The saxophone is a pretty versatile instrument that can be fit into a wide range of musical genres. Whether you like jazz, pop or classical music, the saxophone produces magical tones and sounds that go so well with a number of other instruments. If you are looking to get started with playing the saxophone, you are in luck, these days there are many methods that you can choose from.
For this article, we put together a shortlist of the top methods that we were able to find during our research. We also included a bonus for you that includes some tips for improving your playing after you have learned to play.
5 Methods on How to Learn Saxophone at Home by Yourself
1) Online Courses and Lessons
- ARTISTWORKS – Eric Marienthal Jazz Saxophone Lesson
Artistworks.com is an online website that offers a wide range of lessons for people who are looking to learn how to play a musical instrument. One of the available instruments is the Saxophone. Just by searching saxophone after becoming a member of Artistworks, one of the top results is the Saxophone lessons with Eric Marienthal.
By choosing this lesson you will have access to the full library of lessons on video. This means you can learn at your own pace anywhere you have access to the Internet.
Udemy is an online service that offers university-style training courses for a wide range of subjects. The courses are taught by industry and subject matter experts to ensure that all of the course material is presented in the best way possible. They offer many different training courses for musical instruments, including the saxophone.
2) Watch Videos Online on YouTube
Videos are one of the best ways to learn how to do almost anything you want to do. So, when you are wanting to find a good video to learn how to play the saxophone, YouTube is a really good place to checkout. With billions of videos in its database, you are likely to have plenty of free video options to choose from.
3) Listen to Professional Saxophonists
By listening specifically to saxophone music will help you to learn how to play the instrument a lot faster. There are several different genres of music that prominently feature the saxophone including; jazz, classical, and pop music. Be sure that you choose music from the top musicians in the genre and you will be fine.
4) Smartphone Training Apps
There are a number of downloadable smartphone apps that you can get from the Apple Appstore or Google Play Store or anywhere you get your apps from for your specific cellphone. This makes it easy for you to learn how to play saxophone anywhere you go.
5) 6 Tips for Better Saxophone Playing
- It all starts with your breathing
Controlling your breathing is the single most important part of learning how to play the saxophone. The reason for this is it is imperative that your breathing flows naturally and consistently. To make this work, you need to focus heavily on training your throat and diaphragm to remain open to allow the free-flowing of air. There are specific exercises that you can do to help train your body to improve your diaphragm breathing which in turn will help you to be better at playing the saxophone.
- Dedication to practice
As the old saying goes “practice makes perfect”, if you really want to get good on the saxophone you need to practice frequently and remain dedicated to trying to get better every day. As a way to encourage you to pick it up at least once every day you should leave your saxophone out of its case. With it always in plain sight, you are more likely to pick it up and play it. You should invest a small amount of money for a sturdy music holder in order to make it easier to read as you are playing.
- Find a comfortable position
The position that you hold your saxophone makes all the difference in the world when it comes to sound creation. Once you find a comfortable way to hold your instrument when you are playing you should not change it. Even the slightest kind of position change can lead to major problems. If the angle of the instrument changes drastically it can make it extremely difficult to finger the keys on your saxophone comfortably. This is why it is really important to find a good, comfortable position and stick with it.
- Dynamics is key to success
Dynamics in music is a way to add an extra level of expression to your music that is sure to drive your listeners to that next level. Pumping up your energy level is the widely accepted way to make your sound more dynamic and energize your listeners. The key to knowing whether or not you should pump up the volume (dynamics) really depends on the response of your audience. If you feel there needs to be a boost to the overall energy level of crowd you would be well served by the timely use of dynamics.
- Choosing the right reed
The reed is the part of the saxophone that creates the sound that comes out of the instrument. The sound is generated by placing your mouth on the mouthpiece of the saxophone and blow into it. The vibration of the reed material is where all the sound starts and therefore the quality of the reed is directly proportionate to the quality of the sound that comes out of the saxophone. The quality of the material used in the reed will also help to prevent painful injuries inside the mouth. This is why you need to be sure that you select the correct reed for the level of pressure you are applying to the read.
- Proper maintenance of your saxophone
To ensure that you keep your saxophone sounding at its optimum condition, you really need to be sure that you maintain it. Since the tone and sound that comes out of a saxophone is a reflection of its overall condition, you want to be sure that you prevent any and all dents to the outside and eliminate any amount of moisture from building up inside after each jam session or performance. Pivots should be oiled regularly and checked for any air leaks. You should never attempt to disassemble any parts of the saxophone and if you suspect any issues take it to a professional instrument repair professional.
Steps to Self-Taught Saxophone
Today’s technology makes learning to play musical instruments so much easier. Most people have very little free time that they can use to learn to play a musical instrument, so this presents a unique situation. Fortunately, we were able to come up with some great ideas that a person can use to learn how to play the saxophone on their own.
Many of the methods involve online lessons, training courses and “how to’s” on video. One of the biggest reasons why these are good options is because you can learn at your own pace. The only real requirement for most of the methods is a reliable Internet connection. We hope that the information that we provided was easy to read and was helpful.