1 Thing You Need to Know: Low Notes

As a beginner, playing any note with confidence is a challenge, but with consistent practice, progression comes quickly. However, that leaves the high notes and the low notes, which tend to be more difficult.

If you want some tips on the high notes, go ahead and click here. Today, however, we’re going to talk about the low notes. By the way, even a small child can play these notes. No joke!

Two Daughters

Here’s a little insight into my life. I have two daughters, and neither one of them want to play the saxophone. I had huge plans for them (I really didn't, but I hoped), and they could have been great, but life (as we know) is not always what we want it to be. They did spend a little time with the saxophone, and here were the result.

6 Year Old Results

I gave each daughter lessons and they were more interested in pushing all the buttons than learning the proper steps of an embouchure. I can’t blame them (they were around 6 years old). However, I was able to teach them a proper embouchure, and they both had a great tone.

This is not dad talking, but as a musician. It was not a professional tone, but they had a better tone than some students who had played for multiple years.

Low Notes

Once they had a good tone, I performed a test to see if the embouchure was in the right spot. When the embouchure is correct, you can play the entire range of the saxophone (without moving the jaw) and all the notes should come out (both the high and low notes- with the same embouchure!).

The Test

Because my daughters didn’t know any notes or fingerings, I had them hold the saxophone and I knelt down behind them while they stood, holding the saxophone. I then put my arms around them in order to be the hands for the saxophone (they were strictly the air…and the holder of the saxophone).

I told them to take a deep breath and to play as long as possible. We could play the entire range of the saxophone and all the notes would work, even the low Bb!

1 Thing

Do I think my daughters were born with a special ability to play the saxophone? Not at all (at least from the little amount they played).

But from just a few minutes teaching them the proper embouchure, they were able to play notes (using my fingers) that some students could not play after multiple years of playing.

The Key

The key to low notes (and high), lies in the embouchure. My daughters could play the entire range of the saxophone (and they didn't even know how to play saxophone), because everything was set properly.

This brings us to the 1 thing. In order to have every note respond (and get those low notes), it doesn't take years of practice, but it requires the proper embouchure.  If you get the embouchure correct, you’ll have an excellent chance of getting all the notes to come out on the saxophone. It doesn't need to be years before you can obtain this goal.

1 Thing +2

I guess I lied a little. It’s not just one thing. I also made sure my daughters played with warm air (the difference between blowing warm air on your hand and cold air) and that they didn’t move their jaw as we went up and down the saxophone.

The Embouchure

We all know the embouchure is important, but what I learned from my daughters is that if the embouchure is correct, all the notes will come out on the saxophone, even within the first few weeks of playing. That’s huge! That means anyone can play the saxophone and get the notes to respond.

How To

Want to make sure you have the right embouchure? If you already have access to our free lessons, go ahead and sign in, and click here. If you don't have our free lessons, click here to gain access. Getting the right embouchure will get you to where you want to be, faster. Our guide will walk you through every aspect of a proper embouchure so you'll know exactly what to do.

Your Experience

What are the main issues you face with your tone or getting notes to come out? What questions do you have about the embouchure that I can clear up? Please share in the comment section below and we’ll be happy to assist. You may be very close to playing every note on the saxophone!

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