Coffee and Talking about your passion !


New Member
Houston, TX
A little moto for everyone there is nothing better than waking up late on a sunday and drinking coffee realizing you get to talk about the saxophone with other players that have the same passion if not more than you do how freakin awesome is that.

In that respect was looking to get a little advice on embrochure. I feel like my tone sounds bandish. Let me explain in my head it sounds good but when I play it back on my I-phone 4s recorder it sounds like a high school band player with a YAZ-23 model. My teacher says my embrochure is immature and im sure it is, and I also bend notes too much going into other notes. I have been playing for about one year and bought a Professional model Eastman 52st Alto model unlaquered in hopes of better tone. My question is does it really take years to develope a really good sounding tone or is this something that should be accomplished within a couple years with a mouth piece addapted to you ?
First of all, don't take you iphones recording too seriously, it'll never capture a true reproduction of your sax. For that you will need slightly better equipment, but there are plenty of threads on that subject. Just use the search bar in the top right hand corner of your cafe screen (just under the "Music store" logo) As for you tone, that will come with time and a little experimentation with different reed types and strengths and, of course, different mouthpieces. Some of us have been lucky to just "happen" on the right one for us.
Good luck, and just remember, "All good things come to those that wait!"
It should be "All good things come to those that WORK!".
Just take your teacher's advice and play and play and play. In a few years time you'll still be dissatisfied (as we all are) but you'll be sounding something like a sax player.

It would be interesting to hear which mouthpiece you are using as a forum member (Tommapfumo) will give his well researched advice
on whether you need to change at this stage.

Good embouchure will develop in time provided you have good advice from the start. Good advice can be gleaned from "The Art of the Saxophone" by Larry Teal. Well worth buying I think.


When I first came to the caff and was asking about embouchure - someone very generously pointed me to the book The Art of Saxophone Playing by Larry Teal which has a really good section on this specific subject, as also recommend by Andrew above (perhaps it was he who recommended to me in the first place?!)

Also, Pete's DVD The Saxophone has good advice for practical strengthening of the mouth muscles - plus purchasing that means donation goes to a very good charity too.

Beyond this, yes TomMapfumo is your man! He's helped me out tremendously and changed my whole perception of my own learning and playing abilities.

I would never trust a recording made on something like the iPhone - and there are plenty of threads here to help you with that two.

I'm repeating a fair amount of what's already been said, so I will shut up now, except to say that this advice has worked for me, and hope it does for you too.
If you play infront of a mirror the sound will bounce back at you for your inspection. That's my excuse anyway.

The microphone and speaker on your phone is phone call quality. Your saxophone may well be overpowering it and your beautiful tone is being lost in the works.
I've not tried an S80 on alto but I have one for Bari and tried one on Tenor.

My experience of them has been that they produce a rich dark sound, very controllable with a stable, predictable tone.

Some seasoned players find this a little boring but as someone relatively new to the instrument, it's a good mouthpiece for you to be playing and any problems with tone will benefit from practice and developing your embouchure.

It doesn't take decades to develop a good embouchure but it does take regular practice. Little and often is better than random marathon sessions. Treat practice like fitness training for your mouth. Play daily. If 10mins is all you have it's better than missing a day.

Some get there quickly while others take longer and it seems to take forever, but it will come.
Good advice above & from your teacher. It's time and long tones. The mouthpiece isn't the problem, despite them being out of fashion here.

Pete's new book, taming the saxophone vol 1 has a lot of good exercises in it that'd help. Just dot he ones within your ability and work on to harder ones as you progress.

But if you're still having notes jump up an octave, work on relaxing your embouchure. And being able to blow a stable note on the mouthpiece only. Sounds horrid, but you'll get on much quicker once you've learnt to control the mouthpiece.
Hi there!

Just noticed this thread. On the subject of mouthpieces and reeds the best approach is to accurately describe your desired sound and your current sound - what music do you want to play and with what sort of sound? "Bandish" does not really help me personally, but any othe phrases would be helpful. Also what reed you play will matter to a certain degree.

So, if I can be of any help please ask away!
Kind regards

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