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Jazz Sax Lessons: Neck Straps & Position

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So, let's talk about neck straps and
the position of those neck straps.
If you're a beginning player,
it seems pretty obvious,
there's not much to the fact that you
put the neck strap over your neck and
and clip on the horn and then off you go.
But let's talk about the position
of your neck strap first,
cuz that really is pretty crucial.
You wanna make sure,
now that we're gonna talk about neck
position in a subsequent lesson.
But the position of your neck strap is
really important because it affects how
you're blowing into the horn, it affects
the air going into your instrument.
Simply put, your neck strap
should be in a position, so
that you can have your head sitting on
your shoulders as if you were not playing.
So, just sitting here comfortably, hello.
And I'm not doing this,
I'm not doing that.
By doing either of those positions,
it cuts off the air in your throat.
And you may not think it's drastic, but it
is, and it definitely affects your sound.
So, it's an important thing to
think about, as a beginning player.
But it's a super important thing to,
I think about it all the time.
I'm always kind of checking that.
So, no matter what level
of a player you are,
you wanna make sure that the position,
high or low, on your neck strap,
is not affecting
the position of your head.
And therefore,
cutting off any air in your throat.
So, make sure it's nice and
straightforward like that.
Let me give you a bit of an example.
So, if I bring my neck strap, this is
kind of the common thing, by the way.
To have your neck strap down like that.
[SOUND] It messes you up.
The way our tongue hits the reed,
the articulation isn't
gonna be optimum at all.
But it also just affects your pitch and
your sound and everything.
Same thing if you're too high like that.
It messes with the angle of your throat
and it certainly messes with the angle of
your embouchure, your tongue position,
and all those things.
So, suffice it to say that you
wanna make sure that your neck
strap is sitting in a position where
you can feel as natural as possible.
The neck strap itself is important.
A popular type of neck strap are the kind,
I know I'm gonna get in trouble for this.
But are the kind that are kind of squishy,
kind of elastic-ish,
where you put them on and they're
kinda bouncy and the horn can move.
I put one of those on once, again,
I'm gonna get in trouble for this.
But I couldn't play.
It kept affecting my intonation because
the horn is just moving around a lot.
It's super comfortable.
It's like laying on the most comfortable
bed you've ever laid on, but
you haven't got that kind of control.
Less is more.
I've got this very basic of neck strap.
I think a Yahama.
It is a Yahama.
And you can find them, they're everywhere.
And it's not super padded back here.
The padding is okay.
If you wanna have a neck strap
that's like nicely padded or
blinged out, I don't care.
But as long as it's something,
well two things.
As long as it's not one
that bounces a lot and
it's also one that you can adjust easily.
And I also feel that
because I'm a doubler and
I play other instruments,
I play saxophone as you can see.
I like to be able to take my neck
strap off and on very easily.
I've never had a neck strap come off.
The kinds with the hook,
if you are in a position where you gotta
take your horn off quickly,
it's obviously problematic.
So, beware of that.
And also one that can adjust up and
down easily too.
So, you wanna understand
that that is a fluid thing.
That if you're sitting or you're standing,
what your comfortable neck
position changes a bit, and
it's gonna move, the neck strap that is.
So, you wanna be able to make
slight adjustments very easily.
So, be aware of those things.
If you've got this really super-cool
neck strap that is kind of spongy, and
you're in love with it, I know I've
just blown that for you, but you know.
And if you got, hey,
I know great players who use them.
And so, this is my advice but it's
certainly not that you couldn't use them.
So, if you have a question about that,
if you're not sure if your neck
strap is quite right, shoot me that
video exchange and I'd be more than
happy to take a look and give you my
advice and thumbs up or thumbs down.
So, there you go.
Thank you.