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Tags:How to Play the Saxophone,basics,instruments,music,Saxophone,tone,wind
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Saxophone mouthpiece assembly: Take a reed from the reed case and put it in your mouth to moisten it. Leave the reed in your mouth for now. Apply a thin layer of cork grease to the cork tenon on the neck that is this part. You should only use cork grease on this part of the saxophone. Remove the cap from the mouthpiece, this is the ligature. Loosen ligature screws and remove both the reed and ligature from the mouthpiece.
Gently twist the mouthpiece about halfway on to the neck, the flat part of the mouthpiece should be facing down. Take the reed out of your mouth and place it flat side down on to the flat part of the mouthpiece. Line up the curve of the reed with the top of the mouthpiece, hold it there with your left thumb. Pick up the ligature with your right hand and hold it between your thumb and forefinger like this.
Place the ligature with the screws in the right against the reed about one inch down. Tip the ligature over the top of the mouthpiece and slide it down so the top of the ligature seats below the cut of the reed.
You may need to loosen the screw as an order to move the ligature down to the proper place. Tighten the screws to hold the reed in place firmly but do not force it or you could damage the screws.
Saxophone Embouchure: Now, before we put the rest of the Saxophone together, let us talk a little bit about embouchure, that is the way you position your mouth to play an instrument. Holding the instrument by the neck put the mouthpiece in your mouth so that your top teeth are resting about a tooth away down the mouthpiece. Close your mouth around the mouthpiece, the bottom teeth should not touch the reed.
Seal the edges of your mouth so air does not escape from the sides of the reed, think of closing your mouth as if you were pulling a draw string on a hooded sweatshirt. Now, blow into the mouthpiece to make a note.
Your bottom lip will probably feel tingly as you develop your embouchure this will go away. If your top teeth are vibrating, you are not putting enough pressure on the top of the mouthpiece with your top teeth. If the sound that comes out is a squeak or screech rather than a note, you probably got too much of the mouthpiece in your mouth.
Saxophone Assembly: Okay, now let us finish putting the horn together. Loosen the next strap and place it around your neck with the hook in front. Attach the next strap hooked to the ring on the horn body. Remove the neck plug from the horn and insert the neck and mouthpiece so that the octave pin is under the octave key ring. Tighten the next screw to hold the neck firmly in place but do not force it. Adjust the next straps so that it is comfortable be sure that you are bringing the horn to your mouth not your mouth to the horn. Your saxophone is now assembled and ready for playing.
Saxophone Finger Placement: Now, I am going to show you basic fingering for the Sax. Let us start with the right thumb which goes under the thumb rest and then go from the top down. Your left thumb goes here on the thumb rest. Your left index finger goes here on the B, second key. Your left middle finger goes on the C-A, fourth key. Your left ring finger goes in the G, fifth key. Your right index finger goes on the F, eight key. Your right middle finger goes on the E-F#, ninth key. Your right ring finger goes on the D, tenth key.
Let us play a note.
Saxophone Care, Maintenance and Cleaning: Always clean the Saxophone when you are finish playing. Loosen the next screw and remove the neck and mouthpiece from the horn. Remove the ligature and reed from the mouthpiece and put them on the case, store the reed in the reed case to dry. Gently twist to remove the mouth piece from the neck and place both into the case for now.
Place the horn in the case. Return the next strap to the case. Drop the waited end of the swab into the body at the bell. Grasp the weight at the neck hole and gently pull the swab through the entire body of the Saxophone. Repeat until the body is dry inside. Replace the neck plug and return body to case. Swab the neck going from the larger end to the smaller end. Feed one corner with the swab into the bottom of the mouthpiece until it pokes out of the mouthpiece window.
Do not pull the whole swab into the mouthpiece. Gently pull the corner of the swab back and forth, one inch each way until the mouthpiece is dry inside. Put a clean dry reed back on the mouthpiece and attach the ligature. Cover with the mouthpiece cap and place in the case. Keep one clean dry reed in your case at all times for this purpose. With a clean dry linkfree cloth, remove any finger prints form outside of the Saxophone.
Saxophone Helpful Hands: Do not eat or drink while playing. Water is okay. Keep reeds flat and dry in their case when not in use. Replace chip to roll reeds. If you think the reed is bad it is, use cork grease on the cork tenon when the neck and mouthpiece do not go together easily.