How to Make an Alto Saxophone Stop Squeaking

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If your alto saxophone starts squeaking there are a few things you can do to get it to stop. Learn how to make an alto saxophone stop squeaking with help from a saxophonist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play the Saxophone
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Video Transcript

My name is Mike Eyia. I am a saxophonist based in Los Angeles, California. I do a lot of freelance work around LA, in the studio and live in clubs and also on the road on tours. Today we're going to discuss how to make an alto saxophone stop squeaking. The way that you want to make a sax stop squeaking is probably going to be to change your reed, mess around with your ligature which is what holds your reed on your mouthpiece and possibly even change your mouthpiece. The most common reasons for squeaks are your reeds being too soft, your mouthpiece being too closed or a combination of other things. But basically the most likely problem is going to be your reed. I'm going to give that about an 80 percent chance of that being the culprit of your squeaks. So make sure that your reeds are hard enough. The first thing you might want to try is upgrading. If you're using a number 2 reed, try out a 3, see if that works. That will probably get rid of some of your squeaks. Also if you use a metal mouthpiece on an alto sax, a lot of times a metal mouthpiece will squeak much more easy than a rubber mouthpiece. And generally an alto has a nice bright sound as it is so you don't even really need a metal mouthpiece on an alto. You can get away with using a hard rubber mouthpiece. And those are much less likely to squeak. My name is Mike Eyia and that is how to get an alto sax to stop squeaking.

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