Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This week my sax is in the shop getting an overhaul. In light of the fact that I don't have it here to aid me in my usual exploration and blog post I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask for topic suggestions. I've been writing this blog for well over a year now, and I've mostly been reviewing and writing about what I'd like to or what I have access to. I'd like to know what readers of this blog would be interested in exploring. If you have an idea or a request please leave a comment below or email me at

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Philadelphia Jazz Festival

Philadelphia has a new jazz festival on it's horizon: The Center City Jazz Festival. This could result in a serious rejuvenation of Philly's jazz scene, which has plenty of great musicians but not enough venues. Watch the cool promo video below, and stop by it's kickstarter page to show your support. The deadline is Feb. 23rd, and they still need help to get this project off the ground.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Update on Neckstrap and Ligature Position

Lig to the back?
Yesterday I was experimenting trying to see if I could improve my saxophone playing experience, and I had two successes in a row. In way they were just reviews of my past experiments, but they made all the difference.

So here is where I started or what I've been doing normally. My neck strap has been in a position where the mouthpiece enters my mouth pretty much straight on - no angle up or down really. This is a pretty middle of the road neck strap position, not too high or low. My ligature, on the other hand, has been towards the very back of the mouthpiece.

Or to the front?!
Here is a clip with this neck strap and ligature position:

Alright, not too bad, however the lack of lows has been bothering me recently. My first discovery was that by moving the ligature forward towards the middle of the mouthpiece I introduced some lows into the sound (possibly removed a couple of the highs), and I also decreased the air resistance of the horn.

Here is a clip with the new ligature position:

I believe the slightly warmer sound is apparent on the recording, and you'll just have to trust me that this ligature position also feels easier to play.

Finally, I also experimented with my neck strap position. I pulled it a little higher than I normally would causing the mouthpiece to enter my mouth at a slight angle. It takes a moment to adjust to the new feeling and possibly lift your head. This higher neck strap position provides new highs to the sound without sacrificing lows, the most enjoyably vibrant of the three in my opinion. 

Here is a clip with the neck strap raised and same ligature position: