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Tongue Position

Zachary Fell • November 2022Playing Tips • November 13, 2022

One of the things I find that my early saxophone and clarinet learners need to focus on is tongue placement. The technique I was taught, and I find very helpful, is to have the tongue in an “E” vowel shape. This keeps the back of the tongue flat in the back of the mouth and the tip of the tongue curved up, behind the front teeth and not touching the roof of the mouth. With this position, the tongue can articulate the reed on the tip of the reed and mouthpiece giving a nice clean articulation and not a thuddy sound that can happen with articulating with the top of the tongue on the heart of the reed.

Zachary Fell
Union Grove High School
Union Grove, WI

SBO+: As we expand our focus to embrace all genres of school music, it’s important that we hear from you. Share your lessons learned and your successes and challenges by contacting me at tomsbomagazine@gmail.com.

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