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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've started sax one year ago.
I practiced some months with a teacher, and my teacher told me to improve my embouchure (make an "O" and to bite less my reed). And to open more my belly, to push the air.

I'm trying to follow his advice, but hard to tell if I do it well. Also, it's hard to play high notes (especially from the G with octave key).

So, I wanted to get some books with more theory about air breathing, and the embouchure.

Also, a method could be great.

I've ordered for the moment :
  • Art of playing saxophone (from Larry Teal)
  • Method to study saxophone from Jean-Marie Londeix (he adviced me the book himself xD)

And I think about learning technique through Rubank Elementary Books (I already know chromatic scale, and C scale, G, F scale, and to attack the reed).

Do you have other books, or an order to give me.

Thanks !
 

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Those are excellent publications written by sturdy men. Also, learn the obscure scales. It'll tax your brain.
 

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Rubank Method and Etude books are tried and true. Also check out Greg Fishman’s books if you have an interest in jazz - even if not! They come with accompaniment CD’s and can help with proper phrasing. It’s good to mix it up and keep those practice sessions fun and interesting!
 

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You really don't want to get ahead of yourself here. Too many things too fast will spread you thin and you won't fully grasp any of them. Stick with learning to play through the full range of your instrument, from low Bb to high F chromatically. Learn all your major scales and work through the Rubank method books. Then, move up to more technical exercises. When you're ready, get a copy of H. Klose' 25 Daily Exercises For Saxophone.
 

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The Universal Method for Saxophone by Paul DeVille is a pretty good book and it's available in .pdf form for download for free. I downloaded it from someplace a few months back and sent it to a student of mine. I've purchased and own 3 print copies of this book so I don't feel too bad about using the .pdf version. It may be be passed copyright protections now due to it's age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your answers !

I'm currently reading the Art of playing sax, i wanted to complete with a method book.
So, by reading your advices, i note :
  • Universal Method for Saxophone by Paul DeVille
  • Rubank Method
  • Greg Fishman’s books

For the moment, i don't know if I will get a professor soon. Maybe I should take a method where i will be able to get mp3/cd records of the exercices
 

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Hi Lopao,

For breathing and tone production, I'm a big fan of the Rascher Top Tones book. However, this is a pretty advanced book and you'll probably get more out of it if you're working with a teacher.

In general, I would recommend playing steady long notes at a medium dynamic. With my students (all school-aged), I typically assign three notes a week - low, middle, high - and ask them to hold them for 5-10 seconds with a good solid airstream. A big part of this is learning how to listen to the sound too - you soon start to realise what you like and what you don't like in your sound. It's a good idea to use long notes as a means of learning new notes or alternate fingerings. It's important not to play past the point you get tired enough to bite instead of play with a proper embouchure. After a year or so of this, most of my students are ready to attempt the Rascher overtone exercises.

As for method books and etude books, there are loads of good ones. I like the Boosey and Hawkes Learn As You Play method book. It's a bit dry, but very methodical and seems to introduce things in a logical order. It comes with a CD with backing tracks. I also like the Jim Snidero jazz conception books. These come in various levels of difficulty and have backing tracks as well. My students love them.

The older books are good too. The Rubank is great. The Voxman studies are similar and a great way to get familiar with different keys. I'm a big fan of the Klose books. If you're up for a big challenge, the Karg Elert studies are also enjoyable and somewhat atonal, so interesting to play. I also occasionally use the Kell staccato book, which is for clarinet, but makes for infuriating (in a good way) sax practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Lopao,

For breathing and tone production, I'm a big fan of the Rascher Top Tones book. However, this is a pretty advanced book and you'll probably get more out of it if you're working with a teacher.

In general, I would recommend playing steady long notes at a medium dynamic. With my students (all school-aged), I typically assign three notes a week - low, middle, high - and ask them to hold them for 5-10 seconds with a good solid airstream. A big part of this is learning how to listen to the sound too - you soon start to realise what you like and what you don't like in your sound. It's a good idea to use long notes as a means of learning new notes or alternate fingerings. It's important not to play past the point you get tired enough to bite instead of play with a proper embouchure. After a year or so of this, most of my students are ready to attempt the Rascher overtone exercises.

As for method books and etude books, there are loads of good ones. I like the Boosey and Hawkes Learn As You Play method book. It's a bit dry, but very methodical and seems to introduce things in a logical order. It comes with a CD with backing tracks. I also like the Jim Snidero jazz conception books. These come in various levels of difficulty and have backing tracks as well. My students love them.

The older books are good too. The Rubank is great. The Voxman studies are similar and a great way to get familiar with different keys. I'm a big fan of the Klose books. If you're up for a big challenge, the Karg Elert studies are also enjoyable and somewhat atonal, so interesting to play. I also occasionally use the Kell staccato book, which is for clarinet, but makes for infuriating (in a good way) sax practice.
Thanks for your complete answer.

Yeah, I should make only simple exercises for the moment. I did the exercise to play C-scale with only my mouthpiece. My teacher told me that i've taken bad habits with that exercise.

I've checked the books you've said, most of them are hard to find in France :/.

I will probably go for Klose books for the moment, it's the recommanded book in national conservatoire in France. I guess the one I have to start is "Complete Method for Saxophone"
I will complete with the theory in Larry Teal book.

I need one I can follow the couses, page by page, and I can find exercises on Yt at least, to listen and see what is wrong.

I listen a lot sax musics, currently, I think I prefer classical sound, like from Londeix, Sugawa. Jazz players are very cool too (Kenny Garrett and Joshua Redman sounds are incredible).
But unfortunately, they dont play music I like. I like their sound but not their music 😂.

