Articles & Tutorials

Taming The Saxophone
Taming The Saxophone

Our other main saxophone site where you can find loads of information about saxophones, saxophone playing (and players), accessories, mouthpieces, tone exercises, fingering exercises, jazz, rock & blues improvisation and lots more.

Latest on Taming The Saxophone

  • Lessons/Consultancy
    I will soon be able to offer single consultancies on saxophone, arranging, theory and/or composing These will be suitable for intermediate to advanced ...
  • All Products
    All the profit from sales at Taming The Saxophone and Cafe Saxophone is donated to charity. We are now making more than £10,000 a year from our fundr ...
  • Fundraising on the Site
    All the profit from direct sales at TamingTheSaxophone (Books, mouthpieces etc.) and subscriptions on CafeSaxophone forum is donated to various charit ...
  • Beginners’ Impro TTS Vol 2
    In this section of the site we expand on some of the material in the book, Taming The Saxophone vol2.  Some of the pages in this section of the site ...
  • Chords For Beginners
    Here is a very simple lesson in the beginnings of harmony. As you probably know, there are 7 notes in a major scale. In C these are C, D, E, F, G, A a ...
  • Impro, Tunes & Songs for Beginners
    Full sheet music (PDF), Audio files and more in Vol 2 Taming The Saxophone – Beginners Impro The post Impro, Tunes & Songs for Beginners appeared fi ...
  • Rock & Blues
    Rock & Roll (& Blues) for Beginners I Although you might think that theory and rock or blues playing don’t have much in common, it’s surprising ho ...
  • Chords and Numerals
    Why assign numbers to chords? If you have read part 1 of TTS vol 2 you should know how we use different types of numbers to help us understand about ...
  • Special Chords
    Beyond Triads We will call these “special chords” as they don’t quite fit into the method of chord construction we have learned so far, but real ...
  • Voicing & Inversions
    A quick recap about chords We learned in the book that chords are two or more notes played together. We know how chords are constructed, that they are ...
  • Who’s in charge, you or the saxophone?
    Play the saxophone, don’t let the saxophone play you! Pete Thomas: Taming not one, but two saxophones Photo: Simon Warren | Concept: Marcelle Ben H ...
  • SAXOPHONE
    The Saxophone! In the miscellaneous information section In the players section In the mouthpieces section In the accessories section In the technical ...
  • Saxophone Info
    In the miscellaneous saxophone info section   The post Saxophone Info appeared first on Taming The Saxophone.
  • Saxophone Myths & Fake News
    Saxophone Myths The internet is a wonderful thing but can bear double-edged sword. Along with all the wonderful information at our fingertips, we also ...
  • Saxophone Buying Advice
    How to get the Best Buying Advice Don’t just listen to me, there are many different and valid opinions so for a start log in to the Cafe Saxophone ...
  • Saxophone Reviews
    Disclaimer: Unlike with many saxophone reviews I do not get paid or receive free instruments in return for reviews on this page. Very Inexpensive Saxo ...
  • Saxophone Recommendations
    What’s a Good Saxophone? I am often asked to give saxophone recommendations, endorse mouthpieces and big up the retailers. I am not an official endo ...
  • Saxophone Insurance
    Insuring a valuable instrument While there are no dedicated saxophone insurance policies, there are several insurance brokers than specialise in music ...
  • Saxophone Maintenance
    Cleaning Inside the Body of the Saxophone 1. The Pull-Through (or “Swab”) Probably the most important part of general saxophone maintenance, this ...
  • Saxophone Repairs
    Leaks A leak happens when something on the saxophone such as pad closing is not an airtight seal. The symptoms are squeaking  or notes not sounding p ...
  • Leaking G#
    How to easily fix a very common problem. The G# on modern saxophones has quite a complex mechanism, and when it gets out of adjustment a leak can affe ...
  • Saxophone Comparisons
    The Shootout I have chosen to compare five saxophones, three vintage and two modern. The vintage saxophones are my own two tenors, a 1930s Conn 10M (N ...
  • Saxophone Players
    In the players section The post Saxophone Players appeared first on Taming The Saxophone.
  • Jazz Tenor
