Alto Saxophone Lesson III
Putting your Alto Sax Together
- Basic Saxophone Assembly - Sax LESSON III
A quick review of each Alto Sax part and Accessory can be reviewed here.
So, You have all the parts and pieces and want to put it all together and start playing you Alto Saxophone?
1. Open the Alto Case.
2. Make sure you have all the pieces on the Check List - Lesson II
3. Select a Reed and put it in your mouth to start getting it wet. The reed needs to be soaked before putting the Mouthpiece together.
4. Put the Neck Strap on your neck and make sure it is straightened out and ready.
5. Take the Sax Neck and put the Mouthpiece on the Neck to about the middle of the cork, with the open side of the Neck and open side of the Mouthpiece facing up. (If the Mouthpiece is too tight get some cork grease on the cork and try putting the Mouthpiece back on again.)
6. Take the wet Reed out of your mouth and place the flat side of the Reed on the flat side of the Mouthpiece with the thin side of the reed facing out.
7. Hold the Reed in place with your thumb while you carefully place the Ligature over the Reed, about ¾ of the way on to the Mouthpiece. The screws can go on either side of a metal Ligature and the material Ligatures will have the screws on the opposite side of the reed.
8. The Reed will go to the end of the Mouthpiece and when closed the tip of the Reed and the tip of the Mouthpiece should close even together. To adjust the Reed, get everything close and set the ligature screws a little loose so you can adjust the reed to be exactly in the middle and right to the tip of the Mouthpiece. The Ligature should be even on all sides to and then tighten the screws so everything is snug (but not as tight as possible, you can overdo it and be too tight.)
9. Pull the Alto Body out of the case and attach your Neck Strap to the hook on the open back in the middle of the saxophone.
10. It's time for you to put the Neck on the Body of the Sax. Go slow and be gentle using a slight turning motion. Make sure the neck is all the way on and then tighten the Neck screw to snug, but not too tight again.
11. Lastly, adjust the sax to you. Many parts are adjustable and the idea is for the sax to come to you, not you twisting to get to it. The parts that adjust are the Neck Strap up and down, the Sax Neck goes left and right and the Mouthpiece spins form side to side so you can set your head angle without bending your neck all weird. This is the rule. If you look like a weirdo when you play your sax, you are doing something wrong. To play the sax is to look cool, not like you are in pain.
We will get some pictures up here to help you see what is being explained, but for now, the idea is to have a relaxed and natural body position that does not change when you bring the sax to your mouth.
The Alto Sax Site
More Alto Sax LessonsAlto Sax Lesson 1 - Buying My First Alto Saxophone
Quick Thoughts, or full article - Buy, Rent or Borrow?
Alto Sax Lesson 2 - Alto Saxophone Accessories
What do you need to play an Alto Sax?
Alto Sax Lesson 3 - Alto Sax Assembly
How do I put my Alto Sax together?
Alto Sax Lesson 4 - Play Alto Sax
How do I blow and finger my Alto Saxophone?
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