Alto Saxophone – Troubleshooting with the Alexander Technique (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on February 16, 2013

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Alto Saxophone Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate saxophone technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Troubleshooting is the bridge between posture and technique I’ve created in my work with alto saxophone players. I’m an Alexander Technique teacher and a former concert guitarist. One of my former Alexander Technique teachers gave me the tools to apply all of the principles of Alexander Technique great posture to my guitar playing, and she also gave me the tools to expand the Alexander Technique principles of good postural use to guitar technique.

This is what I’ve done in my ebook on alto saxophone playing. I go into extreme detail in this ebook on how to use your whole body on the saxophone for the most posturally mechanically advantageous body use. I also go into detailed specifics of alto saxophone technique.

You can teach an alto saxophone player to have beautiful posture on the saxophone, but what if the alto saxophone player’s technique isn’t serving the saxophone player? There are two major reasons for this.

The first is the alto saxophone player’s technique is flawed, completely or partially. In other words, the saxophone player is asking his diaphragm and embouchure to do things that really can’t be done.

The second major problem is with how the alto saxophone player is approaching his technique – the technique is perfectly ok, but the saxophone player’s approach to it is very inefficient.

This latter is closer to traditional Alexander Technique thinking. It simply means you are doing the right thing the wrong way. The most obvious example of this is using too much muscle to get the job done. So, the alto saxophone player sits or stands with pretty good upright posture, but uses too much muscle to sit or stand upright and causes pain, strain, tension, and compression in the whole body. He looks good and feels bad, and this limits how well he plays.

When this happens in the specific alto saxophone technique of how the saxophone player uses his diaphragm and embouchure, then if the saxophone player is always poised with excess tension in his diaphragm and embouchure to play, then no matter how externally good his technique looks to everyone else, he is compromising his torso and lips.

Now, the first problem – the alto saxophone player’s technique isn’t the best choice. This can only be solved if the saxophone player is ready to become his own teacher, his own master. What do I mean?

THE MOMENT THE ALTO SAXOPHONE PLAYER PUTS EVERYTHING, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, THAT HE OR SHE HAS EVER LEARNED ABOUT PLAYING THE INSTRUMENT UP FOR SCRUTINY, THE SAXOPHONE PLAYER IS TRULY READY TO BE HIS OR HER OWN MASTER. AT THIS POINT THE ALTO SAXOPHONE PLAYER ISN’T A SAXOPHONE STUDENT ANYMORE AND IS NOW CONTRIBUTING TO THE ALTO SAXOPHONE WORLD.

When I started questioning everything I had ever learned about guitar technique, it was the most freeing thing I had ever experienced as a classical guitarist. It was an amazing feeling to take total control of my guitar technique. I revamped nearly my whole technique.

WHEN YOU REPLACE WHAT DOESN’T WORK, AND WILL NEVER ALLOW YOU TO BE THE ALTO SAXOPHONE PLAYER YOU COULD BE, WITH WHAT WORKS, THEN YOU ARE FREE TO HAVE FUN ON THE SAXOPHONE.

One final point – when you replace what hasn’t been working for you on the alto saxophone with what works, the internalizing of the new technique can be very fast. When you experience how effortless the new way can be, then you can very quickly let go of the old way. The old way only takes a long time to change, if you resist the new way by holding onto to the false security of what never completely worked.

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