    Biographies of some of the best and most significant tenor saxophone players in the history of the saxophone. Coleman Hawkins, Lucky Thompson, Lester ...
  • R & B Saxophone Players
    These biographies, photos and soundclips include all the influential rhythm and blues saxophone players of the 40s and 50s. Some of these are jazz pla ...
  • Lee Allen
    by Nick Pentelow First published by Saxophone Journal. Unedited original interview and later additions published here with the kind permission of the ...
  • King Curtis
    This is a transcription of the King Curtis track Hungover. F# is often thought of as a difficult key to play on saxophone, but a very important one if ...
  • Saxophone Blues Transcriptions
    How do you learn to play a good blues solo? Also see Why You Shouldn’t Transcribe Some people think blues playing and improvising is easy: just lear ...
  • Mouthpieces
    In the mouthpieces section   The post Mouthpieces appeared first on Taming The Saxophone.
  • How to Choose a Mouthpiece
    Choosing your Mouthpiece It sometimes takes me about 2 weeks to really know if a mouthpiece is right or not and so it is not always a good idea to mak ...
  • Mouthpiece Charts
    Saxophone Facing Comparisons There are quite a few mouthpiece comparison charts out there, but most are not very user-friendly so I created this one b ...
  • Alto Mouthpiece Comparisons
    Scroll for more tracks Comparing Mouthpieces I have gathered together some frequently recommended (and some not so frequently) alto saxophone mouthpie ...
  • Mouthpiece Material
    Mouthpiece Material: Does it make a Difference to the Sound? Yes and No (but mostly no) Yes | No | Listening Test As we know from reading about whethe ...
  • Mouthpiece for a big loud sound
    Mouthpiece and reed for a big fat loud sound In this article we are mainly going to focus on how a mouthpiece design can influence the sound. It is ea ...
  • Saxophone Mouthpiece Cleaning
    How to Look After Your Mouthpiece Mouthpiece cleaning is important of course, but first let’s look at how to maintain it on a regular basis in order ...
  • PPT Mouthpieces
    The Concept Behind PPT Mouthpieces Soprano Alto Tenor Baritone Testimonials For more images & info see the individual pages: Like many saxophone playe ...
  • PPT Soprano
    As with the tenor and baritone mouthpieces, my reason for developing the PPT soprano saxophone mouthpiece is not commercial, I just wanted to get the ...
  • PPT Alto
    Due to overwhelming demand we have now introduced the PPT alto mouthpiece. This is not just a scaled down version of the tenor, the concept is slightl ...
  • PPT Tenor
    My concept behind the sound is a mouthpiece that can deliver not only that very fat warm almost vintage sound, but also a more modern sound with nice ...
  • PPT Baritone
    As with the tenor mouthpiece, I was looking for something that doesn't yet exist - a versatile mouthpiece for baritone sax that is capable of extreme ...
  • Reviews & Testimonials
    Soprano Alto Tenor Baritone Testimonials It’s always good to get feedback, and here are some of the PPT reviews, testimonials and other communicatio ...
  • Accessories
    In the accessories section   The post Accessories appeared first on Taming The Saxophone.
  • Cane Reeds for Saxophone
    The 5 Best Cane Reed Tips: Don’t be afraid of using soft saxophone reeds:  It is a myth that you need to play a hard reed to be a good player. Whi ...
  • Synthetic Saxophone Reeds
    Synthetic mouthpieces, so why not synthetic reeds? Traditionally woodwind instruments such as the clarinet used mouthpieces made from wood in combinat ...
  • When to Change a Reed
    When should you change a reed? Cane Reeds are extremely annoying. They are sent here to try our patience in more ways than one: You buy a box of reeds ...
  • Reed maintenance & care
    Care & Storage I find that reeds play best when wet, you can moisten them in your mouth for a while or soak them in a glass of water (some people reco ...
  • Saxophone Ligatures
    The Best Way to Hold a Reed On What do saxpophone ligatures do? A ligature clamps the reed to the mouthpiece. Think of this a bit like when you hold a ...
  • Review: Saxophone Straps
    Keep Your Saxophone Round Your Neck! Disclaimer: all products on this page have been supplied to me  as free review  samples. What makes a good saxo ...
