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Saxophone Lesson: Basic Embouchure with Eric Marienthal


When you’re first learning how to play the saxophone, one of the most important techniques to focus on is your embouchure. Now, you may be wondering, “what is saxophone embouchure?” Embouchure is the way in which a player applies or positions their lips and mouth to the mouthpiece of a brass or woodwind instrument.


The crux of a player’s tone stems directly from their embouchure. Therefore, it’s critical to establish good habits and develop proper embouchure muscle memory, and it’s important for players of all levels to consistently monitor and modify their embouchure as necessary.


In this online saxophone lesson, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, lead alto chair of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and former member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band, Eric Marienthal teaches the basic methods for developing a proper embouchure and provides a handful of techniques to employ when practicing and refining your embouchure and tone.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play the jazz saxophone from a master musician like Eric Marienthal? Try some free online saxophone lessons now!


“Embouchure is one of those elements of playing that you really need to get right from the beginning,” Eric explains. “But, it’s also one of those things that you always need to be checking. Even as a professional sax player, I’m constantly aware of and monitoring my embouchure.”


A key facet of your embouchure that will drastically impact the quality of your tone is the amount of pressure you place on both the top of the saxophone’s mouthpiece and also the reed. Too much pressure will often choke your notes, but not enough pressure will produce a weak and often out-of-tune sound.


“The tone that you produce on your saxophone stems directly from the amount that your reed is able to vibrate,” explains Eric. “The more pressure that you apply to the reed with your mouth, the less the reed is going to be able to vibrate. However, if you don’t use enough pressure, your playing will sound out of control. It’s about experimenting and finding the sweet spot.”


To learn about how to properly craft your embouchure on the saxophone as well as a few practice techniques to help refine it, dive into this online saxophone lesson from Eric Marienthal:


Basic Embouchure with Eric Marienthal:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play jazz saxophone? Through our comprehensive saxophone lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Eric Marienthal, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Eric’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner saxophone to advanced performance techniques, improvisation methods, jazz standards, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as saxophonists and musicians.


Try out some free sample music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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