How to Articulate on a Saxophone

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Articulation is a very important part of successfully playing the saxophone. Learn how to articulate on a saxophone 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 in Los Angeles. I freelance around LA, in the studio, in live venues and on tours. Today we're going to answer the question of how to articulate on the saxophone. An articulation on the saxophone basically gives you a clean attack when you're playing a note. So instead of all your notes being sort of slurred together like this, you get to have that nice clean start to each note. So the way that you do that, you're actually going to flick the tip of the reed which is right here. The reed is on the mouthpiece. You're going to flick the tip of that with the very tip of your tongue. Be careful not to use too much of your tongue. If you use too much, it will sound kind of sloppy like this. It's kind of hard to maintain a pretty tone when you're doing it that way. So you just want to use the very tip and just hit the very tip of the reed. So again it's going to sound like this when it's done right. That's how you articulate on a saxophone. My name is Mike Eyia.

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