Saxophone Forum


by Harrold
(6 posts)
1 year ago

general outline for self teaching

Hi, for reasons that would be too long to explain, I want to begin learning the saxophone on my own.  I seem to gather that this may not be the best way to start for most beginners but please somene provide a general outline for how to go about learning for maybe about 1year while i save money for lessons.  I am now reading basic music theory to at least learn how to read music and understand general theory but as for getting the saxophone out and going through beginning playing, what I would need is an outline of a sax learning plan.  I have found numerous youtube clips on many aspects of beginning steps, such as embouchere, beginning ote playing, posture, breathing etc etc but can somone write out a brief outline of topics so at least my self plan has some logic sequence to it?  I am only guessing as to how to order my learning in a logical sequence.

for instance (below I will make a stab at what I mean by outline as i do not expect someone to take more than some minutes to list some items

1.  Month One: Spend (x) amt of time in practice sessions working on embouchre; spend (x) amt of time playing the notes, spend (x) amount of time on music theory

2.  Month Two: spend (x) time on (whatever).
I dont expect anyone to do a weekly guide but something that will guide me for about 12mo.

reason this may help me as I am not finding much on the internet as to a lesson guide so I can then on my own work on topics in some order that seems to work for a player and an instructor but in my case I would have to get by on my own.

Sorry for long post, but I have found the dummies guide to sax and it seems to be one way to go about it and if its too hard or unfair to ask somone on this forum to provide a guideline, I may just buy that book as my guide, its in a local library and may only cost $15.00 or so.  In the alternative if anyone has a link to a lesson guide, please post a link.

Thank you for reading this.  I have purchased a tenor sax already even though maybe I should have waited to have lesson money, but I could not resist.

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  1. by kelsey
    (814 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: general outline for self teaching

    You sound like a great future student of the saxophone. I've had students with your desire and it's really fun to teach them. Maybe you could make a deal with a good teacher to do some work for them in exchange for lessons??....any way, best of luck!

    Barry Kelsey

    Reply To Post AIM


    1. by Harrold
      (6 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: general outline for self teaching

      wow, thanks for encouragement.  I love the sax sound and listen to jazz endlessly, I guess I will figure something out.  Your idea may work out.  I know a few San Jose CA players, I never thought about bartering.

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  2. by GFC
    (359 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: general outline for self teaching

    Here's a site that has a lot of resources for developing players, practice tips, links to free and paid online lessons, instructional DVDs.  I sure could have used those resources when I was starting out.
     
    http://www.bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com/
     

    Your fist steps should focus on the physical foundation of your playing:  long tones to develop good breath support, embouchure, and intonation.  Get into the habit of playing with a relaxed embouchure, steady tone, and on pitch.  Learn how to control pitch using your oral cavity and without biting!  One of those clip-on piezo tuners that guitar players use will also work when clipped onto the bell of a saxophone and they're inexpensive.   Long tones should remain in your practice routine even after you have mastered them.  Once you have a handle on long tones ranging from low Bb to high F, start in with articulation exercises - tonguing whole, half, quarter, etc.  The key is to maintain rhythmic integrity.  Then you'll be ready to take on major scales.  All 12 keys, all 12 modes in each key.  The modes will make you aware of relative minor, augmented, and dominant tonalities.  Scale practice needs to be done with rhythmic integrity, both tongued and legato.  Flashing out legato scales without a good rhythmic foundation is the most common rookie mistake.  When you're learning major scales is also a good time to learn about the circle of fourths, as it is one of the most fundamental structures you will use as an improviser.  Once you know your way around the major scales, you can start in on pentatonic, whole tone, chromatic, and diminished scales.  Pentatonic scales are just the major and dominant scales you already learned with the second and fourth notes missing.  A little additional insight on theory will show you the relationships between whole tone and diminished scales and the major scales you will have been practicing.  You will also develop an awareness of the relationships between scales and chords by practicing arpeggios.  

    If you're feeling brave, you can take on overtones.  That will get you started
    on extending the range of your playing above high F.  

    That should keep you busy for a while.  A lot of it will be tedious and frustrating, but you're a big boy who knows that that it will pay off in the long run.  Once a certain fairly basic level is reached, you will start to listen to your favorite music differently and that's when inspiration strikes.  If you want to try something you've been listening to, go for it and have some fun.  Same thing if one of your exercises reminds you of something you've heard.

     

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    1. by Harrold
      (6 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: general outline for self teaching

      wow, this is just what i was looking for, thank you very very much.  I can now look at clips that I have from youtube (many) and embellish the terms.  I appreciate you took the time to leave a detailed answer, you are very kind.

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      1. by GFC
        (359 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: general outline for self teaching

        D'oh!  

        Only seven modes in each key.

        Fourth and sixth left out of pentatonics, not second and fourth. 

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    2. by kmbaroyale
      (1 post)

      1 year ago

      Re: general outline for self teaching

      I find the lessons on the following site easy easy yyo follow and Dan Christian gives you lots of useful tips.

      danchristian.net

      Let me know how you get on.

       

       

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