Mr. Fred J. Allen

Return to Tips for Band

Intonation Tendencies of Wind Instruments

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

Quick-reference Guide to Saxophone Intonation Problems

Get Adobe Reader!

  • 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.


The Texas School Music Project is a source for ideas and information concerning pedagogical practices in the music classroom or rehearsal hall.
The TSMP is a service provided to all music specialists by the faculty of the School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University.

For questions about this site contact [email protected].

Copyright © 2002-2019, The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University