Having good intonation on the saxophone is crucial! No matter how good your tone might be, or how great your ideas, if you can’t play in tune, it all counts for nothing.
In this lesson, I begin by stressing the importance of intonation when choosing a saxophone and provide simple but important tips to keep in mind when trying out a new saxophone and how to avoid buying the wrong saxophone.
You’ll learn why a tuner is an invaluable tool for evaluating any potential saxophone and why you should take one with you when testing a new sax.
I teach you a simple exercise to help you get to know your saxophone’s intonation tendencies. Get to know every note on your horn and which notes are sharp or flat. This is a real ear opener!
If you know the pitch tendencies of your horn, you can adjust the wayward notes to bring them into tune, but you have to know which notes are out and by how much. I explain how to get to know your sax so that you know what to expect from every note.
I go on to show you some simple tips and tricks that you can use to correct these intonation inconsistencies. How to open your throat, change your air stream and tongue position, to bring these notes into tune.
Tame that sharp upper register! By teaching you how to work with your air and throat and tongue position, I guide you through the process of leaning to control the pitch of these notes and place them so that they play in tune.
I talk about why ear training is so important to playing in tune and how to work on this area to improve the way you hear and play. I then explain how to step beyond our reliance on using the tuner and learn to use our ears to play in tune with other instruments. I show you how you can use your favorite recordings and play along with the masters to learn to “lock in” the note and play with great intonation.
Learn how to play with other horn players. From small combo playing, to school concert band, to big band section playing, we all need to learn how to blend and tune with other horn players. I discuss how to achieve this and why it’s so rewarding when you do.
This lesson is fantastic for anyone who wants to improve their intonation and when combined with my other lessons on “Developing a Great Sound” and “Saxophone Voicing“, provides a comprehensive guide to getting that great saxophone sound we’re all after and learning to control and shape that sound to fit perfectly in any playing situation. (Audio)