What's your favorite tip for playing sax?

It might be fun if we share some of our favorite insider info on how to get the most out of our saxophones. Agree or not, it will give us food for thought. Here’s one to get us started.

Take in the ideal amount of mouthpiece. Take in too little and your tone will be thin and the short tube notes (the ones with just a few closed tone holes like C, C# and the left hand side key notes) will probably be sharp and may not speak easily. Take in too much mouthpiece and your tone will be coarse and it will be difficult to attack notes. The widest dynamic range, best intonation and best tone are achievable when you take in the ideal amount of mouthpiece.

What are your tips?

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If you’re a new player and get an used saxophone, have it checked for leaks and adjustment. Even some of the new instruments may need to be taken to a repair shop to get it to play. A saxophone with leaky pads and keys not sealing correctly (adjustment) can discourage practicing and hinder progression.

Proper air support! There are different ways of explaining this and you can find plenty of YouTube videos on the subject.

Proper air support - practice w/ mouthpiece and reed, use a tuner.
Alto = A
Tenor = G
Bari = D

I had a hard time holding the correct pitch on all 3 mouthpieces. Once I got it, then the trick was to keep this exercise in my practice routine for maintenance.

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