I have been playing the alto sax for a few years now, and this problem has come up a lot recently.

Every time I play a long piece, spit starts foaming on the sides of my mouthpiece, right next to the reed. I have tried to adjust my mouth position, but no luck. Is there any way I can prevent this from happening?

If it helps, I use a vandoren size 3 reed.

  • Does your spit foam appear sooner if you play louder? Just trying to help diagnose your problem.
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 21, 2018 at 1:01
  • You say that this problem is recent. Were you doing something different before you started experiencing this? What has changed?
    – user39614
    Feb 21, 2018 at 2:14
  • @Dekkadeci Yes.
    – Xcoder
    Feb 21, 2018 at 2:22
  • @DavidBowling I don't really know. I mean, I switched to vandoren from rico royal a year back, but I don't think that makes a difference.
    – Xcoder
    Feb 21, 2018 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


You need to have your teacher (you DO have one, right?) watch your playing. It's pretty much guaranteed that your embouchure is out of whack, allowing air to escape (and saliva with it).

I'll note in passing that reeds are notoriously inconsistent, so the brand is irrelevant here. The strength could be a problem: if you're using a stiffer reed than you can physically handle, your mouth/lip muscles will tire very quickly. But I repeat: have your playing observed by a trained teacher or professional player.

  • What's wrong with that spit on the sides? I personally have a very large tip opening mouthpiece, and I've never seen it as a problem. The air escaping is what creates a "darker" sound.
    – Pyromonk
    Dec 31, 2020 at 23:32

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