Learning to play the saxophoneOn 27.10.2019 by ComputerMusic
The saxophone is a very important musical instrument and learning how to play it is no small thing. This instrument is able to adapt to many different musical styles, giving the possibility to use it in many different occasions. It can, therefore, be appreciated in many contexts. The sound of the saxophone has an unmistakable timbre and can create a very elegant melody.
Studying the saxophone can be very satisfying. What must never be forgotten, however, is that before beginning the study of the techniques it is important to understand how the instrument is made. In particular, what are the elements that need to be controlled in order to use it correctly and without risking any repercussions on health.
Learning to play the sax: its components
The saxophone is an instrument that, in order to work well, is based on the air that the musician puts into it through the reeds. A curious fact about this instrument is that it belongs to two very different categories. In fact, it is inserted between the woods because it derives from the flute and clarinet, but at the same time it is counted among the brasses because it is formed by this metal.
As mentioned earlier, the sax is very useful not only for all modern musical styles, but also for electronic music. It should not be forgotten that this instrument is not widely used in classical music, because being a relatively modern instrument does not have an appropriate literature.
This lack has been well replaced by orchestras and chamber music. There are various types of saxophones on the market:
- Sub-bass in B flat.
- Double bass in C.
- Double bass in E flat.
- Bass in B flat.
- Baritone in E flat.
- Tenor in B flat.
- C saxophone Melody.
- Half soprano saxophone.
As mentioned before, the instrument is made up of a series of components that allow it to work properly. The saxophone is therefore composed of the mouthpiece, neck, shaft, keys and bell. The reed is a separate matter, because being a pivotal component it can be made of various materials including wood and plastic.
The main function of this component is the introduction of air into the instrument. The musician, in fact, with the upper lip and the flat part of the mouthpiece, by introducing air inside the instrument, tends to oscillate in the channel delimited by it, creating the sound.
This component must be secured to the body of the instrument by the binding, and even in this case it can be made of wood or brass. All these elements can be potential weak points that must be well controlled.
Maintenance and cleaning of the saxophone
The saxophone is a wind instrument, which means that a sensitive part of our body, the mouth, will come into direct contact with it. The problem lies in the fact that from the mouth you can come into contact with heavy metals and bacteria, which can risk creating serious damage to the body.
For this reason, whoever plays the instrument must first of all understand that cleaning is not optional, but a real necessity. First, the mouthpiece can be cleaned with a brush and water, then the component will continue to dry with a cloth.
It is very risky to wet the neck, because the cork could deform and ruin the instrument. The swab may be the ideal solution. Usually made of rag with a flexible stick, to effectively clean the part. The swab can also be used to clean the body.
As far as maintenance is concerned, the only thing that can be done is to always check that the screws are well secured.
LEARNING TO PLAY THE SAX: LET’S SEE HOW TO START.
Playing the saxophone is a big commitment. Your body and mouth must be in the right position before you even know the notes. If the sound of the musical instrument appeals to you, then let’s try to make it clear.
First of all, it is important to check that all components are mounted properly. Then put the saxophone and left hand on the upper keys and right hand on the lower ones. Also, rest your right thumb in the hook that has been specially inserted in the lower part of the instrument, while your index, middle and ring fingers should rest in the mother-of-pearl ones.
The little finger must be free to move. The left thumb, on the other hand, must rest in the holder in the lower part of the speaker key. The position of the mouth is very important and must be held by pressing the lower part of the lip on the back teeth.
This is a very important step, because the flow of air into the instrument depends on it. Blow in without pressing notes to see if everything works properly and start playing the first notes as follows:
- Press the second key with the middle finger for C.
- The first key with the index finger for yes.
- The first and second keys for A…
- Press three keys for G.
- Press four keys for F.
- Five keys for E.
- Press six keys to get the king.
These, of course, are just the basics. The saxophone is a complex instrument, but with practice everything will seem simpler, being able to create great melodies.
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