Colin the Bear
- Burnley bb9 9dn
Playing melodies on just the mouthpiece helps with voicing. No biting. Just changes in oral cavity size and shape.
Over the years I developed a teaching method with beginners that from the very beginning included the steps:It's unfortunate that the way sax is taught (without reference to singing or at least hearing what you're playing) it takes many years, decades, or in some cases a player never develops the ability to play with good tone or in tune.
It's most exaggerated when you hear a group of saxes playing together or in chamber ensemble. They read the note, press the right key, but the harmony or unison is way out of tune. Did they tune initially? Yes, of course, but if you can't hear the pitch you're playing you're less likely to play it in tune. The sax is an "imperfect instrument". You can play with the right fingering on a horn that's got great intonation completely out of tune.
Forget the yawning.But I read that opening the throat is essential to have a full tone in the higher register, so i'm still a bit confused.
On the surface I find that "closed vocal folds strengthen the waves" does not match with my understanding of the acoustics that takes place "upstream" in front of the mouthpiece. However I am going to keep an open mind and revisit the work that Joe Wolf and Gary Scavone have done on this topic to see if the "resonance" influence of the "oral cavity" extends to and includes the area of the windpipe where the vocal folds are located. It is an interesting question.Forget the yawning.
Quote from Dr.Mark Watkins' "From the inside out":
.....the act of yawning does open the throat, but it also abducts (opens) the vocal folds wide. We don't want this. Vocal folds must be close together (adducted) to strenghten the waves..
It may be better to think of something like whispering.
Maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle:As a side note: Dr. Ray Smith who was Mark Watkins teacher when he attended BYU, teaches students to do the first part of a yawn before the swallow reflex takes over to learn the sensation of an open throat.