  • DIY Saxophone Clipon Microphone
    Not just cheap, but a great sounding mic too! We show you how to make this clipon microphone and roadtest it against much more expensive studio micro ...
  • Saxophone Stands
    Keep Your Horn in One Piece! Saxophone stands are more important than you might think. I learnt this as a guitarist, when my 3-year-old decide to walk ...
  • Deflector (Review)
    The Deflector This is an amazingly simple concept which I’m very pleased to see available from the well established and highly reputable company fro ...
  • leFreque Sound Bridge
    Make your saxophone sound better? We know that apart from the actual saxophone, mouthpieces and reeds can make a difference to your sound. Many people ...
  • The Sound Snake
    Over the last few years we have seen a multitude of so-called sound enhancing accessories, from the Swing Chip to the leFreque, the Klangbogen to the ...
  • Saxophone History
    The Early Years of Saxophone History From the Story of the Saxophone The Middle Ages gave us a variety of new instruments and gradually the elements ...
  • Saxophone Material
    Science vs Common Sense Saxophones are mostly made from brass, which is an alloy mostly of copper and zinc. There are and have been slightly different ...
  • Serial Numbers
    What Can Serial Numbers Tell Me? The main thing you learn from serial numbers is the age of the instrument of course. Although the dates in these char ...
  • Vintage Saxophones
    Are vintage saxophones better than modern ones? Yes and no, “better” is very often subjective. It used to be the case that you could buy a profess ...
  • Instrument Petting Zoo
    Here are a few of the strange and unusual instruments and accessories I have collected over the years. Some sound great, others not so. Maybe I’ll r ...
  • Recording a Saxophone
    This article is based on my experience playing the saxophone on recording sessions, and also recording saxophones while working as a producer/sound en ...
  • Mixing Saxophone
    Who is this for and what do you need? This is for anyone who wants to make recordings of their playing (or singing) along with basic backing tracks. T ...
  • Saxophones For Sale
    Saxes for Sale – 5 things to watch out for:   1. Asking advice online People often ask on the forums or social media “what is the best saxopho ...
  • LESSONS & TUTORIALS
    Lessons In the Beginners Saxophone Section: + More beginner stuff in the main Theory/Impro section: I have designed and developed all the online saxop ...
  • Beginners FAQs
    The How, Why, What and Wheres of the Saxophone If you have any questions, please ask. The only stupid question is the one you are too scared to ask. T ...
  • Saxophone Studies
    The Taming The Saxophone Series of Studies Taming the Saxophone is a series of saxophone tutorials (there are more books, videos and DVDs planned). W ...
  • Learn to Play Saxophone
    This article tells you what you need to know to get started – fingering a few notes, making a sound and playing your first tune, along with a page o ...
  • First Steps on the Saxophone
    For Absolute Beginners In this section on beginners saxophone we look specifically at useful stuff for beginners, but don’t be scared of delving int ...
  • Saxophone Transposition
    Why am I in a different key to the rest of the band? This is a very common question, especially from anyone who has just bought a saxophone, taught t ...
  • Fingering Charts
    Basic Fingering charts (no sharps or flats) First we have a couple of very basic fingering charts which show you the saxophone fingerings for the lowe ...
  • Beginners Instruction DVD
    In this program, Pete introduces beginners to the alto saxophone: the parts of the saxophone and how to assemble them, fitting the reed, posture and b ...
  • Find A Saxophone Teacher
    The best one for you Is the teacher a great player? A good teacher is not necessarily a great player, and conversely a great player could be a lousy t ...
  • Rhythm & Blues Saxophone
    What is R&B Saxophone? I really didn’t want to define rhythm & blues but I was sort of forced to do it when putting the vast page of R&B players t ...
  • Rock & Roll Saxophone
    How to Play a Great Rockin’ Solo Many jazz saxophonists think that it’s easy to knock off a rock and roll solo, and then wonder why nobody likes i ...

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