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Improve Your Embouchure - Keep Your Cheeks IN!

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Children often have difficulty forming a solid and consistent saxophone embouchure. One of the most common problems they have is puffing their cheeks out while playing which causes instability. Learn to help them keep their cheeks in with this simple tip!


Maintaining a solid and consistent embouchure can be a challenge for children, especially when learning to articulate with the tongue. Not allowing the cheeks to puff out is a key basic element of a strong embouchure. The cheeks puff out when the tiny muscles at the side of the mouth are weak or not engaged. This video will teach you how to help your child learn how to engage and strengthen these muscles.

Basic Technique

Smiling with the mouth corners only will help your child understand how to engage the tiny embouchure muscles. First practise the smile technique shown in the video. Do it away from the instrument until control is gained, and then add the complexity of playing with the mouthpiece and neck, helping your child to remember to activate the smile technique.

Use a Mirror

Developing awareness of when the cheeks are puffing out is kkey to effective progress. A good way to develop this awareness is for your child to practise tonguing and playing on just the mouthpiece an neck. Do so in front of a mirror for visual cues. Help your child to understand and feel when they are puffing their cheeks out.

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