First Steps on the Saxophone

Saxophone Beginners Starter pack
Sale now on!

For Absolute Beginners

In this section we look specifically at useful stuff for beginners, but don’t be scared of delving into the other pages.

Some may be a bit advanced but others can be very useful – especially the tone section.

Christmas

Extract from DVD: First Notes

Lesson 1 – “Oh No, Not Boring Scales!”

Yes, but to begin with scales are there to learn the set of notes that go to make up a tune. If you learn a tune (and even more important if you want to learn to improvise) without knowing scales you could end up with some vast gaps in your knowledge. In the first lesson I have gone beyond what you might learn in school or from a tutor: I have added some numbers underneath the scales and arpeggios. Obviously you need to learn the names of the notes, but I suggest that you learn the numbers too, even at this early stage. It is not necessary for grade exams, but will come in very handy if you want to do any jazz or rock improvisation.

Doesn’t that make it more complicated?

Yes, but it will be worth it. You will be learning something about harmony right from the start, and this will give you a feel for how the notes relate to each other instead of just learning scales and tunes “parrot fashion”. Trust me, this will help make that giant step into improvising just a bit smaller.

I am starting with G major, although not as straightforward as C because there is a sharp in the scale, the range of notes does not involve the higher or lower extremes so is easier for beginners. You must play these at an even tempo, don’t slow down for the hard bits and speed up for the easy bits.

To begin with you should alternate between thinking the names of the notes as you play them and thinking the numbers of the notes. And when you hit that last note, hold it for as long as you can while still sustaining as even a tone as possible (so take a good big breath at the beginning).

G major scale

The good thing about the numbering system is that it is always based around the “root note”. This means that when you learn other keys, you will start on a different root note, but the number of the root note is always “1” and you will learn the relationships between all the notes. In this case you will soon think of B as the 3rd note of G major. As you apply this method to another scale, e.g. the scale of C, you will soon learn that E is the 3rd note of C, F is the 4th note, and so on.

You will notice that the arpeggio is the same but with some steps left out. This is the simplest type of arpeggio and is called a triad because there are only three different notes in it. If the notes were all sounded together on an instrument capable of playing more than one note at a time this would be called a chord of G major. To differentiate from a more complex type of G major chord with more than three notes, (more on that later) it would be usually be called a G triad.

G major arpeggio

I have tried not to either duplicate or contradict any of the standard grade 1 techniques, exercises and repertoire. In fact I have never been involved in the formal side of beginners saxophone tuition and have only ever taught beginners in private lessons. If you are studying formerly it would be a good idea to discuss with your tutor what I have on offer here in case there is any conflict with his/her teaching approach, or any specific syllabus you may be working towards.

IMPORTANT: These saxophone beginners lessons are not meant to be your only source of learning. You need a teacher as well!

Subscribe To Our (very occasional) Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news, tutorials and special offers!
No Thanks
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Our
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
Frequently Asked Questions
I did not receive the email with with my download link

Please check your spam folder.

NB: Purchased downloads are also available to download directly from your customer account area.

I am having a problem downloading to iPad or iPhone

This is a common issue and affects all downloads, not just our products. In order to download anything to iPad etc. you will need an app that can handle .zip .pdf and .mp3 downloads.

See this article and/or this app

It may be easier to download to your desktop and then transfer to your tablet.

Download expired, reached its limit
  • The download may actually have  expired. Download links are valid only for a certain number of days and have a limit on number of downloads - please contact us with your order number and date of purchase to reset it. (Ideally reply to your order confirmation email)
  • Download manager/accelerator  software or browser plugin is interfering with the download. If so try disabling it.
  • The files did actually  download, but very quickly and you did not realise. Please do a search of your download destination directory before contacting us.
Do you sell outside the UK?

Yes, we sell internationally. Your currency will be automatically converted at the current exchange rate.

Saxophone Instruction DVD region compatibility

This is a PAL all region DVD so will not require you to reset your DVD player/computer region.

However as it is PAL format it may not be compatible with some older U.S. TV sets which are NTSC only, please check if your TV and/or DVD player is compatible with PAL format.

If not, it should still work on any computer with DVD drive (anywhere in the world). Please note we have only tested the DVD by playing on DVD systems or playing on computers with standard DVD hardware and software. We cannot guarantee that files extracted (ripped) from the DVD will play successfully. Sharing of copied DVDs or ripped files is illegal.

How much will postage cost?

After adding an item or several items to your cart, click on the Calculate Shipping button and choose your location from the dropdown menu. This will give you the postage options available to your country.

When will I get my stuff?

Products in stock

We usually post within 3 days of receiving an order. We are unable to give exact delivery times, but generally packages to Europe can take 2 - 7 days, outside Europe 4 - 14 days. Under exceptional circumstances (weather, strikes, customs delays) it can take longer.

Out of stock (backorders) or special orders

Out of stock books and DVDs are generally restocked within a week. Out of stock or special order mouthpieces can take between 6 and 10 weeks for manufacturing.

From time to time we have a holiday, in which case items will take longer, look out for any noticesd at the top of the page re:holidays.

How do I find out the price in dollars, yen, euros, dirhams etc?

The checkout pages shows prices in GBP (£). Your bank, credit card company or Paypal take care of the actual conversion, so you can pay with your normal account in your own currency. We don't publish actual rates in different currencies as this is constantly changing so we advise you check with a live currency conversion site such as xe.com

Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
×
×