Exercises for the Break

As with any woodwind instrument we play, whether that be saxophone, flute, or there is an area where we need to practice in order to have a smooth transition between registers. This is often referred to as "the break". Where this break lies is different or similar between woodwind instruments. On the saxophone and flute this is the transition between C and D, on the clarinet this is the transition between A or Bb to B

The EWI has a "break" as well that lies between C and D, and it is just a crucial to make the transition smooth as possible due to the instrument being touch sensitive. Should the fingers not connect simultaneously, we will get "glitches" in our performance. We will produce tones that we didn't intend to have.

Note: These are exercises reflect having your EWI set up to use "E1" or "EWI Standard" fingering! I like to use this set in order to separate the EWI from other wind instruments, mentally and physically

As I like to see it; "The EWI is NOT a saxophone, it is its own instrument, so it shouldn't be treated as such."

Here are a couple of exercises with varying fingering sets to help smooth things out:

Ex. 1

Break Exercises




Fingering Set 1:




Fingering Set 2:




Fingering Set 3:





Ex. 2




Fingering Set 1:




Fingering Set 2:




Fingering Set 3:





Practice these fingering sets slowly with various rhythms before you integrate them into scale exercises. Some of these of fingerings are familiar to you, others won't be, that's good! They will give us more options in our performance.

Have with the exercises and come up with your own as well!

Happy practicing!

Evan Tate

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