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Hi there people ive recently purchased an alto sax (due to arrive in the next couple of days) and im really committed to learning it properly. One problem is that i literally no NOTHING about the saxophone having not really had an interest until recently.

Ive done basic research but find it confusing working out exactly all the things i need to learn as there seems to be alot haha.... so if anyone can recomend the basic things i should be researching or if you are aware of a good Tuition Dvd that covers the very very basic as getting a teacher isnt the best option for me atm. Any help would greatly appreciated!

Thank you
 

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I'm sorry, but I cannot help you. Seems to me trying to learn from a DvD is a good way to form bad habits and a tough way to learn proper technique.

sound production simply isn't as simple as it is on a Piano or Guitar.

Investing in a teacher is imperative to learning it properly.

good luck!
 

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As someone who has learned the hard way: self-taught, I have just a little advice for you. Firstly, listen to the greats; find someone with a sound that you greatly enjoy, and listen to them. It's about impossible to get good at sax without a good sound concept, so it's key to develop that. Then, get yourself some beginning method books: the old school ones work well, the Rubank method books are good, I got the advanced one at a garage sale for 25 cents, and it's got some good stuff in there, even for an " advanced" player. Essential Elements 2000 is also good, and I've heard that a few forum members here wrote some books, so that might be worth checking out. As far as books go, the only one that I would recommend by name would be Larry Teal's The Art Of Saxophone playing; tons of good technique stuff in there for all levels of sax player. Other than that, try to avoid getting discouraged, and have a great time!!

For a listening list, an alright place to start, in my opinion, but by no means a complete list of the greats is :
John Coltrane
Sonny Rollins
Stan Getz
Maceo Parker
Mike Brecker
Joshua Redman
Gerry Mulligan
and the list goes on....


There are a ton of good resources here on the forum, as well. I know that Tim Price writes a ton of good stuff, and has some good youtube videos. Also, Pete Thomas is never at a shortage of well-put, informative, and encouraging knowledge. Both are active members here, and are great sources of knowledge. Good luck, and welcome to the Forum, and saxophone!
 

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I'm self taught too. Alot of people on this forum stongly advise playing a certain way with proper technique, but just enjoy playing and form your sound around someone you really like listening to. I know I had a lot of bad habits, but when I progressed and listened to the way the pro's could play the low end of the horn, I knew I was doing something wrong, and adjusted accordingly.

By self-teaching, you will probably progress slower, but I enjoyed it. Don't let anyone tell you you're playing is 'wrong,' it might be different, or slow you down a little bit, but if you can get a good sound, nothing is wrong. The average audience won't care if you take in a little too much mouthpiece, or puff your cheeks. All that matters is how the finished product sounds.

Take Wes Montgomery or monk, they have been deemed with bad technique, but I'm talking about them today. Their impact has to say something.
 

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Cannot agree with advice to spend a lot of time playing the wrong way and floundering around with a horrid tone.

Get some lessons.
 

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The OP says lessons aren't a good idea for him, and there is nothing wrong with self-teaching. and I don't find a good tone on saxophone is as elusive as many make it out to be.
I'm ready to hear your tone.:)

There's still no substitute for a good teacher.

"A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient"-Sir William Osler
 

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There's still no substitute for a good teacher.

"A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient"-Sir William Osler
Let Trane, rollins, bird, and dexter be your teachers

But have a private teacher is speeds things up a bit, because they know how to target problem areas.

Ironically enough, I'm a music ed major
 

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The OP says lessons aren't a good idea for him, and there is nothing wrong with self-teaching.
I can't say that I agree with that... Lessons are great! For some, in person lessons aren't a possibility, so I'd recommend going with the next best thing, if there is such a thing: listen, and READ- yes, like in school, with a book, maybe even notes!!- as much as possible. Technique is key, especially in the early stages, and just playing for the sake of playing, with no knowledge of how to do it right sounds like something that will be awfully hard to fix in lessons or actual, serious study years down the road.
 

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Let Trane, rollins, bird, and dexter be your teachers
They're dead, and Sonny don't teach. Teaching is an active endeavor.

I find it interesting that all the players you named were not self-taught.
 

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Much as I don't like blatant self promotion, you could try my DVD which is aimed at beginners. My natural modesty stops me telling you that it is any good, but sax.co.uk say it is.

But I also think that no DVD will ever be a substitute for a teacher. (I was mostly self taught and I made a lot of mistakes)
 

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Just graduated haha. I guess I mean the long way to where I am now
I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I literally have underwear and Tshirts older than you. Hell, I have REEDS older than you.:)
 

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I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I literally have underwear and Tshirts older than you. Hell, I have REEDS older than you.:)
I know I'm young, and in the future I will probably be thinking what an idiot i was 10 years ago, but nonetheless, I can't help the way I think. Since I learned differently from the traditional sense, I sometimes feel I have to defend it.

Wouldn't those reeds taste funny?
 

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I know I'm young, and in the future I will probably be thinking what an idiot i was 10 years ago, but nonetheless, I can't help the way I think. Since I learned differently from the traditional sense, I sometimes feel I have to defend it.

Wouldn't those reeds taste funny?
I dunno. They're just reeds. It's all part of an experiment that will show conclusively that reeds don't get better with age.

BTW, I would also recommend Pete's DVD, with the caveat that only a teacher can tell you how much you suck (for your own good).
 

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Hi there people ive recently purchased an alto sax (due to arrive in the next couple of days) and im really committed to learning it properly. One problem is that i literally no NOTHING about the saxophone having not really had an interest until recently.

Ive done basic research but find it confusing working out exactly all the things i need to learn as there seems to be alot haha.... so if anyone can recomend the basic things i should be researching or if you are aware of a good Tuition Dvd that covers the very very basic as getting a teacher isnt the best option for me atm. Any help would greatly appreciated!

Thank you
The first thing you'll need is a reed. Second thing is to learn how to properly fasten the reed to the mourhpece (most manufacturers provide a mouthpiece but not a reed) with the ligature. Third thing, once the second thing is properly done, is attaching the mouthpiece/reed/ligature setup to the neck and then the neck to the body. You wil then be ready to screech out your first sound. Don't be discouaged if it sounds like twisted evil :twisted:.
 
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