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Discussion Starter #1
Long ago I had a sax teacher who suggested blowing on just the mouthpiece as an exercise for steady blowing/relaxed embouchure (sp?). Each sax (sop, alt, ten, etc) had a different pitch that was optimal. Anyone know this exercise? Do you know the pitch for each horn?

Thanks!
 

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Those pitches are right, but I do know a lot of people who swear #F is the optimum pitch for tenor, but just as many people say it is G. Choose for yourself. :)
 

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Nor sure if it is a valid exercise, but I can coax a pretty accurate diatonic scale using the mouthpiece alone....I guess most of us can. I have been tempted to try a 12 bar blues sequence on stage (and in G) using only the mouthpiece....but have, at the last minute, lacked the courage. ;)
 

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the mouthpiece is pretty much an instrument unto itself. though there may be an "optimal" note for each saxophone, it can't hurt to be able to play the crap out of your mouthpiece.

you can get some AWESOME exercise and control by learning to use your throat, mouth, and embouchure to manipulate the pitch of just the mouthpiece.

after a bit of practice you should be able to get about an octave (maybe more!) out of it.

practice scales, scale exercises, simple melodies. it all helps.

not only are you basically "lifting weights" for you embouchure muscles, but you're also doing some good ear training work!
 

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Captain Beeflat said:
Nor sure if it is a valid exercise, but I can coax a pretty accurate diatonic scale using the mouthpiece alone....I guess most of us can. I have been tempted to try a 12 bar blues sequence on stage (and in G) using only the mouthpiece....but have, at the last minute, lacked the courage. ;)
As a spur-of-the-moment type thing, a few weeks ago I attempted to do a jazz solo type thing on stage using only the mouthpiece of my tenor, and one hand on the end to manipulate the sound further, and... it was entertaining, at least. :p
 

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Recently I did such a solo too. After 1 1/2 year doing mouthpiece exercise I was realy proud to play a solo on a mouthpiece alone (about 1 oktave). Unfortunately no standing ovations at all.
But the mouthpiece exercise is a great thing. I do it about 5 minutes every day. My intonation and sound improved very much.
Take a look in a David Liebman book "Devloping a Personal Saxophone Sound".
 

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mpc exercise

I'm struggling with my neighbors when on my mpc exercise trip. Found a mpc silencer on e-bay (search under "mute" and "sax"). Thinking of getting one but never heard of this. Has anyone experience with this?
 

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practicing with just your mouthpiece is probably the fastest way to get a better tone and better intonation. just by playing scales and various simple patterns, you'll improve your sound...it's so worth it...
also, the pitch that you are supposed to produce changes..the aforementioned pitches are just a solid place to be around. i don't think i ever quite blow up to an A on my alto when i'm playing jazz....just depends on how you want to sound.
 

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Hi Mike, a few days ago I got a Silencer from Switzerland. Great think, I am really happy with it. I can practice in my car or at home at any time, even in the evening or in the night. It is a real joy to do mouthpiece exercises or just play a tune. Silencer comes with a handbook containing instructions and practice exercises and with 40 minutes DVD educational video, which is a great help too. You can find information at www.jazzlab.com too. In a few weeks I shall report more.
 

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Hi Louis

I can find everything on that website except the price! How much did you have to pay?
 

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Louis from Freyamt said:
Recently I did such a solo too. After 1 1/2 year doing mouthpiece exercise I was realy proud to play a solo on a mouthpiece alone (about 1 oktave). Unfortunately no standing ovations at all.
Some things are best not done in public. :shock:

Next time try a cow bell solo. :D
 

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Captain Beeflat said:
Nor sure if it is a valid exercise, but I can coax a pretty accurate diatonic scale using the mouthpiece alone....I guess most of us can. I have been tempted to try a 12 bar blues sequence on stage (and in G) using only the mouthpiece....but have, at the last minute, lacked the courage. ;)
No offense Captain Beeflat, but the exercise is well known and valid; Joe Allard used this with his students and Dave Liebman uses this in his teaching and his method book. Liebman was a student of Allard.
The specific pitches suggested for each sax, (A for alto, G for tenor, etc.), is mainly for beginners and helps the student to achieve the right amount of pressure and avoid biting. My children's middle school teacher has all wind players play only on their mouthpieces for the first month in class. Sounds awful, but it works!
Playing scales, etc., which is what Allard pushed, helps with your embouchure as well internally with the throat, placement of the tongue and so forth. Call it a "muscle memory" exercise.
 

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rogerb40uk said:
Hi Louis

I can find everything on that website except the price! How much did you have to pay?
I haven't found a price yet either, in fact the "store" link was down. I'd be interested if it isn't too expensive. Once or twice a year a vacation with the family and don't bring my horn; I always take my mouthpiece and work out on it. Sure would be nice to be able to do this quietly....
 

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I think the product is quite new. So I asked for price at [email protected] and got the price of EUR 44 for the silencer and EUR 6 for shipping in Europe, which is $ 67 together.
On ebay.com I found price of $ 56 for the silencer and $ 9.50 for shipping in US, which is $ 65.50 together.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Mouthpiece-Mute...132062915QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item260132062915

Hey in the meantime I can play 1 octave with the silencer and I can only hear the vibration of the reed, no sound at the air outlet. The blowing resistance is a little bit higher then on a mouthpiece alone. I would say, the same as on the horn. I think the very beginners should first try the mouthpiece exercise for a few minutes without a silencer, to get a full and constant sound.
 
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