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your neck. The strap should be adjusted so the mouthpiece is
in a comfortable position for playing.
The fingers of the right hand play the notes at the lower end
of the instrument. Your right thumb should be placed under
the thumb rest and should press gently upward against it.
The fingers of the left hand play the notes of the upper end
of the saxophone. Put your left thumb on the thumb button
just below the octave key and your hand will then be in the
You produce tones on the saxophone by blowing into the
mouthpiece, to the under side of which is fastened a reed. One
of the accomplishments you will acquire as you go along will
be the strengthening of your lip muscles. As they develop and
strengthen, you will be able to produce a fine, clear quality of
tone. The best way to strengthen the lips is to practice playing
Now take up your saxophone and put your lips over the
mouthpiece. Let them cover about one-half of the curved part
of the mouthpiece. Rest your upper teeth on the top of the
mouthpiece, and draw your lower lip over your lower teeth
so they do not touch the reed. This is important, so please pay
good attention to it.
Now you are ready to blow and see what happens. First, be
sure to keep your lips around the mouthpiece so no air will
escape at the sides of your mouth. Second, put the tip of your
tongue against the end of the reed. Third, draw the tongue
back quickly and at the same time blow into the mouthpiece,
holding the tongue almost as though you were saying the letter
"T". Your first attempt may produce only a squeak, but with
a little practice you will get good, clear, resonant tones.
Making Notes on the Saxophone
Fig. 78 shows an Alto saxophone and the fingers that are
used to make the different notes up to high Db. The fingering,
for the notes above Db is shown in Fig. 79. The range of the