A Guide for Playing The Saxophone: Approaching the Saxophone
- The saxophone should hang on the neck strap to your right side, not in the middle.
- Support the instrument with your right thumb, keeping it away from your body slightly. While sitting the saxophone should rest against the right leg, about half way between the knee and hip.
- Keep your body position straight, head erect and always bring the mouthpiece to your lips With the neck strap is adjusted correctly, the mouthpiece should line up directly to the lips while sitting up straight.
- Place the fingers “on the pearls” (white mother of pearl inlay on keys) at all times. Left hand on top, right hand on the bottom. The left thumb goes on the thumb rest under the octave key. The right thumb hooks under the Thumb hook.
- Place the mouthpiece in the mouth and Anchor the weight of your head and teeth down onto the mouthpiece. The top teeth and bottom lip should be approximately 3/8 inch in from the tip of the reed.
The top teeth and bottom lip should meet at arrows:
Things to remember:
- Never remove the teeth or top lip from the mouthpiece.
- Drop the jaw to take a breath.
- The natural resting position for the tongue is on the reed (ready to be released).
- The natural position of the hand forms a “c”.
- Place tips of fingers in the center of the pearls.
- Keep the tips of the fingers (fleshy part) on the pearls when playing. Squeeze keys down, don’t hammer.
- Keep the fingers arched slightly, as in playing the piano.
- Relax hands. Try this: Drop your hands by your side and try to completely relax them. Raise them in front of you without tensing up. This is the natural curve of your hands and the saxophone was designed to work with the natural curve of your hands.