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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!
I wonder if anyone can shed some light on this problem

My mum gave up playing saxophone -she wasn’t really a musician to be honest so I grew up with a saxophone in the house and like pretty much any instrument I ever encounter I have a go!

I learned to get a good tone on my saxophone and I studied a finger charts and memorised all this but now what?

For the last 20-30 years every eight months or so (probably much more!) I pick up the Sax to remind myself what I already know But what next?

On the rare times in my life I can afford a tutor I went to one but really what’s my Next Step?
There are many articles for beginners and there are a few for the extremely advanced what about us in the middle?

Can anyone remember what they did after they learned the basics and let me know please?!
Are we supposed to memorise songs or something..?

Thanks in advance for your time reading this
-Denny
 

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After learning the basics from a great teacher, I started playing at open mics. My first couple of attempts were disasters and it inspired me to continue practicing. I had friends record me at open mics and used that to improve in playing and stage presence. After 8 years I'm still playing and improving and learning new songs.
 

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Denny, there is no “one fit for all “ thing going on with regard to sax development. Everyone is different.

But I would say that it should be fun. You should get enjoyment out of it, in some way or other.

That enjoyment could come from a sense of achievement in doing something well. Or it could come from deciding to learn a couple of tunes that you could play at a jam session, or “open mike” . Or come from getting a written piece of music together that you can than play with someone. Eg a duet, sax quartet, big band, wond band. Whatever.....

It’s kind of down to you to decide these things for yourself.

A teacher can help with any technical issues, but in the end, its down to you.

MERSEYMALE ???? Nice name. Are you a scouser?

If so, i would be happy to get together and try to help in any way i can. I’m not too far away, in west lancs.
No charge, and just as a one off.
 

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Look for opportunities to play with other musicians at or above your level. Join a community band or community college band or whatever type of group that plays music you enjoy. Hopefully you'll surround yourself with others that have the same passion and this will help keep you interested and practicing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After learning the basics from a great teacher, I started playing at open mics. My first couple of attempts were disasters and it inspired me to continue practicing. I had friends record me at open mics and used that to improve in playing and stage presence. After 8 years I'm still playing and improving and learning new songs.
That’s GREAT!
I suppose I just don’t really know what to do next...
I mean, is there a DEFINITE ‘Next Stage’ after you memories the fingerings for different notes?
 

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I mean, is there a DEFINITE ‘Next Stage’ after you memories the fingerings for different notes?
Play some music?

No, seriously... If actually all you've go so far is finding the notes from a finger chart:
Music is four things, rhythm, melody (tune), harmony (even without getting into theory etc. you need - IMveryHO - to get a feel for these & get a feel for how to get them out of the horn) & practice.
- allocate a practice time (hour a day? half an hour week days, 2 hours sunday? what ever). In each sessions:
- get a "tune a day" type book and learn tunes; aiming to play in time with a metronome, then a backing track if supplied; & from memory. No matter how childish the tune, if it's a challenge, it's good; but if you can get tunes you like, all the better.
- see if you can play a tune by ear. Even if it means finding a nursery rhyme on youtube - listen to something and try to find the notes.
- get a beginner patterns book (scales & arpeggios etc.); again aim to play them with a metronome & from memory.

I hope that's not too basic... and, no doubt, better to have a teacher take you through those - but if you don't have the resources...
- for "self learning"; decide on your objective(s), make your decisions on what to do next, take it on the chin if you take a wrong turn - it's still fun!
 

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Play with other musicians.

You might find a community college or town band.

You might ask around or post, and find a bass player or a piano player at your level to get together with.



My own path was to get back up to speed, roughly, being able to play for an hour or so without getting tired, and learning some tunes.

Then I contacted a local High School Band Director and got introduced to a local retired teacher who was a tutor.

The next move was when he informed me that he was in several local bands, and started me going to those shows as part of the audience.

He found me places in a couple of those bands, and suggested an advanced tutor to take his place.

Within a year or two after that I was in five bands (town, community college concert, big band, jazz combo, and pop/rock) and took up a lot of my time in getting my weekly, monthly, gig, rehearsal, and practice times in order.
 

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Look for opportunities to play with other musicians at or above your level. Join a community band or community college band or whatever type of group that plays music you enjoy. Hopefully you'll surround yourself with others that have the same passion and this will help keep you interested and practicing.
This is excellent advice. A community band can help keep fresh literature in front of you, and gives you a goal for how to improve. Some are free, others cost some money.

In addition, I would recommend picking up the Rubank Beginning or Intermediate Book (Blue Book) because you need to work on your methods (technique). Playing fun music (as in a community band) with not help you improve nearly as fast as playing fund music and working on methods simultaneously. The Rubank book will cost you less than $10. Just about any music store should be able to get it for you.

You will also find sitting in band that you will start picking up tips from the other saxes in your section.

Last note, please commit yourself to daily practice (or 4 times per week). Inconsistent practice will lead to very little reward and enjoyment.
 

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I agree with the others - start to play with other people, you will find your playing skill will increase Tenfold. Open mics and jam nights in your area are your best bet to find others with your same interests. Cheers!
 

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I agree, playing with others will elevate your playing. I got things a little backwards. Took lessons for a year. Played at home for a few years, mostly off sheet music. Then joined a swing band as second tenor. It was like jumping into the deep end of the pool, but I learned a lot from the experience and from the other musicians. One handicap was that my fundamentals weren't all that good. I've left the band for now and am working mostly on fundamentals and sound development. I've worked my way through a couple of the courses on bettersax.com and find them to be very helpful.
 
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