I really like music like that, but not many players play j-pop music :/ :
 

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There are many saxophone method books designed for students at the beginning level who are still working to master the fundamentals of tone production and other basics of playing. As a former teacher I strongly recommend those methods that are in a progressive series and come with an accompaniment that provides the advantage of hearing the part played accurately, the discipline of playing in tune with other instruments and playing with a steady beat similar to working with a metronome. These methods introduce music reading skills and playing skills in a logical sequence where new material builds upon the foundation of what was covered in the previous lesson.

Once fundamentals are established, the time is right to move on to the more technical methods that develop speed and agility throughout the range of the instrument. Learning to play all the scales with a poor tone and out of tune is not real progress in my experience.
 

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The SmartMusic app is a fun tool. It's a subscription service that costs about $30 US a year. With it you get several method books to choose from. Plus you can choose from lots of different genres for sheet music; pretty much anything you can think of.

You also can play along with the exercises and the software gives you a percentage grade automatically. They also have a feature where you can work with an online instructor or you can use it with your teacher, if you have a teacher that works with the app. The thing I like about it is that it gives you some backing tracks or metronome to play along with and you get instant feedback on how you did. Plus it's cheap. SmartMusic | Music Learning Software for Educators & Students

I have no connection to SmartMusic financially or otherwise. I'm just someone who has used it in the past and enjoyed it.

performer subscription
Purchase a Performer subscription to access the entire SmartMusic library.
  • Access the entire SmartMusic library, including 175+ method books, 5,400+ ensemble titles, and thousands of solos
  • Use practice tools including a metronome, tuner, fingerings, accompaniments, and loops
  • Play along with professional accompaniments
  • Improve with immediate feedback on pitch and rhythm
performer
$29.99
/performer/year
 

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Don't be takin' the training wheels off while there is still a chance you will fall. The Brusies may heal quickly enough but....you 'ought not fall at all. Heed Reet McVouty's advice me thinks. Take it all in your stride - walk before running etc etc. Don't sacrifice your comprehension of the basics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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One of the original method books and a source for many methods to follow is Lindeman (1934).

Here is one site to download: Henry Lindeman - Method for Saxophone[1] - Free Download PDF

I still use the fingering exercises to warm up and speed up cleanly.

If you want short etudes that sound good like real tunes, Snidero Jazz Conception, Fishman Jazz Phrasing, and Niehaus all have series of books that start with pretty simple pieces and come with backing tracks which are much more fun once you are at tempo with good time using a metronome. jazzbooks.com carries all of them, some in digital form, and Google will show you sample .pdfs before you buy.

An advantage of a teacher is critical listening and feedback. If you record yourself and learn to listen critically to what you played, you can advance faster--many folks and particularly novices have a distorted opinion of how they sound while in the midst of operating the instrument. Learn to listen to your playback with attention to tone, articulation, intonation, dynamics, synching with the metronome pulse; identify a few specific issues to work on; focus on those; record again, and repeat. You can record something every practice session with no more fancy equipment than your smartphone.

No one improves by accident and simply more hours of playing. Wasted work is wasted. Folks advance faster when they have learned how to practice productively and can measure progress.
 

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Thanks you all, I will take time with basics.
I already know my chromatics, but I think I will start over with Klose (this book 50074867 Klose Methode Complete Pour Saxophone - [PDF Document]) or Rubank book (Rubank Elementary Method Saxophone-: Amazon.fr: Hovey, N. W.: Livres anglais et étrangers)

For Rubank, I saw there are a lot of duet. I will play solo for the moment, it's not a problem ?
I think most of us baby boomers, at least here in the States, learned using Rubank. They do have duets. I fondly recall playing duets with my clarinet teacher. The lessons are laid out in a nice step by step fashion.

Note: I noticed the Klose book seems to be very similar (or identical) to my Lazarus method book for clarinet. Does anyone know if Lazarus' book is taken from or a re-issue of Klose?
 

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Great method book suggestions! Just popped in to say that if you want to play j-pop and classical music with a sound more like Redman or Garrett, then that’s exactly what you should do! Have fun!
 

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I think most of us baby boomers, at least here in the States, learned using Rubank. They do have duets. I fondly recall playing duets with my clarinet teacher. The lessons are laid out in a nice step by step fashion.

Note: I noticed the Klose book seems to be very similar (or identical) to my Lazarus method book for clarinet. Does anyone know if Lazarus' book is taken from or a re-issue of Klose?
I have just Part 1 of Lazarus and the complete edition of Klose for clarinet which is about twice the size, both revised by Bellison. To me they don't look identical but very similar in their structure, material, pacing, etc.. It wouldn't surprise me if there are exercises, etudes, duets, etc.. that are the same in both books but I don't have the inclination to spend the time necessary to complete that comprehensive a comparison. They both look to be cut from the same cloth as the Universal Method for Saxophone - solid classical style methods books. The newer stuff that comes with CDs, play-alongs, web downloads, etc. maybe more engaging, especially to today's attention deficit conditioned society, but if you can get through any of these books playing everything cleanly at a decent tempo you're going to come out a very solid player.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great method book suggestions! Just popped in to say that if you want to play j-pop and classical music with a sound more like Redman or Garrett, then that’s exactly what you should do! Have fun!
Oh nice, do you play some ? Definitely, my favourite sound is Londeix's. He is so amazing. It fits to me, but I will take some from Garrett and Redman 😂 .
 
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