How to Blow a Saxophone

11 mins read

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

To play the saxophone properly, you should sit properly. Your back should be straight and your chin should be level. Your mouthpiece should be towards the middle of your body. The end of your saxophone should be pressed against your right leg. Your fingers should have ample mobility to lift and play the saxophone. Your thumbs should be able to lift most of the instrument, while your pinkie finger will naturally fall onto a few other keys.


When blowing a saxophone, a musician’s breathing is an important part of the process. Unless the player is particularly prone to shortness of breath, deep breathing is essential for achieving the right volume and tone. The abdomen expands and contracts in order to provide a steady flow of air, and the player should practice releasing air from the mouth without constricting it.

The saxophone’s pressure curves follow a similar pattern to that of other double-reed instruments. The pressures increase in the lowest octave of the instrument. Peak pressures are achieved between Eb4 and G4, and they decrease as the pitch increases. The saxophone’s high-pitched pitches, however, are the most difficult to play.

In the past, researchers have tried to understand why people who play wind instruments tend to develop a lower DLCO than other musicians. Nevertheless, their results did not differ from those of healthy people. They are still investigating the causes and effects of lower-than-average DLCO levels. Further research may be needed to find out the exact physiological mechanisms that underlie the changes in respiratory function. And because wind instrument practice is not limited to one instrument, the benefits are likely to extend to other musical instruments.


When it comes to a saxophone’s mouthpiece, there are a few main types to choose from. A traditional rubber mouthpiece produces a warm, vintage tone while a metal mouthpiece produces a bright, edgy sound. Metal mouthpieces are most common on tenor saxophones. Metal mouthpieces are often more expensive than those made of rubber.

If you’re looking for a mouthpiece for your instrument, a good choice is a Claude Lakey Mouthpiece. Designed for jazz musicians, this mouthpiece features a medium-long facing length, wide tip opening, and black finish. It is designed for versatility and can fit a variety of sax brands. A mouthpiece with a ligature can be a great choice for a beginner or intermediate player.

There are a number of important things to consider when selecting a mouthpiece. The thickness of the metal is important, as is the material of the tone holes. The thickness of the metal will determine how well the instrument produces the desired tone. The thickness of the metal is another factor. Yamaha and Selmer both use the same brass alloy. Tone holes, also known as chimneys, interrupt the air column and affect the sound quality. Dampening factors, such as hard or soft soldered keys, leaks, and the presence of a rod at the opening of the bell are also important considerations.


Saxophones vary in the sound they produce and can affect the player’s tone. The instrument itself, the mouthpiece and the reed all play a role in creating tone. A lot of the tone a saxophonist produces can be affected by minute changes in the way they breathe and lip pressure. A good breath support and correct mouthpiece set up can help the player achieve a high-quality tone.

Proper embouchure is vital for developing your tone. You must practice a lot to develop your own embouchure and learn how to use it effectively. The correct position of the lips is essential, as is observing the teeth. Other things to keep in mind are regular playing and crescendo-decrescendo longtones. If you’d like to develop your tone even further, try these tips.

If you’re a beginner, try fingering with your low BH to produce resonant notes. In jazz, try blowing at a low BH. This will produce higher-pitched notes. To improve your tone quality, you can also experiment with your throat and tongue position. In jazz, overtones can be used to create different sounds. However, it is best to practice these exercises regularly.


Reciprocity when blowing a jazz sax is the act of doubling your own sound. You will do this by alternating the direction you blow each note. To begin, you should place your top teeth on the mouthpiece. Then, use your bottom lip to create a cushion between your bottom teeth and the reed. Repeat this procedure for the next four notes of each syllable.

Air pressure

The air pressure when blowing a saXophone is an important component of the musical experience. The pressure of air inside the instrument must be higher than the pressure that the reed needs to vibrate. If the air pressure is too low, a hissing sound will be produced, similar to that created when someone blows through their lips. This can be avoided by keeping the lower lip in its correct position.

The thickness of metal also has a bearing on the air pressure. For example, if the instrument is made of the same brass alloy as Yamaha, it is likely that it will produce the same result as the latter. The height of the pad is another important factor. Often called the “chimney”, the pad is designed to interrupt the air column. The key height and material of the mouthpiece also affect the air pressure, as do leaks, hard soldered keys, soft soldered ribbing, and the presence of a rod at the opening of the bell.

The correct breathing motion is crucial to proper saxophone performance. Although the mouthpiece does not require as much wind as a brass instrument, each note requires a different amount of air. To visualize the proper air stream and mouth shape, imagine singing the note. Start by blowing gently with less air pressure and tighten your mouth later. This technique will gradually improve your sax playing ability.

Mouthpiece thickness

When blowing a sax, you should try to find a mouthpiece that fits your embouchure. Some players like to put their mouthpiece on the inside of their mouths, while others prefer to place it on the tip of their lips. Each placement produces a slightly different tone, but many players find that this method gives them greater control over the volume of their sound.

The reeds of woodwind instruments help to create the vibration required to produce sound. Natural reeds are made from thick grass that grows naturally in southern France. Synthetic reeds are not recommended because of their lack of resemblance to their natural counterparts. Different instruments also have different mouthpieces and reeds. To play a sax, the air stream must be thicker than the one used on the other instrument.

The mouthpiece should be tightened evenly from both sides. This will make the bottom lip fleshy and bunched. The corners of the mouthpiece should push in towards the reed, while the ligature should be snug but not sloppy. Ideally, the mouthpiece and ligature should be evenly positioned on the reed and the ligature should be properly aligned with them.

Keeping your throat open

Blowing a sax is a simple process. You breathe through the diaphragm, up through the throat and through the horn. You should then see the air coming out as a stream. It should be sufficiently strong to fog your glasses. To check the quality of the air you breathe through your horn, place your hand in front of your mouth, over the throat area. Blow slowly into the hand until the air reaches your mouth. If you can do it faster, the air stream will sound.

The shape of your oral cavity is also critical to the sound. To play overtones, you need to shape your mouth to bring out harmonics and regular fingered notes. Allard also recommended holding the back of your tongue high in your mouth to promote air flow and resonance. Try it on yourself with note B on the sax. You’ll be surprised how much difference it makes!

Proper air pressure is essential for healthy low notes. Shallow chest breaths can lead to problems with low notes. Proper air pressure comes from breathing deeply and slowly. Remember that the intercostal muscles play a role in blowing air out, but your abdominal muscles are larger and stronger and do the job much better. In addition to lowering your diaphragm, maintaining an open throat helps the abdominal muscles push out air fully and increase the air pressure in your lungs.

About The Author

Wendy Lee is a pop culture ninja who knows all the latest trends and gossip. She's also an animal lover, and will be friends with any creature that crosses her path. Wendy is an expert writer and can tackle any subject with ease. But most of all, she loves to travel - and she's not afraid to evangelize about it to anyone who'll listen! Wendy enjoys all kinds of Asian food and cultures, and she considers herself a bit of a ninja when it comes to eating spicy foods.