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Hello everybody, I'm new in the forum. I started saxophone playing classical music, then I stopped and now I'm learning jazz saxophone. In particular, I've changed my way of playing: I don't roll my lower lip over my teeth as I did before, and I try to play without too much tension in my facial muscles. This has already improved my sound a lot! Particularly the lower-middle register sounds much better.

However, I'm having some issues with intonation in the higher register. When I played classical, I used to tune the high notes applying pressure on the reed, coming from the jaw and my lower lip-teeth. I tried to replace these techniques, since I can hear that the sound is really not very good. Now I try to adapt the position of the tongue, sing the notes in my head, and 'opening' the throat. But I struggle to get high notes in tune without using some pressure on the reed.

Could you guys help me out with some advice?

I'm playing a Yamaha 275 saxophone with a Vandoren V16 mouthpiece and Rico reeds.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Just push the mouthpiece in a bit more, ie tune a bit sharp.

Then relax your embouchure.

Also keep on singing the notes in your head and opening your throat, those are good things.
 
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Hello everybody, I'm new in the forum. I started saxophone playing classical music, then I stopped and now I'm learning jazz saxophone. In particular, I've changed my way of playing: I don't roll my lower lip over my teeth as I did before, and I try to play without too much tension in my facial muscles. This has already improved my sound a lot! Particularly the lower-middle register sounds much better.

However, I'm having some issues with intonation in the higher register. When I played classical, I used to tune the high notes applying pressure on the reed, coming from the jaw and my lower lip-teeth. I tried to replace these techniques, since I can hear that the sound is really not very good. Now I try to adapt the position of the tongue, sing the notes in my head, and 'opening' the throat. But I struggle to get high notes in tune without using some pressure on the reed.

Could you guys help me out with some advice?

I'm playing a Yamaha 275 saxophone with a Vandoren V16 mouthpiece and Rico reeds.
I found with Tenor the ability to relax the tongue rather than to relax the embouchure much more successful in controlling the horn. With Clarinet ( my main instrument for most of my pro life) I must have played with a very tense tongue and it worked for me, but now I have developed a much more relaxed tongue as a necessary part of my Tenor playing. I sometimes wonder if I would have had a much faster staccato on Clarinet, back in the day, had I relaxed my tongue a bit more. Also with Tenor I find I vary the tension with my embouchure more, sometimes tense, sometimes more relaxed.
 

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Hello everybody, I'm new in the forum. I started saxophone playing classical music, then I stopped and now I'm learning jazz saxophone. In particular, I've changed my way of playing: I don't roll my lower lip over my teeth as I did before, and I try to play without too much tension in my facial muscles. This has already improved my sound a lot! Particularly the lower-middle register sounds much better.

However, I'm having some issues with intonation in the higher register. When I played classical, I used to tune the high notes applying pressure on the reed, coming from the jaw and my lower lip-teeth. I tried to replace these techniques, since I can hear that the sound is really not very good. Now I try to adapt the position of the tongue, sing the notes in my head, and 'opening' the throat. But I struggle to get high notes in tune without using some pressure on the reed.

Could you guys help me out with some advice?

I'm playing a Yamaha 275 saxophone with a Vandoren V16 mouthpiece and Rico reeds.
I would get a teacher who can see you in person or take a Skype lesson with someone. It's hard to diagnose this from a forum post. My guess is that you are over doing the "no lip pressure" and "no facial muscle tension". For me, it's my facial muscles that hold my bottom lip up against the reed with my teeth supporting the lip from behind. the tension I have on the reed is similar to the tension if I form my embouchure and then try to hold a pen in my mouth. Very similar tension.
 

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Pushing your mouthpiece in sharpens the high notes more than the low. Both get sharper, but the short length notes sharpen more. If you can not get the rest of the sax in tune by adopting a more relaxed embouchure, try a mouthpiece with a larger chamber design than the one you are using.
 

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I would get a teacher who can see you in person or take a Skype lesson with someone. It's hard to diagnose this from a forum post. My guess is that you are over doing the "no lip pressure" and "no facial muscle tension". For me, it's my facial muscles that hold my bottom lip up against the reed with my teeth supporting the lip from behind. the tension I have on the reed is similar to the tension if I form my embouchure and then try to hold a pen in my mouth. Very similar tension.
+1. I was going to post something like this, but Steve said it well, so I'll just second it.

Sometimes trying to do what someone says you're 'supposed to do,' like rolling out your lower lip, isn't always the answer. Especially if you overdo it. When it comes to embouchure, very subtle changes can be effective.
 
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