Mr. Fred J. Allen

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Intonation Tendencies of Wind Instruments

Flute  | Oboe  | Bassoon  | Clarinet  | Saxophone  | Brass & Percussion 

Quick-reference Guide to Saxophone Intonation Problems

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  • Mouthpiece pulled out from neck = flat, pushed in = sharp

  • Temperature:  cold = flat, hot = sharp

  • Dynamic level:  loud = flat, soft = sharp (unless air is weak)

  • Reed strength:  soft reed = flat, hard reed = sharp

  • Embouchure:  biting or pinching = sharp, loose = flat

  • Angle of entry:  held too far out = flat, held too close = sharp

  • Lay of the mouthpiece:  closed = sharp, open = flat

  • Range:  Low range is usually flat, high register is usually sharp, unless air or embouchure is weak.


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