How to Hold the Saxophone

The saxophone can look like a confusing instrument with so many buttons and rods everywhere! Before we can start playing one of the first things we need to learn is how to hold the saxophone properly. In this lesson Mr. James will explain exactly how you’re supposed to hold your instrument.

Key Points

  • The neck strap must always be around your neck and connected to your saxophone, to prevent accidental drops.
  • With the saxophone hanging from the neck strap, we take our hands and first position our thumbs in the following places:
    • The left thumb goes on the top dot (can be black, mother of pearl, brass, or metal) on the back of the saxophone, at a bit of an angle (as personally preferred).
    • Your right thumb goes under the hook on the back towards the bottom of the horn. This is called the thumb rest.
  • With your thumbs firmly placed, gently push the saxophone away from your body, putting a little pressure on the neck strap, and giving you control over the instrument.
  • Finally, place the mouthpiece in your mouth while still pushing out with your thumbs.

Following these steps will give you the proper technique for holding your saxophone!

Skip to toolbar