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How to Form a Correct Saxophone Embouchure

by:XuQiu     2020-06-15
Embouchure means the way you put your mouth on the instrument. The saxophone embouchure is different than most of the other instruments, but has a lot in common. First say the word 'OOO' and form this with nice round lips. Next, put your bottom lip over your bottom teeth so that your teeth are cushioned by your lip. You don't want to put too much lip over the teeth. The mouthpiece is placed in the mouth about 1/2 inch. It should go in the mouth at a 90 degree angle to your face. Now, close the lips around the mouthpiece, kind of like closing a drawstring bag or purse. Don't bite down on the mouthpiece, but surround the entire mouthpiece with an even pressure. Your top teeth will go directly on top of the mouthpiece. Remember that the bottom lip covers the bottom teeth, and the top teeth go on the top of the mouthpiece. Next, blow a nice stream of warm air into the mouthpiece. You will have to put a lot of air in to the mouthpiece to make it work. It will be much more air than if you were whistling. It should make a loud sound. If the sound feels too 'out of control' try taking a little less mouthpiece in your mouth. If you can't get air to move through the mouthpiece, try putting a little more in your mouth. Make small adjustments and you may notice a big change. If all else fails, verify that the reed is on straight, and that it is well soaked and not too hard. You should practice 'buzzing' on your mouthpiece until it feels comfortable to you. If you are like many of my junior high students, you will end up with braces at some point while playing the saxophone. This can pose some problems, but not too worry. Most players experience pain from the bottom teeth digging into the bottom lip. If pain is too much, you may be biting down instead of forming a nice round embouchure. Some players find relief with the dental wax placed on the bottom braces. Good luck, and be sure not to bite!
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