March 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm #83914
My 2nd Sax lesson on Wednesday went well. We worked on a lot of long tones, blowing as hard/long as I can. He said we were doing this for 2 main reasons: One because it’s an awesome way to reboot your tone, play as long as you can and as loud as you can. The other thing was to emphasize what happens when we starting biting down on the MP vs using our embouchure muscles. Near the beginning of the long tones, I was doing pretty well, but as my embouchure muscles started to get tired, I caught myself starting to ‘bite down’ on the MP instead of using my embouchure muscles.
Even though I was pushing hard from the diaphragm, our tone can start to sound ‘nasal’ if we’re not playing with our embouchure muscles–keeping them as relaxed as possible, and using our lips to play instead of playing with too much jaw and biting down on the MP. Of course, this is happening because I’m in the process of rebooting everything and he said it will get better as I continue to get back into playing, but he wanted to point out the difference of playing with our embouchure/lips, keeping my oral cavity relaxed, creating a seal around the MP, etc. vs playing with too much of our jaws and biting down. If our embouchure starts to get tired and we start to bite down on the MP, playing out of tune, etc then it’s best to either take a break and come back to practice again later or to call it a day.
I told him about the MP-only exercises I learned about here on Johnny’s lessons and he said that was one of the ‘absolute best’ things I can do to develop my embouchure strength. I’ve been doing that exercise almost daily for the past couple of months, and it’s really helped a lot 🙂 He also said that exercise is a great way to break in a new MP too.
He said my finger position was looking better, keeping them closer to the keys. Next week we’ll be reviewing the pentatonic/chordal exercises he gave me to work on in our first lesson to see how I’m coming along with that.March 30, 2019 at 7:33 am #84177
My instructor has me do some of the same. He asks me to blow a scale for him listening to my tone. Then he will either ask me to start out loud and go as soft as I can or the opposite. It really helps with blowing those notes softly. Also breathing.March 30, 2019 at 10:39 am #84185
Absolutely. I think those subtones are much harder to do than long, loud, long-tones. Playing loud and in tune is a great way to develop (or re-develop like I’m doing) our tone. He said I’ll be focusing on subtones more as my air support starts to come back to me. For now, we’re focusing on developing the tone back. Johnny has a great exercise of ‘Ehh-Ahh’ in the tone development lessons that is great for building our tone.March 30, 2019 at 4:33 pm #84200
subtones are sweet, despite what some may tell you , a double cusion/double lip embosure makes it alot easier
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