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  1. #21

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    The No embouchoure embouchure is only missing the top teeth as an anchor point for the sax.
    The lip does work fine to form a seal without the aid of the teeth, just takes a bit more building up the muscles.

    It does not really matter where you are on top of the mpc.
    What counts is what happens below the mpc, where the reed is, and that the air goes through the mpc, not past it.

    About the squeaks:
    I had one box of reeds that have been a tiny bit broader than the ones earlier and later from other boxes.
    They had a bad tendency to squeak as they got squished a bit from the sides.
    You can do it, you have done it and you're gonna do it again, better than ever before.

  2. #22

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    By no means is double lip incorrect, just pretty uncommon. I don't know how familiar you all are with the clarinet world, but I personally love Daniel Bonade's approach. It's kind of a mix between standard and double lip. I'm sure you can read about it somewhere on the internet. One possible concern, if you're a flute doubler, is that playing flute requires a flexible upper lip; chomping on your upper lip doesn't really help that.
    (alto) SA80I - meyer 6m - jodyjazz hr* 6m- rovner dark - vandoren 3
    RooPads rule!!(seamless resos)

  3. #23

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    well I've been switching back and forth with the "no embouchure embouchure", and a more standard embouchure. My teeth on the mouth piece does seem to steady my sax more, but I automatically open my throat with the no embouchure embouchure. To use the standard and no bite I have to tilt my head forward a little.

    I think playing the no embouchure embouchure for a week has really strengthened my face muscles. At first after one song I could feel the burn in my cheeks and I'd just finger some scales for a rest and then play again. Now I can play a good 2 or 3 shorter songs and be okay and although I still catch myself occasionally getting rough with my lip it's usually after an hour or so of playing and so I rest for a while.

    still not set on which embouchure to use... i'm leaning towards no embouchure embouchure but I've been trying to play certain songs that are 'difficult' for whichever reasons (fast, high notes, going from low to high or vice versa) that are hard for me to get a good sound and I'll play them with different embouchures and experiment.


    are there any players that change their embouchure depending on the piece/style they're playing? Like they use one for jazz but a different one for classic?

  4. #24
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    I'm not sure that you understand what Bergonzi's "no embouchure embouchure" is.

  5. #25

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    i watched his youtube video?

    btw... "who is john galt?" lol!

  6. #26
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikkeos View Post
    The No embouchoure embouchure is only missing the top teeth as an anchor point for the sax.


    .
    Where did you get that idea?

  7. #27
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Please get a good instructor before deluding yourself further.

  8. #28

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    are you talking to me or mikkeos?
    I have an instructor... the only one I could find in my town though rumour has it there's a guy no one's heard of teaching too.

    I played with my instructor without my teeth on top and he complemented my intonation and tone.... much better than last week he says.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Since the embouchere is lesson numero uno when it comes to playing the sax, I would get a good teacher, kid--preferably one who teaches at a local uiversity. I was reading through this thread and I would think you're head would be spinning from all the divergent opinions given about double-lip emboucheres, etc. Playing the sax is a skill, just like playing golf is. People don't learn how to play golf and how to swing the club properly from reading opinions on the Internet. They do it from taking lessons from a pro that can offer on-the-spot corrective feedback.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by evilfeline007 View Post
    i watched his youtube video?

    btw... "who is john galt?" lol!
    When Bergonzi describes his embouchure, he's referring specifically to lack of pressure or tension in the lips, on the assumption that the top teeth are on the mouthpiece. What the "no embouchure" embouchure means is that the lips are so relaxed that there's virtually no difference in the way your lips feel when playing and the way they feel when your mouth is doing nothing. Don't mistake it for meaning that the teeth don't do anything either. I don't know how your lips could be that relaxed without your teeth being on top of the mouthpiece.

    Look. Putting you top teeth on the mouthpiece is the standard. Some people advocate a double lip embouchure in which the upper lip mimics the bottom one (lip curled over teeth, teeth applying pressure). NOBODY advocates using only the upper lip. Maybe as an exercise, but not as a way to play all the time. Playing this way will make you eventually hit a roadblock. Your progress will stop far short of where it needs to be and you'll have to go back and relearn how to form a proper embouchure.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    I have to disagree with you Agent 27. My teacher who taught/coached me on the double lip is now working with Curtis Fuller. His teacher who taught him the double lip is Gary Bartz.
    Its actually easy to control the mouthpiece with no teeth on top and to play the full range of the horn effortlessly. I can go back and forth from low Bb to high F easily w/ the double lip and everything I am capable of playing sounds better since I went to it.
    It does take work, For me it took 3 months of hard work to stay totally relaxed throughout the whole range of the horn. Once I got it however it was like a switch was flipped as it has never been difficult again. I use the double lip on everything from sopranino sax to contra alto clarinet and it works fine FOR ME with all.
    The bottom line is that far better players than anyone on this forum use the double lip and far better players don't. Anyone here want to tell Gary Bartz he is playing incorrectly?

