Relaxed Jaw Dropping

Seems my saxophone playing has entered a new phase. I’m sounding brighter, clearer and even the low notes are sounding less raucous. Why? Well the two pronged relax and drop-your-jaw approach is finally paying dividends.

Last mouth my tutor told me to expand the area inside my mouth – in effect create a larger chamber in my mouth – I did this by adjusting my jaw “from the back” and this helped for sure.

Now I am also dropping my chin to avoid clamping the reed – this means the muscles around my lips have more work to do and this means that control is also trickier…

The final piece of the jigsaw is learning how to relax – this is the most abstract and difficult task to get to grips with. If I am not relaxed when I play then all the technique in the world won’t help my music.

It seems relaxation and core strength (your core muscles are your abdominal muscles and diaphragm) are not only essential to saxophone playing but many, many diverse activities – from breathing (low breaths aka diaphragm breathing) to motorcycling (using your abs to support your torso relieves your wrists from carrying the weight of your upper body leaving them free to manage directional control) – being relaxed also means you will tend to suffer fewer injuries.

Alas your relaxation technique will probably be different to mine – infact how you relax may even differ according to the task you will undertake. For many athletes doing muscle stretching before an event or workout is common whereas pianists tend to shake their hands. I’m still experimenting to find what works best for me – you’ll have to do the same!

Happy saxing

Welcome, welcome, welcome…

Hi there,

Well what can I say? In the past I have had many blogs – they all had one thing in common. They were all about something specific – this time around I will be using this blog to talk about whatever comes to mind.

The hope is that I will be able to update this blog frequently and you the reader will get an insight (possibly alarming) into the range and diversity of things that float around in my head at any given time… Should be fun…

Well that will do for now – I should be practicing the saxophone this morning instead of writing this but I had to get this blog setup on a real computer first – I’ll be doing most of my work from the relative discomfort of a BlackBerry as I spend a great deal of my life traveling from one place to another…

If you are really bored you can also follow me on twitter @ZenGlobal…

Now I really must get going!