165 Posts
An aged and venerable saxophone teacher in my community always taught that the perfect embouchure was like lifting the tail of a horse and gently inserting the mouthpiece into the exposed orifice.

135 Posts
I have had success over the years with telling beginners:
-say "oo" (as in toot)
-put the mp in your mouth with your top teeth resting on (not pushing down on) the top of the mp and a little of your lower lip covering your lower teeth
-the amount of lip over the bottom teeth varies, but a great start is if someone were to come along and smash down the mp right now, your teeth would poke through your bottom lip right where it changes color. Kids looooooove that last part :lol:

I'm sure there are literally a 1,000+ ways of teaching this, but this has always produced good results over many years of teaching beginning band. Good Luck!
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