Beginners Starter Pack

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Beginners Starter Pack


  • Beginners Starter pack (items in red) = Vol 1, 2 & the DVD.
  • Intermediate/advanced = Vol3 (Vol 1 also carries through to advanced)
  • General interest = Story of the saxophone

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Jools Holland / Pete Thomas “Music Makers” Saxophone Instruction DVD

Devised and presented by Pete Thomas, this has been described as “basically, the best saxophone instruction DVD out there…”

– Phill Straker,

For complete beginners, but can be very useful for the first two or more years of playing

Pete has recorded with artists such as REM, Elton John, Joe Jackson and many more. He worked as a teacher of saxophone, composition and jazz/pop performance at Southampton University Music Department from 1999 – 2002 and is now working full-time as a TV and film music composer.

He devised and presented the Jools Holland Music Makers series saxophone instruction video which is now released on DVD. This is available worldwide (currently being translated into Chinese) and is for beginners who want to learn the saxophone in a lighthearted but very practical way. It is geared towards pop, rock and blues saxophone playing, but is also useful if you want to learn to play in many other styles. Learning can be fun!. All of the online saxophone tuition resources and exercises can be used along with the instruction DVD.

In this program, he introduces beginners to the alto saxophone: the parts of the saxophone and how to assemble them, fitting the reed, posture and breathing, saxophone embouchure, holding and blowing into the saxophone, tuning, fingering, notes and intervals, tonguing and slurring, bending notes and vibrato, the rudiments of reading music and keeping time, scales, triad arpeggios, how to improvise simple songs, and playing the blues.

Extracts from DVD


This is a PAL all region DVD. It should work on a computer with DVD drive anywhere in the world. It may not be compatible with some US DVD players which are NTSC only, but I have heard from many US customers more and more that US DVD players will play PAL.

Please note we have only tested the DVD by playing on DVD systems or playing on computers with standard DVD playing software. We cannot guarantee that files extracted (ripped) from the DVD will play successfully. Sharing of copied DVDs or ripped files is illegal.

Tone without tears, no more boring long notes

Exercises to improve your saxophone sound, interesting long notes, vibrato, dynamics, overtones, mouthpiece exercises and more. 120 pages of tone fun!

This book is useful for everyone from beginners to advanced and will provide years of useful tone study. Absolute beginners please note: this is not a tutor on how to get a sound from the instrument, it assumes you can already play at least a few notes, and want to learn how to get the best tone.

Find out more in the Tone section of Saxophone Tutorials

  • Expression
  • Breathing
  • Visualistaion
  • Long Note Exercises (not boring ones!)
  • Articulation exercises
  • Vibrato
  • Dynamics
  • Mouthpieceexercises
  • Overtones
  • Tuning
  • Practice regime

Taming The Saxophone Volume 2: Beginners Impro

“TTS2″ is a theory book along with simple but interesting blues, ska and swing playalong tunes.
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As well as the book you also get (free):

  • Download PDF:
    • Backing tracks (mp3). Sheet music and performance notes.
    • Chord scale charts.
    • Free bonus: archive of Beginners PDFs (approx 100 pages) previously sold for £4.95 (see below)
  • Taming The Saxophone Vol 3 Scales Appendix PDF


Also included: Bonus PDFs – all the original beginners’s starter pack PDFs:

  • 12 Step Scale charts
  • Pentatonics & Blues
  • Scales & Chords for Beginners


As well as the backing track versions, there are also fully produced finished tracks with saxophone playing the melody and improvisation which is transcribed so you can choose to play the transcribed version or make up your own improvisation.

Each track has performance notes so you can easily refer to sections of the theory book to help decide what to play, or you can just play along, use your ears instead of worrying about the theory.

Saxophone Beginners Starter pack
Sale now on!


What’s in the book?

  • What are chords?
  • How chords are formed.
  • Why do saxophone players want or need chords?
  • About chord sequences, how harmony helps music to “tell a story”
  • How to make your solos more melodic, not just running up and down scales
  • Blue notes and blues scales

Who is it for and what do you need?

  • Ideally you already know some very basics of music theory, e.g. about key signatures and notes on the staff. If not we advise getting a basic music theory book such as Grade III.
  • Any saxophone player, beginner to intermediate who may or may not have reasonable saxophone technique, but is not yet confident enough to improvise.
  • Anyone who wants a simpler yet highly musical approach to improvising – no complex jazz theory to make your brain hurt. No mixolydian dominants or modes of the melodic minor.
  • Harmony examples need to be played and although you don’t need to be a piano player, you need a keyboard (either piano, MIDI or virtual, e.g. keyboard app). It doesn’t matter how slow you are finding the notes.

Many theory books start off quite simple but then suddenly progress to the very complex jazz harmony. In this book we will try to keep it as simple as possible for as long as possible, while still giving you a thorough grounding in how to do some basic improvisation. It’s recommended that you be able to read music so you can try out the musical examples, but you don’t need to be a great sight reader. You don’t even need to read the tunes in the playalong, you can learn them by ear from the fully produced versions if you want.


  • Understanding chords
    • Major chords (triads)
    • Minor chords (triads)
  • Chord functions
    • Two sets of numbers
    • Major, minor and diminished
    • Major chords
    • Diminished chords
    • Minor keys
  • Beyond triads
    • Major 7 chords
    • Minor 7 chords
    • Dominant 7 chords
    • Four-note chords (summary)
  • A harmonic journey
    • Why is there tension in a dominant chord?
    • Voice leading
  • A closer look at minor harmony
    • The harmonic minor and leading notes
  • Using chords in improvising
    • Right notes and wrong notes
    • Passing notes
    • Suspensions
    • Avoid notes
    • Honing your improvisation
  • The Blues
    • Blues chords
    • Blue notes
    • Blues scales
  • Glossary


Beginners Starter Pack
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