Learning a musical instrument is easier than ever before. Except for music schools and private teachers, you can try online music courses and learn by yourself. They allow you to organize your practice according to your needs and time. When you want to know how to learn saxophone from the ground up, you should consider the way of learning, the instrument quality, your time and needs, and your personal preferences. When thinking about all these things, in the beginning, you can avoid making a bad decision and make the learning effective. Let’s have a look at the 5 steps related to learning the saxophone from scratch:
5 Steps On How To Learn Saxophone
1. Choose The Way Of Learning
In the beginning, you should decide if you want to learn saxophone by yourself or you take lessons with a teacher. Both attempts have some benefits and disadvantages, but for complete beginners, I would recommend taking lessons with a teacher. Private lessons can be a little pricier but the tutor can explain and show you how to work with your breath, play tones and melodies correctly, and practice technique.
Online saxophone teacher
Thanks to the corona crisis, many people prefer online teachers offering personalized lessons. If you are based in the U.S, check out wyzant.com. Here you can find experienced saxophone tutors for in-person, or online lessons. Play with a pro is another platform to discover when looking for online saxophone education. For even more options, check out the article: Online Music Lessons: 11 Websites With Best Music Teachers.
Online saxophone courses
If you want to know how to learn saxophone from scratch at home, you can try a pre-prepared online saxophone course. Several websites are helping you to gain basic skills, and improve your skills. Jazz saxophone with Eric Marienthal is a TOP video program focused on jazz. 2 courses by Bill Evans on Truefire are also a great option especially for those who want to learn to play blues and improvise.
I recommend checking out the saxophone category on our website, where you can find other online saxophone courses for all skill levels.
2. Get Your Saxophone
Your first question when it comes to buying your first instrument is: What type of saxophone is the best for beginners? There are 4 types of saxophone: Tenor, baritone, alto, and soprano. Almost all students start with alto sax because of the smaller size and ease-of-play. In this category, you can find many instruments with quite a big price and quality range.
The price for students saxophone starts from around 300 and goes to around 2500. So it depends on your budget, but most beginners buy the first sax for 500-1000. In this price range, you can find brands like Mendini, Eastar, Yamaha, Victory, Roy Benson, or Conn.
3. Set Your Practice Plan
You already have your instrument and lessons to follow, what next? You know that making progress with learning a musical instrument takes time. To make your learning effective, you should set your practice plan. Try to arrange a weekly plan according to your time and possibilities.
If you can’t practice every day, choose the days you have at least one hour you can dedicate to exercising. Try to stick to this play for a few months and create a habit. This is quite important if you don’t want to be stuck on some skill level for a long time.
Your teacher will tell you what and how to play and practice. In case, you learn on your own, only with a little help from some online course, you should be more active and create your practice routine by yourself. Except for your main source, you can also find many inspirational videos on Youtube, and listen to the records you like. Everything that inspires you is great and gives you the power to overcome “boring” exercising.
4. Don't Forget Music Theory
Producers of some courses and free lessons claim, that they will teach you how to play only by ear. Well, it is needed to train your ears, but when you underestimate music theory, you will regret it later. Try to understand what you are playing, learn how music works. Knowing harmony, melody, rhythm, and reading notes will open door to many pieces of music you can play. Many free sources can help with this.
5. Play With Others
When you already have some skills and you want to move your playing to the next level, try to play with other musicians. This is also the best advice on how to keep your motivation up. When playing your favorite music with a bass player, drummer, pianist, or other musicians, you will learn other important things: how to listen to others, hear the music as a whole, and how to improvise. The other step every musician should make is to play in front of other people.
Music is a social being and the feeling you share it with others is probably the strongest experience you can have from music. So try to play with others for others. You can reach a few friends who play different instruments and try to play with them even if you are a beginner. New experiences and fun are what you will get at least.
Can I Teach Myself Saxophone?
No beginner can teach himself to play a musical instrument. Everybody needs at least some material like videos, books, audio files, or 1on1 talk to learn new things. So even when you are watching youtube videos, it doesn’t mean you are learning by yourself. Anyway, if you want to know how to learn saxophone effectively, you should know yourself. What do you prefer? Do you want to organize your time when practicing the sax? Are you able to create your practice plan and spent time searching for proper learning material? Or do you prefer when some music teacher makes all these things for you?
Try to answer these questions and think about what is best for you and your personality. Learning the saxophone or other musical instrument takes time, normally a few years until you sound good when playing. So try to think in the long-term range and consider all options.