Is the Saxophone Difficult to Play?
- Written by Saxophone Teacher
Is the saxophone difficult to play?
Unlike the flute and clarinet, the saxophone is very accommodating in the early stages of musical development. Within the standard range,notesrespond easily, even with the most undeveloped embouchure _ the position of the lips in producing a tone _ and breathing technique. The saxophone is not as prone to "squeak" like the clarinet or sound airy and flat like the flute
in the beginning. Soon thereafter, however, much attention need be given to the development of good posture, support, relaxation, hand position, breathing, embouchure, articulation, and manual dexterity.
With all of these components functioning independent of one another, it should come as no surprise that the saxophone demands a great deal of concentration, as is the case with all musical instruments.
Beginners often have difficulty producing the low notes or "bell tones" and the high notes or "palm keys." The extended range or "altissimo register" should not be explored until the player has a firm grasp of proper breathing, embouchure, and tone production.
Essential to learning any instrument is development of the inner ear, or aural perception of sound. Having a reference in one's inner ear as to what to strive for in terms of tone and interpretation can be the most important motivation for any player. Having an aural reference such as a CD recording or concert performance, like a picture, is worth a thousand words.
Daily adjustments made through trial and error in order to imp