Saxophone Reed Placement

Learn about saxophone reed placement in this Howcast video.


Up next in How to Play the Saxophone (43 videos)

Wish you knew how to play the saxophone? Now's your chance. With these online tutorials featuring composer and saxophonist Troy Roberts, you can learn how to play the sax on your own time, at your own pace, in the privacy of your own home. It's the next best thing to having a private music tutor at your beck and call.



Hi, this is Troy Roberts. Today we are going to talk about saxophone reed placement. On the saxophone, we have a mouthpiece, which is made up of the actual mouthpiece, the ligature, and the reed. When placing the reed on the mouthpiece, best to show by example. You put the reed in between the ligature and the mouthpiece, and with your thumb, it is a good idea to hold it in place while you adjust down here with your fingers. If you hold it up to the light, you can push against the reed to get it to the tip of the mouthpiece and make sure it is flush. This is kind of bad here. The reed is over the mouthpiece that is not good. This is also bad, where the reed is under the tip of the mouthpiece. You really want to get it flush. Hold it in place with your thumb and then tie it in the ligature. That is the most ideal placement for the reed. Then you put the mouthpiece with the correct reed placement back onto the neck of the saxophone and you can play away.


  • Troy Roberts

    Australian saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts has shared the stage with musical greats such as James Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Orrin Evans, Robby Ameen, Sammy Figueroa, Ari Hoenig, Wayne Shorter, Vinnie Colaiuta, Zakir Hussein, Richard Bona and Lew Soloff. He received a Grammy Nomination for his performance on Sammy Figueroa's The Magician, was the only Australian finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, and recently represented Australia performing at Herbie Hancock's launch of the first ever UNESCO International Jazz Day at the UN General Assembly Hall, NYC. Celebrating his 5th internationally- released album as a leader, 'NU-JIVE 5' (2013), Troy is currently based in NYC and continues to maintain a busy performance and recording schedule around the globe.