I’ve never done this before…

Although I’ve been working as a pro player for over 30 years, and pride myself on having a pretty good tone, I’ve never actually practiced just on my mouthpiece.

This week however, I recorded a Guest Session for Sax School with Carl Raven, and it completely changed my approach to “mouthpiece practice”.

A bit of background on Carl Raven

Carl is one of the top classical saxophone players here in the UK. He is busy performing with all the major orchestras, plus playing with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet and teaching saxophone at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music.

Actually Carl is also an amazing “all round” sax player (and a scarily good clarinettist too!).

Oh, and Carl is also one of our tutors on the 2019 Sax School Weekender in October!

Why practice on your saxophone mouthpiece?

In this guest session Carl shared a bunch of tactics he uses in his own playing and with students at the RNCM to build an amazing classical tone on saxophone.

As a classical player it is essential to have a very even tone over your entire range, and for everything to be in tune.

The starting point for a sax tone like this, is your mouthpiece.

By the way, never tried playing classical sax music? Find out why you should here (even if you hate classical music!)

Exercises you can use today on your sax mouthpiece

Carl demonstrated what tone to aim for when just playing on your alto saxophone mouthpiece, plus how to play an entire major scale with the mouthpiece alone.

This is not easy, but it’s a brilliant challenge to work toward in your practice.

Watch the video below for an excerpt from this session where Carl demonstrates his “major scale” on a sax mouthpiece.

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