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When I first got started on the sax, I was in a place where I had no access to a teacher, but I did have the internet.
Unfortunately, I found most other beginner sax videos more confusing then useful. So I compiled all the parts I had trouble with into
the one video I wish I had, when I really needed it. Supercool it hit over 1 million views now :D. Hope it helps you to. If you are
needing a full and accurate guide into making your first steps. Good luck :)

 

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nice video. you're right there are so many misleading videos out there. it's nice to see a concise and comprehensive one.

I'd have recommended a different assembly order though: 1. mouthpiece on the neck, 2. ligature on mouthpiece, 3. reed under the ligature, tighten and lastly 4. put the neck on the sax. doing it in the sequence you recommend 4>3>2>1 adds unnecessary risk to chipping the reed while sliding the ligature on, bending the neck or keys while pushing the mouthpiece in, especially when the cork is a bit tight.
 

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It comes down to personal preference, but if the neck and mouthpiece are on the horn, you've got two hands to put on the ligature and reed. Otherwise, you have to hold the neck somehow, either with one hand or between your legs in your lap which is kind of awkward.

I do agree ligature goes on first to avoid chipping the reed.
 

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if the neck and mouthpiece are on the horn, you've got two hands to put on the ligature and reed. Otherwise, you have to hold the neck somehow, either with one hand or between your legs in your lap which is kind of awkward.
I put the mouthpiece on the neck, then hold it with table facing me, tip facing up, with one hand on the mouthpiece. the neck just hangs out from the bottom end of the mouthpiece, it doesn't need another hand on it. then gently put the neck on the body with no force at all. nothing awkward or harder to handle compared to the mouthpiece alone IMO.

I've seen so many people forcing the mouthpiece onto the neck mounted on the sax body, while grabbing hard to the octave lever or body keys. a recipe for developing leaks or more serious damage.

Sleeve Gesture Wrist Football Ball
 

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nice video. you're right there are so many misleading videos out there. it's nice to see a concise and comprehensive one.

I'd have recommended a different assembly order though: 1. mouthpiece on the neck, 2. ligature on mouthpiece, 3. reed under the ligature, tighten and lastly 4. put the neck on the sax. doing it in the sequence you recommend 4>3>2>1 adds unnecessary risk to chipping the reed while sliding the ligature on, bending the neck or keys while pushing the mouthpiece in, especially when the cork is a bit tight.
Kim Bock has a standing rule in his shop that for testing necks, it is a requirement that the mouthpiece is placed on the neck before the neck is mounted on the horn. Placing a tight-fitting mouthpiece on an assembled horn is a recipe for neck pull down.

Assembling the reed and mouthpiece before putting the mouthpiece on the neck has another issue. It requires that the ligature is tight enough to avoid shifting while sliding the mouthpiece onto the cork. An overtight ligature leads to warping reeds, breaking ligatures, and an overall too-tight constriction of the reed. Having the mouthpiece on the neck while not on the horn makes it really easy to see and adjust the reed placement.

Bottom line: mouthpiece on neck first, apply ligature, add reed and adjust. Mount neck on horn.
 

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To each his own. I agree on putting mpc on neck first. But I find it very difficult to do one-handed reed adjustments, so I'll continue doing the full assembly with reed going on last as I've done for 40+ years and teaching my students the same. Plus, as I get older, I need to hold the reed/mpc as far away as possible to even see it. So having it on the horn puts it the perfect distance for my old eyes.

I do the same order on clarinet too - full assembly, reed last.
 

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I don鈥檛 see a problem with putting the reed on as a last step, once the mouthpiece and neck are already on the horn with ligature on it. If that gives you the best result in properly positioning the reed. There is no force involved in that step.

The main issue on this video is really the propagation of this process of shoving the mouthpiece onto the neck already assembled to the horn. Listen to the neck experts as referenced by Dr G.
 

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Regardless of which order the parts are assembled, it is essential that the teacher makes sure that the cork and neck tenon are properly fit so that they can go together without having to force them. The neck tenon and receiver should be spotlessly clean, and the cork, if new, may need a dab of cork grease. I like to lay the assembled saxophone or clarinet across my lap to free both hands to insert and position the reed and to position and tighten the ligature. Of course the neckstrap is still attached to avoid a fall.
 

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Regardless of which order the parts are assembled, it is essential that the teacher makes sure that the cork and neck tenon are properly fit so that they can go together without having to force them. The neck tenon and receiver should be spotlessly clean, and the cork, if new, may need a dab of cork grease. I like to lay the assembled saxophone or clarinet across my lap to free both hands to insert and position the reed and to position and tighten the ligature. Of course the neckstrap is still attached to avoid a fall.
You continue to ignore the mechanics of the situation. The saxophone neck is at an angle to the body, and invites a torque when joining a mouthpiece on a resistant cork. There is no similar torque on a clarinet.
 

