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Saxophone/Playing the Sax without teeth


Hi Charles,

     I have a very unusual question: I am very interested in learning the Saxophone, but no longer have any upper teeth. I wear upper dentures, but they don't fit securely. Can I still play the Sax without any upper teeth? Would I be able to hold the mouthpiece down with my upper lip or gums?



To be honest I really don't know. I've never known anyone that has played without upper teeth. You may have to experiment to find out or check with your dentist and you may just need dentures that fit better. I do know that many professional sax players have had dentures and some were able to have them custom made to compensate for playing the sax.

Also there is a technique that fell out of favor in the 1920's but it may apply in your case and that is the "double lip" embouchure. This is when you roll your upper and lower lip over your teeth or gums. This might help you hold the horn more securely. This does result in some intonation issues, but with practice may be overcome.

Again experiment a bit and check with your dentist and see if you can get a better set that may be more secure.

I hope this helps.

Charles Harris.  


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Charles Harris


questions regarding equipment, performance, repairs, lessons, etc. Almost all saxophone related questions.


I am a professional member of N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instruments Repair Technicians). I have been repairing saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and brass instruments since 1993. I perform in several professional groups covering genres form classical, jazz, and rock.

N.A.P.B.I.R.T (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

St. Petersburg Junior College (AA) University of South Florida.

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