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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haay :) I've been teaching myself the saxophone for a few months, except gave up because I was making absolutely no progress. Far too frustrating...
I'm going to try again, but I need advise badly.
I'm motivated now and will stay dedicated,, i'm just a bit lost.......


Can anyone tell me any tips on what exactly I should do for practise?
what kind of exercises prepare you the best?

Thankyou V.much!
 

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What do you play Alto or Tenor whats your setup ? Let me know your MPC and reed setup and is you sax new or old all these ?? lol

Doug
 

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Oh my bad. I play an alto! I'm not sure of the brand...but I don't think it's very good..it was a present from China!:p
Im not even sure of the price, but it's new anyway. The mouth piece is just a regular plastic thing that came with it.
I'd invest in a better one, but I don't know what type.
& I use Vandorens two and a half reeds!

Thanks!
 

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I think your problem is the MPC and the sax so you might need to get a better setup or get a good mouthpiece like my OTTO LINK tone edge
I use a 5 but you could go 6 if you like
 

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there is lots of mouthpiece stuff on the thread. look around a little. some of the recommendations are quite inexpensive.

hard to believe someone would tell you your horn is the problem without a brand or seeing it. you might have a local repair place check the horn. i hear they can have leaks even new which can make some notes difficult.
 

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Before you go out and spend a crap load of money on a new mouthpiece...
Has your horn been to the tech to make sure IT doesn't have any issues that would hinder your progress?
If it's free of any leaks and it has been properly regulated THEN it would be time to shop for a different mouthpiece.
A good 'student friendly' one that won't break the bank is the Yamaha 4C.
 

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Yes you could get it checked up just saying its a chinese horn syndrome and yes I have a P Mauriat so thats a great horn but there are bad chinese horns all over ebay lol
 

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Oh my bad. I play an alto! I'm not sure of the brand...but I don't think it's very good..it was a present from China!:p
Im not even sure of the price, but it's new anyway. The mouth piece is just a regular plastic thing that came with it.
I'd invest in a better one, but I don't know what type.
& I use Vandorens two and a half reeds!

Thanks!
If you've started/beginning on sax for a "few" months, depending on how few these are, these reeds may be a bit stiff for a beginner. Vandorens tend to run a bit stiffer than say Ricos by a half strength. So, a 2.5 Vando is more similar to a 3.0 Rico. Btw, which Vandoren? Blue Box? etc?

It's one thing to solicit advice on the internet, it's another thing to invest in some lessons face-to-face with an instructor. That is the best advice to follow! Good luck! Oh, yeah, make it fun! Play music/songs that you like!
 

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It's one thing to solicit advice on the internet, it's another thing to invest in some lessons face-to-face with an instructor. That is the best advice to follow! Good luck! Oh, yeah, make it fun! Play music/songs that you like!
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! It's very important to at least take a few lessons to get started out right. A book or dvd isn't going to give you the feedback you need to get started out on the right path. It took months of 'relearning' to forget the bad habits I had from trying to teach myself. The instructor can also help with reed strength, mouthpiece, etc. as well. Lessons are well worth the investment if you want to get anywhere in playing this thing.
 

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You should at least find someone who has played for a while to check your outfit for obvious problems. I started on my own and taught myself for a year before taking my first lesson and when I did the teacher found no "bad habits" to unlearn, so I guess I was lucky. But I read everything I could find on the net and also had a more experienced player try my horn and help me with the basics. Also, as already said, you might want to get a better mouthpiece, the couple of original plastic pieces I've had on my cheap Chinese saxes have been quite poor, not completely useless but roughly made and not very easy to play. As Bandmommy said, Yamaha 4C or 5C is a good and affordable beginner mouthpiece, getting one would rule out one possible source of problems. I bought a 5C (would have got a 4C but the store was out of those) with my first horn (a Startone tenor, one of the cheapest on the market) and it was much easier to play and sounded better than the one that came with the sax.
 

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+47 on the Yamaha 4C/5C.

+infinity on getting advice from someone who plays saxophone. It's very easy to get the wrong idea when you are starting out, and having someone who already knows how to play show you a few things will make a huge difference. Just find someone in your local area that you like (listen to them first :) ) and ask for a few lessons. It might cost you a few bucks, but it's worth it.
 

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you can get a waaaaay better mouthpiece for cheap, like the yamaha mentioned earlier, rico, hite, etc. and start with a soft read, like a 1.5 or 2. i taught myself at first too and started on a 2.5 reed, biiig mistake. i sounded like an elephant that ate too much beans and my head was about to explode from the pressure, i went down to 1.5 reed, and made it sound like a saxophone.
if there are tunes you like learn from those. i was alone with the sax for about a year before i got a teacher, but i really had to unlearn the bad habit with my embrochure during my first lessons.
 

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Consider getting an instructor. An instructor can critique your embouchure, timing and quality of sound.
 

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My best advice after being self-taught as an adult as well:
Get a teacher if there is one in your area and you can afford it.
If not, my best experience was making sure my horn was ok by taking it to a shop for an inspection and lube. A Chinese horn is fine to learn on. I would recommend the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece with Rico or Rico Royal #2 reeds. This is an inexpensive setup which will work very well.
Get an Essential Elements 2000 book for the alto sax, and a Rubanks Basic Saxophone Rhythm book. They will get you started on learning how to play and keeping proper time. Another good book to get is Tipbook Saxophone by Hugo Pinksterboer. It has a lot of good info for folks who are new to the sax. Get a metronome; keeping proper time from the beginning is important. Electronic metronomes can be had at music stores for $10-$12. Start looking for sheet music written for the alto sax which has music you like and want to play.
Practice every day. 30 minutes every day will be more productive than 2 hours twice a week.
A key tip is too learn to breathe. Don't try to play too many notes without a quick intake of air.
Enjoy! The sax is one of the easiest instruments to learn to play poorly, and one of the hardest to learn to play well. This is a lifetime journey if you stick with it.
 

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Hi. Check out the various topics in the "beginner's forum" which is part of Sax on the Web. The most important early exercise is playing "long tones" ie holding a steady note. Get the horn checked first (good advice that). Also, I agree that getting a teacher for at least a few lessons would be a good idea. As for mouthpieces, you could post a thread here along the lines of "Wanted: beginner alto mouthpiece. Cheap!" My observation is that people here are generally honest and helpful and you're less likely to end up with a dud than if you try second-hand on ebay. Selmer C*s are plentiful and a solid choice. The Yamaha mouthpieces are cheaper and a solid choice too (IMO).
 
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