Home Alt Forums General Questions Holding thee alto sax.

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  • #8947
    Kent Murdick
    Participant

    I have looked everywhere for a specific explanation of this topic and can find none. People have told me that I play the sax too much like a clarinet and that the sax neck should be perpendicular to my face. It seems that most alto players play this way, but they all hold the sax about a foot away from their bodies. I can do this but it is hard on my thumb and my arm quickly tires. BTW, I do chin ups so it's not old age. What I find really odd is that when I search the internet and look at my old books, there is really nothing about holding the alto sax. They all just say adjust the stap so when you bring it up it goes directly into your mouth. thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

    Kent

    #10175
    john
    Keymaster

    Hi there Kent and welcome to the site and forum!

    Different players will hold their instruments, regardless of which type, in slightly different ways.

    If you look at a person playing an alto sax, possibly a classical musician sitting on a chair, the sax will be held at slight angle and off to the side of the body.

    A sax player standing up will usually hold the sax closer to the middle of the body, and resting, or almost resting on the stomach area. You might alter this occasionally by stretching your arms out or up when you get a little carried away with a solo (I know this happens to me a lot!)

    Basically these slightly different positions won't effect your sound as long as you are aware and keep a firm and solid embouchure the whole time. As a basic rule though, keep it straight in front of you and let it gently rest on your body.

    I hope thi helps and makes sense!

    Johnny

    #10176
    Kent Murdick
    Participant

    Yes, it makes sense. I can hold the sax out and get that perpendicular look, but it sounds absolutely the same as when I don't. BTW, here I am playing. I started 4 and a half years ago and pratice 1 to 2 hours a day. I'm a serious amatuer.

    #10177
    john
    Keymaster

    Kent, very nice sound you got going there, good for you.
    I would work some on the intonation, especially up higher.
    Try and tune up a little closer to the tracks you're playing with first though.

    There are some things you can do for this. There are 2 already here that will help:
    In the "Tone Development" section there is the Ahh-Ohh exercise and the Long Tone.

    The other thing that will strengthen your intonation is more air support from down low. I think that lesson is in the same section.

    One thing at a time and it will come!

    Rock on
    Johnny

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