How To Make Your Saxophone Laugh

By March 3, 2017saxophone articles

The 3 Main Techniques Used for How To Make Your Saxophone Laugh

There’s 3 things to cover that will enable you to get a good laugh out of your saxophone. The first one is to make it a descending chromatic scale. The second thing is the notes you start the laugh on. The third thing is how to drop the dote and make it fall off, or bend.

Think of how you scoop a note or bend up to it. Well, this is the opposite, or a backward bend. So we let it fall at the end on the note. To do this hold the note and let it fall off by letting all the pressure off from your bottom lip.

Tonging

Start the note with the mid part of the tongue, not the tip. Then let the tongue remain back and away from the reed while dropping the note. This is a good technique to practice, not just for the saxophone laughing effect but overall playing technique. Bending the note down is a good way to add ornamentation to a melody.
For a great example of holding a note and bending it down, then back up again take a listen to Sonny Rollins’ solo on the Rolling Stones song called Waiting on a Friend. This is the same technique that we’re covering here, just being used in a different way.

Making the Laugh

Start on the high D, but don’t just ditto the high D, start with a upward glissando from the middle D on your way up to it. Then the same thing but start on middle E and gliss up to high E and come back down chromatically 5 or 6 notes. Then same thing again starting on middle F up to high F and come back down 7 or 8 notes chromatically. On this last one I usually make the fall off bend on the last note a little more exaggerated.

Note Bends and Chromatic Scales

Not only are these two techniques necessary in how to make your saxophone laugh but they are important and useful techniques to your all-around playing.

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