Saxophone Forum


by TenorBrit
(1 post)
5 years ago

Intermediate Questions

Hi! My names Brittany and I've been playing saxophone since the fourth grade. I'm currently going into my sophomore year at TRHS. I've come on this forum to ask a few questions. 1)Whats a good way to improve site reading skills? 2)Whats a good brand of saxophone for an intermediate user? 3)Best price for a used saxaphone? For a highschooler..

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  1. by SuperSax875
    (55 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Intermediate Questions

    Hi Brittany. Being a good sight reader is really about having the skills to call on when your on the fly. The three things that will help you the most are knowing your scales, being able to count and clap rhythms confidently and accuratly, and having a good sense musical phrasing and style. Know, at least, your major, minor, and chromatic scales. If you have the scales under your fingers well, you're not struggling with the notes when you're reading. To practice reading rhythms, get any old piece of music and write out the counts. Practice counting and clapping them together. This will allow you to be able to immediatly recognize and play rhythms when you first see them. Never give up an opportunity to be musical. Playing the notes and rhythms is only half of sight reading. Be confident when your sight reading. Don't back off on your air or constrict the reed, this will only kill your tone and make everything harder for you. If you get these basic skills down, sight reading will become very easy and naturally. As far as intermediate saxes, there are several notable brands. Yanagisawa's 901 model is considered a intermediate horn, but it is priced and plays like a professional model. The Selmer La Voix is very good also. The Yamaha 475 is a bright horn but is very sturdy, so it makes it great for marching band. I've heard pretty good things about Jupiter's and Buffet's intermediate horns. Intermediate saxes range in price from $1600(ish) to the $3000(ish) Yanagisawa. If you don't want to pay that kind of money, Woodwind & Brasswind makes a very nice horn for the money. It's priced at around $900. If your serious about playing saxophone, I'd recommend a professional horn. If you don't plan on playing the saxophone much or at all after high school, a intermediate horn is the way to go. Buying a intermediate horn now then upgrading to a pro horn in college or later will only be more money spent down the road. Used saxes you cant really generalize with in pricing. It really depends on the horn. Hope that helps. Best wishes, Brad

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    1. by cuber
      (653 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: Intermediate Questions

      what are you currently playing? 1) the only way to get better at sight reading is to sight read. find stuff you havent played. play it once. dont stop. find something else. repeat. the stuff supersax said should be done anyway. (at least the scale part) and remember: dont stop. evah. (well, until you get to the end, but thats beside the point) 2) ive got a yamaha 475. i like it. find some junker that can barely play for marching. theyre cheap. 3) depends on what sax you want. much more than 2000 is stupid for an intermediate sax, cause then you get into the professional price range

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      1. by peter090
        (155 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Intermediate Questions

        A couple of things I would add. Use a metronome and set it at a slow enough tempo that you can read with virtually no mistakes. It may seem painfully slow at first but your speed will improve as your ability to read improves. Read every day even if it is only for a few minutes. It is better to read 5 minutes a day for a week than for an hour one day a week.

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        1. by DavidFreeman
          (11 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Intermediate Questions

          I agree with everything that's been said about sightreading. I would like to put in a vote for a Yamaha horn. 475's sound pretty good (I wouldn't say bright-I'd say the sound is very clear and responsive). The Yamaha 52 and 62 series are also very good, and not insanely expensive.

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        2. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Intermediate Questions

          475 isnt really dark or bright. i think whether its bright or dark really depends on the mouthpeice. the best way to describe it is "full"

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        3. by skilewis74
          (2 posts)

          4 years ago

          Re: Intermediate Questions

          For sight reading: When it's too late/early to practice w/o disturbing neighbors or family members "play" your peaces w/o blowing. On rhythms that are new and/or complicated clap them out working up to a much faster pace than you would likely play it at. When you can clap it, sing the notes and clap your hands to the beat, clapping differently for sharps, flats, and naturals (if it's late/early your "singing" will be a whisper). This is also a good way to get some practice in when you don't have your sax w/ you. Play lots of music at your current level, and occationally play your older stuff to make sure you can still get through it in one shot. This also makes it easier to move onto new, harder material, and different styles. +1 on not stopping. If you play the wrong note or not the fingering for that note you intended, continue on for at least a few measures past the mistake, trying hardest to maintain your tempo, hence making that one note being your only mistake. This really helps when playing w/ others and performing, if you do this well there is a chance you are the only one to notice the mistake (esp. if it's the same note but wrong fingering).

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      2. by Hunter R.
        (13 posts)

        4 years ago

        Re: Intermediate Questions

        1) There are five things that you need to do or look at before you sightread or do any kind of music. -Time Signature (Is it 44, 24, 68) -Key Signature (Is it in the key of D, G, E) -Accidentals (An occasional Bb of F#) -Dynamics and Musicianship (Look for your fortes, pianos, crescendos and rallentandos, look were can add your own stuff like vibrato, etc.) -Repeats (Look for repeat markers and D.C. Al Segno, De Capo, etc.) ADD MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! Never Ever Stop pLaying in Sightreading. Hunter R.

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      3. by jdaddy
        (11 posts)

        4 years ago

        Re: Intermediate Questions

        I use music software called Smartmusic. Its really cheap and its extremely helpful. Focus on nailing the rhythms, then notes

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