Hello everyone! Welcome to this really simple tutorial on how to assemble the saxophone mouthpiece! This video is aimed at parents of beginner saxophone players, who want to support their child take their first steps with the saxophone- assembling and caring for the instrument.
It's very tempting for parents to let their children leave the mouthpiece assembled in the case so it's ready and easy to just pick up and play the instrument. It does save a lot of time and hassle at first, but it is super important for your child to practise assembling and disassembling the mouthpiece at the beginning and end of every practise session.
This first step helps children to gain confidence and connect with the instrument. Young children can struggle with the dexterity and coordination needed to assemble the saxophone mouthpiece, but it's a vital part of learning.
Why Not Just Leave it Assembled?
In my teaching I have developed a logical and consistent way to teach the assembly of the mouthpiece, and the above video shows this method. I've highlighted the more challenging steps to assembly with extra descriptions, which will hopefully make it easier for you to help your child to learn the steps that they are likely to find most challenging.
After a couple of weeks it will be easy! In my teaching I've taught many children as young as 7/8 years that could learn to put the mouthpiece together with a bit of patience and persistence :-) By gaining the coordination skills needed to assemble the mouthpiece, children learn to respect and become responsible for an expensive instrument, and get used to the fine motor control, balance and gentleness required to handle, play and care for the saxophone.
Here's a summary of the main points to remember from the video;
- Hold the mouthpiece in your weaker hand using your stronger hand to fit the reed
- Stabilise the reed with your thumb
- Fit the ligature over the reed and mouthpiece with your stronger hand, making sure it slides onto the thickest part of the reed
- The ligature screws should be facing you
- Adjust the reed from the middle or bottom of the wood using your stronger hand
- Tighten the screws fully
- Assemble and disassemble the mouthpiece every practise session
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