Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,715 Posts
It is my belief that there is far too much emphasis on the bottom lip related to the separation point. At best this is a general guide & begs the question "back of the lip or front?"....there is about 1/2" latitude there.
You just know the right amount of mouthpiece....years of experience has taught you.....& it varies dependant on the sound you seek.
I would suggest less mouthpiece rather than more to give more control of the reed...the bottom lip can be an effective damper, when required, on the free length of the reed.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Yes...good video. One of my teachers used to take a business card size piece of paper and stick it between the reed and the mouthpiece and the point where they meet is where your BOTTOM LIP should be...so many people focus on the TOP teeth but where the BOTTOM lip goes is more important because people have different jaw types...you could, if you have a bad overbite, take a lot of mouthpiece in and still have the bottom lip covering too much reed and hindering vibrations...so, it's trial and error i think...

thanks for the vid...very easy and clear instructions...thanks

R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I thought it was a good vid as well as your others to. After many years of not playing the sax because of military deployments I came back to having a very tight embouchure and actually biting down on the mouthpiece. My bottom lip had teeth marks in it and the top of my mouthpiece has two dents from my top two teeth. When in middle school and highschool I don't ever remember biting so much. I know I didn't practice at all growing up and I've never even heard of overtones on a sax until recently and I never knew the importance of long tones when practicing. Thanks for the vid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,131 Posts
Taking in more mouthpiece is helpful when learning tone production as it doesn't allow you to bite once you get past a certain point and forces you to shape the sound and adjust your pitch with your vocal chords, ie you are "singing" through the horn, which is ideal. Once you figure this out you can go back to taking less mouthpiece and use very little pressure on the bottom of the reed, and singing, which is a very hard thing to do without first taking in some mouthpiece to take your lower lip out of the equation. Personally I like to keep more mouthpiece in my mouth, and if I look at players whose sounds I admire, they do too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,901 Posts
Here are the conclusions I've reached:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU5gIhwc5Qo



OK, discuss... :)

~ Rick

This is a really great post and video. I've been saying this for years and is what Joe Allard taught me. I've also been telling all of my customers the same thing and you'd be really surprised how many players don't take in enough mouthpiece. But after all, who teaches how much mouthpiece to take in your mouth? It's really easy to just not do it. The problem is getting past that initial period when it doesn't sound very good; it takes a couple of days at the most before it starts to sound normal; before that it sounds crass. I know some people don't agree with this. Also, check out photos of Trane and sonny Rollins playing, they eat the mouthpiece. Phil Barone
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
BTW, there is a good vid on the Berkely Virtuos Saxophones website with Tim Ries demonstrating the differences of taking too little or too much mouthpiece can make...

On a personal note, I've noticed that if I have a somewhat shxxty reed, if I take a bit more mouthpiece that reed opens up and plays less shxxty...
Or if the reed is too hard it also works...
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,108 Posts
I find Phil Barone's (and other folks such as the OP) observations very true and usefuland also would recommend his extensive article (somewhere on this site) on embouchure.
It has helped me a lot although I am not so advanced as I wished that I was on my total embouchure control.
What I find particularly problematic is adjusting to different horns and different mouthpieces (especially if you double). Recently I took up, again, the soprano and I noticed that I am indeed chocking the reed with a consequent difficulty in the high notes , this, I see, is very often the reason why on alto and tenor many have a thin sound.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top