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Jazz Saxophone Embouchure Placement

“Dear Jody, Can you tell me how much mouthpiece I should take in my mouth to get a good Jazz sound?”

This is a question I am often asked and here is my answer:  Proper embouchure placement assists proper reed vibration.  If you don’t take enough mouthpiece in your mouth the reed can’t vibrate fully. If you take in too much mouthpiece you lose control of the reed.

Here is my version of proper placement for a Jazz sound. I’m referring to where the bottom teeth are trying to hit the reed. Of course your bottom lip is the cushion between the teeth and the reed.

With the reed and ligature in the normal position, look at the mouthpiece from the side to determine where the reed and mouthpiece separate. 3/4 of the way from the tip of the mouthpiece to this first separation point is where your bottom teeth should be trying to hit.

For most amateurs and students this means they need to take in more mouthpiece in their mouth to hit this spot. That means they need to put a lot more air into the horn and possibly strengthen their embouchure grip once they do.

Link to the original article on the JodyJazz BLOG site:

JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested.