Questions and Answers


Can my thumb rest be moved or adjusted on my saxophone?

Saxophone Questions & Answers
Can my thumb rest be moved or adjusted on my saxophone? Most saxophones made today have an adjustable thumb rest that can be adjusted a little. The adjustment is usually back and forth and not up and down. A good repairman can move thumb rest on older instrument or sometime move the adjustable rest. The way to move thumb rest on saxophones requires the rest to be unsoldered and that always burns the lacquer and must be polished after the job. It is hard to match the lacquer but moving the thumb rest is so it will allow your hand to work better and not keep the saxophone ...

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Playing short notes to long notes on the clarinet.

Clarinet Questions & Answers
Playing short notes to long notes on the clarinet. Original Question; I have trouble playing from my middle A to my middle B on the clarinet. How can I improve this problem? Going across what is called the Break on the clarinet can be difficult. The Break is going from a short note like G, G#, A or B-Flat in the middle register to a long note like B, C, C#. The reason most player have trouble with the Break is that they are filling the instrument with enough air for the B for example to come in correctly. We learn to play the Break by going from the middle A to B and ...

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Do climate changes affect my instrument?

Questions from young people. Most of the questions I get are from young students.
Do climate changes affect my instrument? It is possible that changing climate can have an effect on the instrument in some ways.  The climate changes are more of a problem for woodwind instruments that they are for brass instruments. EXAMPLE: If you travel from a wet climate to a very dry climate the pads can dry out and like a little until the get moisture from playing. Extreme climate changes can cause the wood on a clarinet joint to swell and the joint will not fit together very well. Heat and Cold: You do not want to that your clarinet inside from the snow ...

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How important is equipment to playing an instrument?

Questions from young people. Most of the questions I get are from young students.
How important is equipment to playing an instrument? Let’s talk about normal instrumentals and equipment. I believe the equipment is about 25% of the overall way a player plays and 75% is the player or artist. I once got a King Super 20 Alto and a Meyer mouthpiece and guess what… I never sounded like Cannonball.   Having the same equipment as a player you like might give you a small chance of sounding like them but it would not be a guarantee. We should have equipment that works for us and then we can develop our playing.   There are what we call ...

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Why is my saxophone is hard to play in the bottom register?

  • Saxophone Questions & Answers
Why is my saxophone is hard to play in the bottom register? There are several things that make a saxophone hard to play in the bottom register. The No.1 problem is most saxophone players do not push the mouthpiece on the neck as far as they should. There is place called “The Sweet Spot” on every saxophone neck where the mouthpiece goes that makes everything play great. (Or the best that instruments can play) You must find this “Sweet Spot” and learn to play the saxophone there. So try to push our mouthpiece in a little and see if the bottom register plays ...

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When I tune my alto

  • Questions from young people. Most of the questions I get are from young students.
When I tune my alto to the middle concert B-flat or A my lower register is flat.. That would be right. When you tune to the middle G or F-Sharp on the alto those notes by nature are around 30 cents sharp. So if you tune to them the lower register will be flat. You should tune to the first finger B natural the most stable note on the alto, you lower register will be in tune and you learn to play the right hand middle register down a bit. There is no saxophone or wind instrument for that matter that will play in tune without some adjustment. I play in a community band and ...

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