The saxophone has always been an iconic instrument in the jazz genre and mastered by many a musical maestro over the years. It is a very adaptable instrument and quite expressive too. There is a lot of misconception about the saxophone as many people see it as an instrument which is hard to play. Well, although the instrument is not a walk in the park, with lots of commitment and practice, you can learn how to play a saxophone like a pro.
For the newly initiated, you will most likely require experimentation with different styles and techniques before you can develop as an professional jazz musician. There are a few tips which you need to take to heart and you can read them here:
- Learn Breathing Techniques
The saxophone is to music what swimming is to sport. You need big lungs for both. If there is one instrument where you need lots of air, then it is in playing the saxophone. And the flow of breath from the lungs into the instrument must be unceasing. But this is not something that comes naturally for most human beings. And for budding saxophone players, it takes practice. Players must undergo "throat training" where they learn how to manipulate the diaphragm to improve breathing.
- Constant practice
It may sound easy but practicing on the sax constantly takes hard work. And sometimes you just might want to quit. But the best way to ensure you get proper practice is to trick your brain. You can do this by keeping your sax setup open so that it can be readily played at any time. This way your brain gets the visual idea you want to play and keeps you mentally ready. Always ensure you can see your music at eye level to develop proper posture during play. To do this, buy yourself a music stand. It will prevent you from stressing your spine and give you good posture during sessions.
- Maintain a position
There are two ways to hold a saxophone. Both ways are correct and to use one way or the other will depend on how you were taught at the beginning. The first method is to hold your sax between your legs and the second is to put the sax to the right side of the leg.
The best thing for you is to find the position suitable for your play and maintain that position. When you vary positions, you end up destroying your playing potential. This is because each positions have different angles and once you switch, it becomes difficult to reach certain keys that you could reach with a different stance.
- Purchase suitable Reeds
A high quality reed improves the sound coming off your sax. Make sure you use reeds which are durable because a splintered reed can hurt your mouth. When purchasing a reed look for a reed that matches your strength because it makes playing more convenient for you.