One of the most fundamental problems wind players have is incorrect head position. This is terribly important because your head position can greatly affect the quality and quantity of air production.

Your head should be held in it's natual position which, upon observation, would be parallel to the floor. The three most common faults are:

1. The head bending down and leaning on the mouthpiece.
The most common, on all instruments, of these positions is having the head bent down towards the chest. I find this problem to be the most severe in Soprano Saxophone players and Flutists. Performers of the Alto, Tenor, and Baritone saxophones can correct this by adjusting the neckstrap so that the instrument mouthpiece natually comes to the players mouth. If you find that you have to move your head for the natural, parallel, position to reach the mouthpice you should adjust the neckstrap to allow your head to remain in the proper natural postion. Daniel Bonade used to correct this problem on his clarinet students by raising his students music stands high enough so they were forced to have the head in a higher position to see the music. One should be careful not to put the stand too high where the head is tilting back and up as in position 3. Both Clarinetists and saxophonists should feel that the top teeth are receiving the pressure from the bottom teeth rather than iniating the pressure from the top teeth.

2. The head being pulled back shortening the neck.
The player should feel his head being moved slightly forward without moving up or down and being careful not to move the shoulders. The neck should feel slightly long.

3. The head tilting back and up.

All of these changes in head position constrict the wind pipe and vocal chords. As an experiment, try talking with your head in extreme positions. Try to speak with your head all the way down to your chest and and all the way to your back. You will find that the quality of your speaking voice decreases greatly at these extremes. Now try speaking while you gradually move your head to each of these extremes. You should notice that as you move closer and closer to the extreme the quality of your voice suffers. Anything that causes the quality of your voice to decrease will equally affect your playing of a wind instrument.

If there's anything you dont clearly understand on this sheet don't guess! Contact Mr. Morosco for further clarification.

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