SAX to OBOE

    The biggest difference between the oboe and the saxophone is that the saxophone has a single reed and a plastic mouthpiece that are held together with a ligature. The reed still creates the vibrations for the saxophone sound, but it feels different because the saxophone reed is vibrating against the mouthpiece of the saxophone instead of the two reeds of the oboe vibrating together to make sound. With the saxophone embouchure, the top teeth make contact with the top of the mouthpiece and the lower lip makes contact with reed. With the oboe, the lips cover the teeth from the reed and since biting can effect playing the oboe in a bad way, this will need to be a focus when switching from the saxophone to the oboe. The saxophone player will need to get used to both of their lips vibrating on the oboe’s reed, instead of just their bottom lip.

    The chin and lip formation for the saxophone embouchure is similar to the oboe, but somewhat different because of the angle of the saxophone. The saxophone embouchure has a more relaxed chin that is less drawn back then oboe embouchure. The most significant differences are the teeth not being used on the oboe reed and the larger size of the opening of the lips for the saxophone. The saxophone reed and mouthpiece are much larger than the oboe reed. The saxophone player will need to adjust to the smaller more delicate reed of the oboe and focus the lips into the center to make up for the size difference. The most difficult habit to overcome when switching from playing the saxophone to playing the oboe is a scrunched up chin and biting with the bottom teeth (because of the angle between the saxophone mouthpiece and neck).  In addition, although saxophone players like clarinet players can still play their instruments while leaking air, this technique just doesn’t work on the oboe. Therefore, a saxophonist who is used to leaking air will have to break this habit when playing the oboe.

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