  12. #32
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGalt View Post
    The op is not talking about double embuchure, he's talking about floating his teeth (not touching anything) and playing.
    That's how I read it also, so if that's the case, here's my 2 cents. As an exercise to help you not bite and play with a more relaxed embouchure, taking the teeth off the top of the mpc can be useful. But, imo, in a normal playing situation you have to put something on the top of the mpc, either teeth or lip, to help keep the mpc from shifting around and to maintain a steady embouchure, even when using the "no embouchure" embouchure.

  13. #33

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by drwhippet View Post
    Since the embouchere is lesson numero uno when it comes to playing the sax, I would get a good teacher, kid--preferably one who teaches at a local uiversity. I was reading through this thread and I would think you're head would be spinning from all the divergent opinions given about double-lip emboucheres, etc. Playing the sax is a skill, just like playing golf is. People don't learn how to play golf and how to swing the club properly from reading opinions on the Internet. They do it from taking lessons from a pro that can offer on-the-spot corrective feedback.
    If there was a university within an hour and half drive I would go there and find a teacher or student or whatever to help me. There's one music store with a music school with one teacher for all wind instruments and the trumpet. He is my teacher. I'm pretty involved in the area and know all the musicians as I go to jams regularly and there is one sax player who they've been begging to get up and jam but he hasn't played in 5 or so years. Other than that there is a rumour of a guy that teaches but no one knows how to get a hold of him. So my options are limited. I agree that no internet opinion substitutes someone going "oh you're thumb's in the wrong place that's why!" (or whatever...) which is why I've chosen to keep my out-of-it veteran band instructor and am using the opinions/advice on this forum as well as other sources to supplement any sort of lacking I get from actual instruction. My teacher doesn't help me much with things like sound, tone, etc he says it comes with time (which although true, I was after some exercises on improving such or advice on embouchure etc). He is very, very set in his ways (ie the embouchure he knows for sax/clarinet is THE embouchure, and Rico royals are THE reeds to use, etc) so I'm just broadening my horizon. I've changed my embouchure from the way he does it and he hasn't noticed that but he has noticed better tone/intonation. He is good for improving my sight-reading. All we pretty well do is go play the tunes in the method books together and usually only once, sometimes twice if I really screwed up. Now I can sight-read just about anything on the sax (which I haven't been able to do any other instruments) unless there's a lot of dotted notes or 16th notes which still trouble me a little still. And sometimes we'll play something a second time and I have to follow the notes while he improvises a harmony which is hard but he says it's important to listen to others and not screw up your part. So, I feel, for 20 bucks it's worth it for me to take lessons from him since my options are very limited anyways. Alas, I take music and practising and working towards a sound a lot more seriously and I take all the opinions with a grain of salt, swirl them together, try them all and see what works for me. It's the best I can do for now...

  14. #34
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Have you considered taking a few online lessons over Skype with a mic and a webcam. This would allow the teacher to see your embouchure and hear your tone. It would also give you a chance to ask all the questions that your current teacher is not answering. I know Tim Price gives lessons over skype and there are others too.

    Edit: You do not have to make a long-term commitment but you could get your basics straight.

  15. #35

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    that's an interesting concept... I do have a mic and webcam in my laptop but I always have trouble with skype as my internet connection/computer speed isn't really up to standard :S. I could try resolving that issue though.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by evilfeline007 View Post
    my teacher actually IS the repairmen... lol... and he has checked the octave key because of the squeaking... he does it every lesson pretty much. I keep saying to him "maybe it's me..." but he insists it's the saxophone and when he plays it and it doesn't squeak he says it's the reed being too dry but at home when i practise my reeds soak in water before i play and i still squeak.
    When experimenting with different embouchures, I've heard myself squeak when:
    a) I've taken in too much mouthpiece
    b) my bottom lip is rolled out too far

    Maybe see if you're doing any of those two things.

  17. #37

    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    I'm working it all out as a beginner .... but, I find that I have to have an anchor somewhere. My top teeth are not that straight, so I put a couple of stick on pads there, and found that everything works better with that extra cushioning. The resting the top teeth, and balancing that with the right hand thumb, to hold the sax (a tenor), is working well for me, and getting the sax out in front while standing up is improving my sound.

    I can't imagine "floating" the embouchure, without a well defined anchoring point.


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  18. #38
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    As your embouchure becomes stronger you may find that you come to rely less on that "anchoring point" over time.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: do the top teeth have to touch the mouthpiece?

    I have, over time, spent way too much time and effort on experimenting with embouchure types. I've probably tried them all. In my humble opinion, what ended up working best for me (over the entire range of the horn, including altissimo), is to put the mouthpiece in my mouth and pretend I'm sitting on the couch watching TV.

    No pressure anywhere in the mouth. No tension anywhere in the body. Let the tongue (voicing) and diaphragm do the work. The reed needs to vibrate; and you would be surprised at how much the smallest bit of tension in the embouchure can interfere with that happening.
    Ska Ska Ska Ska Ska

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