07. The balance of your sax – the four points of support

You actually support your sax at four points.
1. The strap that hangs your sax from your neck.
2. Your left thumb; rests against that (usually black) cap. You also use this thumb to operate your octave valve.
3. Your right thumb; is more or less in that bracket/hook. It looks like you have to lift your sax with that, but you push the sax a bit away from your body. (see more about this in BLOG 3)
4. Your upper teeth; they stand firmly on the mouthpiece. When you push with your right thumb, you will feel the mouthpiece being pressed against your teeth. (see BLOG 10 – mouthpiece stickers)
With those four support points, you keep your sax in place. Your eight fingers can now move freely without your sax immediately flying in all directions.

Stand with your sax relaxed in play position, your mouth peace gently against your teeth, your thumbs in place, right thumb pushing the sax a bit away from you; and the other eight fingers loosely above your valves. So the sax is not really fixed now. Lower your under jaw and try to talk a bit. If you notice that you lose control, you can try if it helps when you hang your sax a little higher or lower; or push a bit more with your right thumb so that the mouthpiece is pressed a bit more firmly against your teeth.

Of course, it takes a while before you have good control over your sax in terms of balance. It will come.

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