I haven’t been feeling well and I’ve been using that as an excuse not to practice. Makes sense anyway. Mother nature is messing with my sinuses and I have issues breathing right now, not to mention the general “fug” of fibromyalgia and the mental health issues. But music is my sanity, and I realized once I made a note to practice, I actually FELT better.

So I mustered my courage, opened the saxophone, and tried to play…

Nothing came out.

No sound.

Nada.

Zip.

HONK!

I’d made noise before. I thought I’d figured out what was going on with my embrochure. But then I thought about it. Not so much in terms of what I’d seen in the beginner YouTube video, but when I did finally make a decent sound, why? The flat chin with the hint of lower lip over the bottom teeth felt familiar. But there was something funky happening with the corners of my mouth and my top.

Aha! As a clarinetist, it’s important that you cover your teeth and make your lips and mouth and jaw tight. I know I’m probably not explaning that well, but it’s like you suddenly got botox and everything was boxed in. I heard it called a cage when I started googling the differences. And it makes sense.

The saxophone is more fluid. Part of it too is that my arm strength is shot (i’ve got to find those 2lb dumbbells that I had for mom and start doing some curls and presses) and add to that the moderate carpel tunnel, well, holding onto a much larger and bulkier saxophone takes strength I don’t have.

Honestly, I could totally go all psychologist here and comment on the ways that it’s probably good for me to learn saxophone. I’ll just end my blog for today, but saying that the mouth is totally different, and I’m still working on it. We’ll take it from there.

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