Saxophone - ANSWERS to QUIZ 3

Lesson 3 - Quiz 3 - Links

1. The shape and size of the chamber, and the shape of the facing.

2. The stiffness of the reed.

3. A soft reed with a gentle facing mouthpiece.

4. After 6 - 12 months of regular practice the lip and mouth muscles are sufficiently developed to handle a stiffer set up.
The body resonance of the student will also have improved to a point where the reed vibrates over a wider arc. This may cause the reed to stick against the mouthpiece, blocking the air. A stiffer reed and/or wider mouthpiece facing is now clearly required.

5. The reed should be placed with its edges parallel to the mouthpiece table, and with the tip of the reed about 0.5mm short of the tip rail. The ligature should be clear of the cut of the reed.

1. The embouchure functions as an airtight seal. It acts like an elastic band

2. The head rests with its upper teeth on the mouthpiece. The upper lip is located in front of the teeth around the mouthpiece. (Do not pull the upper lip underneath the teeth, or lift the teeth off the mouthpiece.)

3. The bottom lip is pulled slightly over the bottom teeth (the bottom teeth do not touch the reed). The best position for the bottom lip on the reed is at the point where the mouthpiece curvature ('facing') begins.

4. The jaw is hanging loosely on its hinges and is relaxed at all times.

The sax embouchure pressure :

  1. is uniform all around the mouthpiece ('elastic band')
  2. should become constant over the full pitch range of the instrument
  3. is considerably less than for the clarinet.

1.By first blowing air through the instrument using very little "wu" embouchure pressure, then gradually increasing "wu" pressure until a tone appears. The best tone occurs at a pressure slightly firmer than that.
2.Blowing the appropriate pitch on the unattached mouth piece.

Recommended pitches for the various unattached mouthpieces.


Concert pitch

Sax pitch
High D
High F#
Altissimo A
Altissimo B

(You can compare the pitch on the mouthpiece quite well with the note an octave lower on the instrument.)

Lesson 3 - Quiz 3 - Top - Links

Copyright © 2002 Michael Furstner (Jazclass). All rights reserved.