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Re: Woodwind fundamentals - What are your secrets?
When it's put back together.
How does tuning to a lower pitch facilitate less jaw dropping? Or do you mean when you put the mouthpiece back on the instrument?
For Alto I like to use Ab concert. This facilitates less "jaw dropping" to lower the pitch and is more in tune when the instrument is fully together. Air control is probably the most important thing as far as tone production goes.
If I have just the saxophones for a sectional, after breathing and Remington, I do:
*Mouthpiece pitch work*
Baritones should match a Concert D to the harmony director. Tenors match a G, and altos match an A.
If the pitch is too high, I tell them to use more air and drop the jaw. If they’re having difficulty, I remind them to anchor the top teeth on the mouthpiece, and show them how to hold the mouthpiece alone in a way that facilitiates this.
Once I’m satisfied that everyone has demonstrated the correct mouthpiece pitch, I check the perfect 5th between baritone and alto, and then the perfect 4th between baritone and tenor.
After a few weeks of this, the whole process can be done in about 3 minutes.