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Steep angle of mouthpiece best?

rotate

Member
Messages
49
As a beginner I need to ask perhaps stupid questions.

Experimenting, it seemed today that having the mouthpiece and reed pointed down at the ground, at a steep angle, gave much better control than having the mouthpiece pointing out at a more horizontal angle. Doing this the reed rests against much more of the lower lip - not just the 'lip' bit but the beardy part underneath. Is this sensible, or is it just the, usually imbecilic, thought for the day?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,949
If you're a beginner then I guess that it may well give the semblance of control. But, in the long run, it's a really really bad idea.
 
Messages
509
I agree with Nick, for one thing where is your sax pointing? i should inagin that ing to have all kinds of posture problems if you persist with playing this way
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
what this tells me is that you probaly take in too little mouthpiece typically. The clarinet should be played as you describe, but the sax mouthpiece should be pretty much straight into your face. This isn't a huge problem -- I've seen a couple of classical players (and snborn FWIW) who play like this, but I didn't like their sound. If you feel like you don't have enough muscle underneath the reed, work on using less vertical pressure in your embochure.
 

Rikki

Member
Messages
205
Personally I found the biggest improvement to my playing was when I stopped "playing to the ground" being "cool" and simply stood up straight adjusting the strap so the mouthpiece naturally went straight into my gob without any posturing. My whole sound came to life, I could hold notes much easier, and get far more dynamics.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,619
dick heckstall smith and sanborn being a couple of exceptions that prove the rule!
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
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5,949
Yeah, alright, cleverclogs. :welldone :) (Where's the thumbing nose at and sticking tongue out smiley when you need it?)
 

rotate

Member
Messages
49
Thanks all.:) So conclude it's probably best to have the thing sort of roughly horizontal, but it is not an iron clad rule. Watched Sanborn videos and he does not just point it down he tilts his head back too. Could not work out if he was using his lower teeth or just his lower lip. Incidentally it also comes out of his mouth at an angle.

Always learned to play simple instruments in the past by playing simple tunes, would be nice to be able to do that with the saxophone; I could correct technique faults later.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Thanks all.:) Always learned to play simple instruments in the past by playing simple tunes, would be nice to be able to do that with the saxophone; I could correct technique faults later.
You can certainly find lots of simple, but attractive, tunes for saxophone. Most of us start out by playing them and gradually getting into more elaborate pieces.

The bit that worries me a little is that the idea that you could correct technique faults later. In principle you can do that, but you may find that, once learnt, they can be difficult to shake off. In other words, relearning may be as much effort as acquiring them in the first place.

So, enjoy the saxophone, but think of technique as a long-term investment.
 

Flipper2008

Member
Messages
116
I think the mpc position Sanborn uses adds to his very "edgy" sound, he covers the lower end of the reed, giving it lots more room to vibrate and so produces more harmonics.
 

rotate

Member
Messages
49
That's interesting, I notice that he sometime suddenly adjusts the screw closest to the mouth holding the reed. Don't know if that signifies something.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
As you play more you'll find that unless the angle of the mouthpiece is just right, you'll struggle to get the notes out. Small adjustments to the angle by tightening or loosening the strap can help a lot here. Or just pushing the sax forward a bit more or less. Much easier than trying to adjust your neck. Agree with the other comments here.
 
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