Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I understand they're not the same, and sax is a lot looser. A few days ago, I let my friend who is an alto player play my clarinet. She managed to go down to the low E (Sax's themselves don't even go down that low!) and I think she might've gone up to the register key above the break but I'm not for sure :p So I know they're definitely similar! She hasn't played clarinet since 5th grade... we're freshman!

How would one form an embouchure? I have my last clarinet (he's an all around woodwind teacher) lesson this Thursday, because he can't teach lessons during the summer. He says the sax will be a piece of cake for me.
I haven't gotten my sax yet, it's the school's instrument and they just got it, so it's getting checked right now. I already have a some reeds. One's Vandoren Jazz (I don't know if it's red or green kind) and it's a 3 1/2. I have a regular Rico 3 (Couldn't find a better one at the music store :/). And I have a 3 pack of Rico Royal for 2 1/2.

And I'm a 3 on Vandoren reeds on clarinet, but I have gone up to a 3 1/2 before on Rico.
I've played clarinet for about 4 to 5 years now.

Please help me with my embouchure ahead of time, in case I don't get the sax in time for my next lesson.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,209 Posts
The best person to teach you 'sax embouchure' is a saxophone teacher.
This is something that you need to see and hear to know exactly what is going on with the beginning player.

What I can tell you is that you will need to think that your embouchure is a draw string pouch. Pull in the corners of your lips more than you do with clarinet. Kind of like an 'O'. Drop your jaw a little more. Try to keep the mouthpiece coming straight into your face and not angle it like the clarinet. Teeth on top, little lip over the bottom teeth is fine.
I don't know how much mouthpiece you take in on clarinet, so you may need to adjust how much you 'eat'. That will take a little experimentation. It is a 'bigger' mouthpiece so it may feel like you're taking in more than you really are.

With the reeds... It might be best if you started out on the softest ones you have. This will in a way 'force' you to loosen up and avoid reverting to using your 'clarinet face'. After a few weeks on the softies you can try one a little bit harder. Just don't go so hard that you start to bite. Bad habit. Don't do it. Usually a 2.5 is all you'll ever need.

To get an idea if you are too firm in the embouchure, start at G (xxxlooo) and slowly go down to low Bb. If they jump an octave you're too tight yet. When you can start on low Bb without any problems you've got things just about right.

After all of this.... Try not to forget which horn you're playing and have your fingers go into 'clarinet mode'. Middle B and C will bite you in the butt every time. ;)
Been there, done that. Clarinetist for 40 years.... :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
What bandmommy said. For me, the key differences were: sax embouchure is looser, different angle into mouth, take in a bit more sax mouthpiece. I also found starting with soft reeds was helpful (and I am still happily using 2s and 2.5s now) - forget whatever you were using on clarinet. And yeah, it took me awhile to not get my fingerings crossed up...
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top