Tone development for sax and flute

The foundation of good tone, on saxophone and flute, is the ability to play well in the low register. The exercise in the attached pdf will help you to develop this ability. I recommend it for all students who can play down to low ‘C’.

Points to watch:

  • Play the exercise slowly, in free time, pausing for a breath between each pair of notes.
  • Maintain support for the breath by keeping the stomach muscles firm.
  • Tongue the first note of each pair, imagining a ‘daw’ syllable, and slur to the second one.
  • Saxophonists should play with a full tone, not a subtone. To achieve this you must keep the embouchure the same. Do not fall into the bad habit of reducing embouchure pressure as you descend into the low register.

For pieces that you will help to develop your low register technique see The Jazz Method for Saxophone, pp. 38-39; The Saxophone Method vol. 2, pp. 28-29; and The Jazz Method for Flute, pp. 58-59.

Low note exercise (pdf)