UNC Wilmington Department of Music A Daily Warm-Up Routine for Saxophonists

UNC Wilmington
Department of Music
A Daily Warm-Up Routine
for Saxophonists
Starting Out. Begin by first establishing a relaxed throat and air stream as well as a controlled embouchure, by
playing a couple of patterns in the low register of the saxophone. (Tone)
Long-Tones (with or without vibrato). This exercise will allow the saxophone to work on several facets of
playing including air stream control, tone, intonation, as well as starting and ending notes (vibrato optional).
Tonguing (single note or moving notes). This exercise helps prepare and develop the muscle, in this case the
tongue, for the appropriate muscle motion during performance. (Articulation)
Finger Technique and Control. This exercise is to simply limber up the fingers for practice or performance
(chromatic and/or major scales). (Technique)
Tongue and Finger Coordination. This is an exercise to develop a coordinated balance between the finger
and tongue motion (same as above). (Technique and Articulation)
Overtones and Altissimo. This exercise is intended to develop tone by focusing on oral cavity configurations
necessary for the performance of these techniques. (Tone and Extended Techniques)
Overall, the total time of the warm-up suggested is anywhere from forty-five minutes to a little over an hour.
This may seem like a long time to spend on warm-ups, but it incorporates many fundamentals necessary for
proper saxophone playing. Maintaining these fundamentals daily will afford you more time for making music
and less time on fundamental deficiencies when practicing and/or performing music.