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You continue to ignore the mechanics of the situation. The saxophone neck is at an angle to the body, and invites a torque when joining a mouthpiece on a resistant cork. There is no similar torque on a clarinet.
What about when the saxophone is laid across the lap with the neck in a vertical rather than horizontal position? I install the mouthpiece on the neck in that position sometimes and there is no "pulling down" on the neck. I did also mention that the cork needs to be "properly" fit recommend using cork grease. Under those conditions the cork is not resistant in my experience.
 

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What about when the saxophone is laid across the lap with the neck in a vertical rather than horizontal position? I install the mouthpiece on the neck in that position sometimes and there is no "pulling down" on the neck. I did also mention that the cork needs to be "properly" fit recommend using cork grease. Under those conditions the cork is not resistant in my experience.
there is no literal pull down towards ground but there is still force to the neck and mechanism that you'd be holding with your other hand or legs that can cause stress/bend. on the cork comment, sure it should be properly fit, but that is often not the case. I don't get why the resistance to doing it in a better sequence that removes risk of stress to the mechanics. in the end of course to each his own, people do what they want to do but teachers should pass the best method to students, not perpetuate bad habits.
 

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What about when the saxophone is laid across the lap with the neck in a vertical rather than horizontal position? I install the mouthpiece on the neck in that position sometimes and there is no "pulling down" on the neck. I did also mention that the cork needs to be "properly" fit recommend using cork grease. Under those conditions the cork is not resistant in my experience.
Thanks, John. I appreciate that you have something that works for you. The context here is addressing the needs of a beginner.

Can I see a show of hands from teachers that believe that their beginner students have an understanding of proper fit of a mouthpiece cork?

Hmm, no hands.

So, I turn once more to the house rules of Kim Bock - put the mouthpiece on the neck before you put the neck on the horn. Can you still do something to bend the neck? Sure, but the opportunity is greatly reduced.

This is not belt-and-suspenders as much as it is "Don't run with scissors".

Need to hold the mouthpiece where you can see it better? How much easier is it to do when there's not a horn hanging underneath the neck? My eyes are fading, so I get it. Want to apply the reed with the neck in your lap? Again, easy for a child to do without a horn attached. Consider further that the method can be used across the range of horns (attached neck sops excluded), so you don't have to learn a new technique when the student picks up a different size horn.
 

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Hilarious! I was always baffled about pulled down necks until I noticed a guy putting his neck on first. YIKES!!

Suddenly it all made sense.

Neck
Last

See time = 11:00
 

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funny to watch Kim's panic face at 11:00 :)

contrast that with this :faceinpalm:

anyone can have a YT channel these days that can look somewhat professional, but there is so much bad advice out there...
 

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Perhaps putting the mouthpiece on the neck, putting the neck on the saxophone and then, with the saxophone supported by the neckstrap, the player's lap or both, installing the ligature and reed is both a safe and practical way to do it. To me it seems to be a bit awkward to try to hold the neck, then raise the ligature while inserting the reed, adjust the ligature and reed and snug the screws all with the other hand. I am picturing the saxophone laid across the lap with the neck in a vertical position the way I do it most of the time.

[Just for the record, I taught literally hundreds of beginning saxophone players that when you had to force the mouthpiece onto the cork, the cork was not fit properly and/or required cork grease. On those occasions where the cork needed to be sanded to fit, I would either do that in my office at school, or take the mouthpiece and neck to my shop at home.]
 

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Super easy to put the ligature and then the reed onto the neck/MP assembly.

One hand holds the assembly, the other slips the ligature on.
Now, one hand holds the MP/ligature and the other installs the reed.
I have been doing it that way for so long it seems effortless.
Anyway, the whole assembly is light and small. My newest student is a 12 year old girl, and she does it reliably and easily.

I like not bending the horn and I like simple and easy.
But folks should assemble the saxophone as they see fit. Of course.
 

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I don't set up my mouthpiece on the neck before putting the neck on the horn. I've dropped enough mouthpieces fidgeting with them to not want to drop a neck along with it. Set up your mouthpiece with the reed*, set it aside, grease your neck cork, put the mouthpiece on the horn and it goes on easy as pie.



*(at home before you go to the gig, if you're gigging, and take the reed off after gigs when you get back home and wash your hands... Covid, you know)
 

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I don't set up my mouthpiece on the neck before putting the neck on the horn. I've dropped enough mouthpieces fidgeting with them to not want to drop a neck along with it. Set up your mouthpiece with the reed*, set it aside, grease your neck cork, put the mouthpiece on the horn and it goes on easy as pie.

*(at home before you go to the gig, if you're gigging, and take the reed off after gigs when you get back home and wash your hands... Covid, you know)
I reckon actually having the neck attached to the mouthpiece makes it easier to grab and less likely to drop it - BTW I never dropped a mouthpiece, knock on wood. But again, to each his own. The topic here is what to recommend to a beginner. What's in that video is not it.
 
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