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Breathing Exercises

Learning how to control your breath is crucial to good saxophone playing. Here we'll take you through some of the basic dos and donts.


Breathing in

When you breath in, the air should fill the lower reaches of the lungs first. You should be able to feel your abdomin swelling up as you breath in. Most importantly - do not let your shoulders rise as you breath.

Breathing out


The main thing to learn about breathing out is being able to control the speed at which the air is exhaled.

To play a long note at a consistent volume, you need to exhale at a consistent level. All loudness and softness on the saxophone is controlled by the speed of the air.

Exercise playing long notes


  • Play long notes with full breaths. Do not strain at the end, but remain relaxed.
  • When the note has finished, inhale fully and play the same note again.
  • Once you have practised this a few times repeat the exercise starting very soft and increasing in volume to the end of the note. Try to time the increase so that you don't arrive too soon at the loud note.



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