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Technique that works: Keep your fingers close to the saxophone keys

There are a number of reasons why this technique should be practiced. Just like the professional athlete, a great instrumentalist must work on the little things to improve their technical skill and playing ability. One of the many technical skill sets a good saxophone player should work on is keeping their fingers close to the keys. Below are the 3 reasons why you want to practice keeping your fingers stuck close to the keys.

Be precise with preparing for your next note

Being prepared down to the beat is important for every instrumentalist. Being precise on the fingering pattern to help you set up for the next finger pattern sequence. Creating the muscle memory it takes to be precise with your notes takes hundreds of hours of practicing. In the same context, when you start playing with other musicians it is vitally important to be precise with each note you play, together or independently. 

Open and close the instrument tone holes quicker

Keeping your fingers stuck on the saxophone keys will enable you to open and close the

tone holes on the saxophone much faster. In return, this skill enables you to execute difficult finger patterns. Playing jazz sequences and solos at a quicker pace requires an instrumentalist to have an increased awareness of how far their fingers are above the keys. The elite players will even go to the extent of having the keys on their horn lowered. This adjustment to their equipment will give them the ability of opening and closing the tone hole even quicker because the key is actually closer to the tone hole. 

Better physical feel for your instrument

When you keep your fingers close to the horn, you also have a better “feel” for the instrument. Being an instrumentalist, part of playing is having a certain feel for your horn that brings you comfort. This can be discovered by picking up and playing different brands of instruments. For example, the Yanagisawa saxophone feels different in your hands than the Selmer saxophone, and both of those feel different in your hand than the Yamaha saxophone. Having a comfortable feel for your instrument and being comfortable with your saxophone in your hand will bring you more confidence when playing, especially in front of people.

 What technique do you think is valuable on the saxophone?

Leave your response in the comment section below.



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