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Play It Again: Saxophone



A bit rusty? Don't be put off. Browse our helpful hints, and watch a video guide to get you started.

Hints and Tips: Playing the Saxophone

When assembling your saxophone take care not to damage the keys - if the joints are a bit of a tight fit try some cork grease on them.

Moisten your reed in water or by putting it in your mouth for about half a minute before fitting it into the mouthpiece.

If you haven’t played for quite a while, using a medium strength reed might be a good idea to start with, or something even thinner.

Practice your embouchure, as after a break the muscles will need strengthening again – remember the top teeth are in contact with the mouthpiece while the bottom lip is curled over the bottom teeth and placed on the reed.

You’ll also need to work on your breath control - the saxophone calls for a lot of blowing, so don’t get dizzy. Like your embouchure, this is something that will improve with practice.

When practicing keep it simple and try not to do too much too quickly. Always try and warm up first.

After practice use a pull-through to remove the build-up of moisture, as this can damage the pads on the keys.

Saxophones can be expensive so don’t leave your instrument lying around – put it back in its case when not in use.

If you’re looking for lessons you’ll find many instrumental teachers advertise in local shops and libraries, while local authority Music Services are also a good place to start.

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