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I've been taking saxophone lessons for a few weeks and I would like some thoughts on whether or not the following techniques are correct.

1) Use less mouthpiece. The amount of mouthpiece I take in is probably up to where the reed and mouthpiece touch. He constantly tells me to use less. Less as in almost up to the point where my lip would prevent the reed from vibrating.

2) When blowing, think of the syllable "Oh." I have read a few places where it says to use "Ah" or in between Ah and Ee. Which one is correct or which one do you guys use?

Thanks
 

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The using less mouthpiece is wrong IMO. My teacher usually tells me to use more. I do agree with using "Oh," though. If you use "Ee," you will close your throat. Using "Oh" keeps your throat open.
 

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Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
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I would think that where your teach is telling you where to put your mouth on the mpce may have something to do with the sound you are getting at the moment. Why not ask him what he is trying to change and why. If that question, politely put, causes him problems then it is tome to worry about your teacher.

I was taught to keep the throat open and the arch of tongue just kissing my teeth.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Yeah...wrong or right ?...we haven't really been given enough information. 'Take more m'piece' isn't necessarily right...nor is 'take less' necessarily wrong. Sorta depends upon your natural proclivities. There's a point of taking too much (where you sorta lose control of, um...controlling the reed) and there's the point of too little (where you cannot really get a good, controlled airflow into the instrument).

Following this...which one is wrong ...'oh', 'eeh', or 'aaaah' ????

Again, depends upon what the intent is. Are you missing the low notes ? Are you choking the high notes ? Do your long-tones waver ?
 

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Your teacher is not 'wrong' in his method.
There may be 'issues' that he is trying to correct by asking you to take in less mouthpiece.
It may also be because your teacher was 'classically trained' and is using the methods in which he was taught.
Not all teachers are of the same "more mouthpiece is better" school of thought.
Every syllable is 'correct' depending on how you need to voice the notes.
Maybe it would be in your best interest to ask the teacher 'why' for yourself.
 

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I find kids who take in less mouthpiece often have intonation problems due to biting. And as for syllables, I change depending on the register, higher e, lower ahh, middle ooh
 

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Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contribut
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Depending on the embouchure an inexperienced player taking in a lot of mpce often leaves a reed to vibrate without control and harsh sounds can be emitted.
 

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Less mouthpiece than what?

Some people take in too much, some too little, some the right amount. Presumably your teacher knows what is best for you, so we can't really comment.

As for stopping the reed vibrate, it's a common myth that this would inevitably happen if you take in very little mouthpiece.
 
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