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I can speak for tenor sax and my playing only.

It needs to be an open mouthpiece. It probably varies among players, but I need at least a 7 (100) to produce nice subtones. I prefer a 7* (105) or an 8 (110). Metal or HR, it doesn't matter. Anything smaller and I cannot play subtones.

The note is produced with more breath than powerful air support. Lower volume. Less pressure from the lower lip. Drop the jaw some. The breath itself (air passing through the mouthpiece) is audible briefly before the tone sounds and after the tone dies out, assuming a long tone. Don't bark the note out.
 

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I had the habit of playing subtones exclusively on low notes before I learned to correct my embouchure. For my first seven years of playing, I only had a couple centimeters of the mouthpiece in my mouth. I didn't realize I had a problem until I bought a link and found that my teeth didn't even reach the bite plate.

In any case, I find subtoning easiest with my bottom lip uncurled and with less mouthpiece in my mouth. Also, I find it easier to accomplish when I am blowing straight into the mouthpiece rather than at an angle (like on soprano).
 

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When doing a subtone, you dampen the vibrations of the reed. This is often accomplished by putting more lip on the reed. The more surface area of lip on the reed, the more the sound is dampened. I do this moving my lower jaw back and rolling out my lip (pouting) so that more of the inner part of my lip in on the reed. You have to blow a little harder to get a solid sound when you do this.

There's also a technique called sub-tonging. That's where, with a normal embouchure, you lightly touch your tongue to the reed. Again, it dampens the vibrations of the reed. You have to do it light enough so that a sound is still produced. Think of pronouncing the letter "n". Say "dud-nnn".
 

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Agent27 said:
When doing a subtone, you dampen the vibrations of the reed. This is often accomplished by putting more lip on the reed. The more surface area of lip on the reed, the more the sound is dampened. I do this moving my lower jaw back and rolling out my lip (pouting) so that more of the inner part of my lip in on the reed. You have to blow a little harder to get a solid sound when you do this.

There's also a technique called sub-tonging. That's where, with a normal embouchure, you lightly touch your tongue to the reed. Again, it dampens the vibrations of the reed. You have to do it light enough so that a sound is still produced. Think of pronouncing the letter "n". Say "dud-nnn".

I often sub-tongue on bari in mellow passages; It really does give a nice feel.
 

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i never could do subtones (i have a 7* mpc) but then i was breaking in a box of reeds that were 1/2 a strength harder than i was used to and i was playing soft to break them in, and then i realized i was playing subtones (by accident)
 
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