Sax School Live #3 18th June 2018

Want more? CLICK HERE to watch all previous episodes.

Want to catch these sessions live?

These sessions are broadcast each Monday night at 8pm (UK time) on our Facebook page here:


In this session:

We have a healthy discussion this week about your octave mechanism and how to identify problems.

Also, how different reeds can affect your sound, and the process of learning to play on a new mouthpiece.

And finally, is there a good technique to divide your practice between multiple saxophones?


Octave Mechanisms

Most sax players will come across a problem with their octave mechanism at some time, so it’s useful to know how to sort it. If you have had a problem with your sax switching to the octave above the one you want on notes below G, then watch back the live session to see how to fix it –usually it’s super-simple!

Here’s a video on our YouTube channel where expert sax repairer Steve Crow explains in more depth:


Reeds and Mouthpieces

When you change your mouthpiece, it can really affect your sound! In this session Nigel explained how changing your mouthpiece is a process that will affect your embouchure in ways you might not even notice. So switching between mouthpieces too often might not be a good thing!

Take time with a new mouthpiece to get the sound you want – that might also mean trying some different reeds to get the right combination for you. Different reeds have different profiles, and even different cane stock, so a new mouthpiece might mean a different reed strength suits you better.

Check out my video with Theo Wanne on saxophone mouthpieces:


Practicing Different Saxophones

Adding a new sax to your collection is exciting but it takes perseverance to get the sound you want from a different instrument. Nigel explained how changing from alto to tenor, or even to bari, will take time – working on technique, and long tones, working with a tuner, just like you did when you started out.

You might also need to try different reeds or even mouthpieces – but it’s worth it!

Also check out our quiz question, and Nigel’s Three Part Practice Challenge!

We had some great comments and questions on the feed too, so check out the full video of the live session for all the details.


Other new things this week:

Don’t miss my Youtube video where I discuss whether it’s important to learn jazz standards as a saxophone player. Check out the video here:

This week I’ve been listening to:

I’ve been listening to the new album by the amazing Tower of Power this week – Soul Side of Town.

The new album has some killer tracks on it, plus some killer tenor playing by the brilliant Tom Politzer.

Tower of Power is one of those bands that every saxophone player really needs to invest some time listening to. They are a perfect example of how sax section playing should be done, plus they have an amazing sense of groove.

Check out my blog post about them here:

Links to check out:

Get 30 days free access to Sax School here:

Tips on practicing multiple saxophones: 3 Mistakes when learning alto and tenor sax [Youtube]:

Want to boost your practice sessions? Check out my book “The Ultimate Guide to Practicing Saxophone” here:

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