Playing the Xaphoon - Tips for Beginners
The standard Xaphoons are tuned to the key of C Major. It has nine holes, five for the left hand, which is held closest to the mouth, and four for the right hand, which is held below the left. The right thumb is used only for supporting the instrument. Place your mouth about one inch over the mouthpiece. (Do not bite the reed!) Pad your lower teeth with your lip, squeeze slightly, and blow. The upper teeth may rest directly on the mouthpiece. The amount of lip pressure on the reed affects the pitch.
The various finger combinations, when played with a correct lip pressure, can produce a complete chromatic scale. Notes can be easily bent in and out of tune. The Xaphoon is also able to produce some unique sound effects by trilling and bending together, or by humming while playing, which makes a bluesy wail. But most important, the Xaphoon is a new instrument, and there are no rules. The reed included is a medium strength tenor sax reed, available at any music store. For soft easy playing, use thinner reeds; for more power, use thicker reeds.
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