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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to leave on vacation this coming weekend for a week. Along with the possibility of another week away after that. I will (tragically) be without saxophone for both weeks. I've been on a 4 - 6 hour per day practice routine for about 4 months along with different bands.

What exercises for embouchure and opening my throat are there that I can do without a saxophone. I'd like to be able to keep my strength up while I'm away. Any help would be appreciated.

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2007
Tenor, alto, soprano and clarinet
1,248 Posts
Larry Teal's exercises with variations

A summary of the "embouchure aerobics" from Larry Teal's "The art of saxophone playing" can be found here:

1. Place your lips as though you were whistling. The mouth corners automatically move inwards. Now smile as broadly as possible. Then alternate the smile and the whistle, slowly at first, but in regular rhythm. Think "OO" - "EE" alternately.

2. Push the lower lip tightly against the upper. Keep the line of the lips straight but press as hard as possible. Hold for about ten seconds then repeat twenty times.

I do 1. 50 times in a row, then 2. five times, then a variation on 1. with my thumb in the mouth keeping the pressure in the OO-position for 20 seconds, repeat 10 times, then 2. five times again and finally 1. again, this time with my thumb in the mouth, repeat 50 times. All this to be repeated 3 times per day.
This has kept my embouchure fit during three weeks of vavaction without a saxophone. It can conveniently be done while driving. (It is not worse to look at than picking the nose.) I do it every morning while driving to work.

For fingering, according to famous Danish bassoonist Peter Bastian, it is actually possible to exercise just in your imagination, moving your fingers accordingly. In that way, Peter Bastian in a short time learned a difficult piece of music without his bassoon.

I hope all this helps, and would be delighted to hear your experience when your vacation is over.

· Distinguished SOTW Member
2,466 Posts
i am also going away for three weeks but i will still take at least a mouthpiece with.

i am always obsessively doing the imaginary fingering exercises whenever i gotta learn stuff by heart, on the bus, watching TV i finger it through and 'improvise' over the chords with my fingers, it really helps!
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