Friday, March 18, 2016

How to Get a Sweet Tone on a Saxophone

Improving your tone to get a sweet tone on the alto saxophone requires strength-building exercises for the embouchure. If you practice the correct exercises, your embouchure will improve and you will be able to play with a sweet, delicate tone. The embouchure consists of the muscles in your face and jaw area that come into play when you play the alto saxophone. To get a feel for the muscles you will be training, imagine that you are sucking through a straw. It is these same muscles that will improve your sound.

Soak your reed in water for 10 minutes prior to use. You may also leave the reed in your mouth, but water is more efficient. Attach the reed to the mouthpiece as you normally would. Ensure that the tip of the reed lines up with the edge of the mouthpiece. Tighten the screws on the metal ligature to keep the reed in place.

Rest your teeth on top of the mouthpiece and use your lips to wrap around the mouthpiece and form a secure seal. Inhale deeply using your diaphragm muscles to control the airflow. You should feel your stomach and sides expand if you are breathing correctly.

Blow through the instrument as you normally would and play a major scale in whole notes. Avoid moving your embouchure to take a breath. Instead, breathe through your nose to ensure the muscles of the embouchure do not move from position.

Play all twelve major scales in this fashion until your embouchure becomes too tired to continue. This exercise will gradually increase your control and allow you to obtain a sweeter tone on the alto saxophone.

Keep the corners of your lips tight. Only place half of the bottom lip over your teeth.