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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a few weeks into daily practice after a several year hiatus, so I know my embouchure isn't what it used to be, but I'm a little stumped how to get this one hump.

Playing just the mouthpiece I can get an appropriate tone and drop/raise a couple tones, but if I tongue while playing the mouthpiece the tone jumps into a high squeal. I imagine this means my tonguing is (and shouldn't be) changing my tongue position farther back, but I'm having trouble isolating the issue. Any tips or thoughts are appreciated.
 

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I'm a few weeks into daily practice after a several year hiatus, so I know my embouchure isn't what it used to be, but I'm a little stumped how to get this one hump.

Playing just the mouthpiece I can get an appropriate tone and drop/raise a couple tones, but if I tongue while playing the mouthpiece the tone jumps into a high squeal. I imagine this means my tonguing is (and shouldn't be) changing my tongue position farther back, but I'm having trouble isolating the issue. Any tips or thoughts are appreciated.
Put the mouthpiece on the saxophone and practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just trying to fine tune my embouchure and I thought this might imply some basic mistake I'm making while tonguing. I didn't recall having this issue 10 or so years ago doing those exercises. I'll keep on working with the horn and see how my chops get back in shape
 

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I have to differ with the previous responses. I find playing the mouthpiece as a warmup very helpful: mainly I try to play with good tone across at least a full octave range with no adjustments in lip position or pressure. This just sets me up for a better, more consistent experience once I put the mouthpiece on the horn, and eliminates any tendencies to lip up or bite in the upper register.
 

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I have to differ with the previous responses. I find playing the mouthpiece as a warmup very helpful: mainly I try to play with good tone across at least a full octave range with no adjustments in lip position or pressure. This just sets me up for a better, more consistent experience once I put the mouthpiece on the horn, and eliminates any tendencies to lip up or bite in the upper register.
Playing the mouthpiece by itself is fine if you are calling ducks. Why do you need to warm up before warming up? Just play.
 

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I'm confused. Mouthpiece-only practice is preached often on this board and at large. Is it being downplayed because OP is just getting back into the shed?
 

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It could be that in playing the mouthpiece only, you are not positioning it in your mouth or playing with the same airstream/tongue position you do when playing the sax.

I wouldn't worry about it, at least not for now. Do long tones and overtones, build up your chops that way for a few weeks or months, and when you're back closer to full strength maybe try the mouthpiece exercise again.
 

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I'm confused. Mouthpiece-only practice is preached often on this board and at large. Is it being downplayed because OP is just getting back into the shed?
Don't be. You just gotta roll with the absolute truth-type statements on this forum.
 

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Some folks preach all sorts of things.

I say less of other stuff, more playing the sax. Agree or disagree as it suits.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It could be that in playing the mouthpiece only, you are not positioning it in your mouth or playing with the same airstream/tongue position you do when playing the sax.

I wouldn't worry about it, at least not for now. Do long tones and overtones, build up your chops that way for a few weeks or months, and when you're back closer to full strength maybe try the mouthpiece exercise again.
I appreciate the specific advice, I'll work on those. Thanks!
 

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I'm a few weeks into daily practice after a several year hiatus, so I know my embouchure isn't what it used to be, but I'm a little stumped how to get this one hump.

Playing just the mouthpiece I can get an appropriate tone and drop/raise a couple tones, but if I tongue while playing the mouthpiece the tone jumps into a high squeal. I imagine this means my tonguing is (and shouldn't be) changing my tongue position farther back, but I'm having trouble isolating the issue. Any tips or thoughts are appreciated.
You may have correctly diagnosed one of the following poor tonguing habits:

1) moving more than just the tip of the tongue when tonguing
2) moving the jaw or chin while tonguing
3) unconsciously tightening the embouchure/biting when you tongue

Tonguing while looking in a mirror you can see movement in the throat area if it is #1. You can see the jaw or chin move if it is #2. If it is #3 you can actually feel it happening.
 

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I usually play just the mouthpiece for a minute or two before putting it on the horn. It helps me with reed positioning, quickly identifying if the reed is optimally positioned or if its just a bad reed. I try to play a diatonic scale up to the 9th and back. Maybe its not necessary, but it doesn't seem to hurt!
 

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I suggest you look at a post/thread I started called”How would you describe the soprano sax sound”, #65 by Shooshie. This post is about using the mouthpiece to develop your sound. I think it’s great advice.
 

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I suggest you look at a post/thread I started called”How would you describe the soprano sax sound”, #65 by Shooshie. This post is about using the mouthpiece to develop your sound. I think it’s great advice.
 

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Mouthpiece practice for me is more of a warming up/reed conditioning exercise than a practice. Don't waste hours just doing that.
 

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Playing different pitches on the mouthpiece, not by tightening and loosening the embouchure but changing the "voicing" inside the oral cavity can develop the ability to do stylistic effects such as scoops on notes high A and above without using the embouchure. Learning to control the "voicing" also allows a degree of control of the timbre of the sound on notes below high A. However, these are more advanced techniques and should not be pursued until after basic tone production skills are mastered.
 

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I spend many hours a day doing long tones with only the mouthpiece in preparation for the many hours of long tones I do playing the mouthpiece on the sax.
Sometimes, when I'm really getting in touch with my innermost self, I suck on half of a lemon for 15 min in order to really strengthen my embouchure in preparation for the mouthpiece-only long tones.
Often the whole day/week/month goes by and I only have about 10 minutes to work on any actual MUSIC.
 
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