Beginner Absolute Beginner book recommendations

Tasjii

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Hi All,

Well my sax (Yamaha YAS 280) arrived from UK Sax Hire on Friday afternoon so I've had her for a whole 2 days now and I have been having a go on my own. I am a complete beginner, never played an instrument in my life and I understand a little music theory, as we did that at school way back when, but can't say I know how to read sheet music. I am trying to sort out some proper lessons but waiting to hear back from a potential tutor.

So my questions is whether anyone can recommend any good beginner books out there that will help me learn?

I have "Practical Hints on Playing the Alto Saxophone" by Eugene Rousseau on order as that one was recommended to me on another thread.

Thanks
 
Not sure I'd bother with a dedicated beginners book tbh, that basic information (fingering charts etc) is just too easily available on the web nowadays, here and YouTube amongst others.

Definitely get the 3 Taming the Sax volumes from here/tamingthesax site. These will be good for learning, but will also take you way off into the improver/intermediate level too.

Get a teacher.

Play, record, work out what you did wrong, play again (no 'expensive' equipment needed, all my recordings are done with a cheap £15 Chinese mike from eBay and a free download of audacity (many people prefer a different program).

Decide what your aims are, e.g. playing for pleasure, to join a band, to take formal 'grades', the basics are the same, but the route may be slightly different.

Soon as you can string a few notes together, go to the 'Your Sounclips' area on here and start posting, there's a dedicated 'beginners' section, along with the regular Song of the Month and Ballad of the Month. They may seem a way off at the moment, but with reasonable practice 3-4 times a week, you should be starting posting with a few months (that's the BOTM/SOTM, the beginners areas you can post in tomorrow)
 
You can find a fingering chart and lots of advice for starters on the web. Since you are currently looking for a teacher, you could wait to see what book they recommend.

Meanwhile, things you can practice on your own are:
- Blow long notes on the mouthpiece and neck, and on the sax. Try to play a nice "G" (look at the fingering chart)
- Use the fingering chart to start learning the "G major" scale, going up one note at a time (G, A, B, C ,D, E, F#, G), and also down as far as you can (G, F#, E, D, C). Initially you will find that it gets harder as you get higher or lower.
- Make up little tunes using the notes you can play. (If you are a good player, this is called "improvisation", the rest of us call it "noodling".)
- See if you can pick out some simple tunes, like Frère Jacques, or God Save the Queen.
 
Definitely get the 3 Taming the Sax volumes from here/tamingthesax site. These will be good for learning, but will also take you way off into the improver/intermediate level too.

Thanks for the plug, I'd say not volume 3 though for beginners and add the beginners DVD. So volume 1, vol 2 and the DVD.
 
Not sure I'd bother with a dedicated beginners book tbh, that basic information (fingering charts etc) is just too easily available on the web nowadays, here and YouTube amongst others.

Definitely get the 3 Taming the Sax volumes from here/tamingthesax site. These will be good for learning, but will also take you way off into the improver/intermediate level too.

Get a teacher.

Play, record, work out what you did wrong, play again (no 'expensive' equipment needed, all my recordings are done with a cheap £15 Chinese mike from eBay and a free download of audacity (many people prefer a different program).

Decide what your aims are, e.g. playing for pleasure, to join a band, to take formal 'grades', the basics are the same, but the route may be slightly different.

Soon as you can string a few notes together, go to the 'Your Sounclips' area on here and start posting, there's a dedicated 'beginners' section, along with the regular Song of the Month and Ballad of the Month. They may seem a way off at the moment, but with reasonable practice 3-4 times a week, you should be starting posting with a few months (that's the BOTM/SOTM, the beginners areas you can post in tomorrow)

At the moment I am over the moon if I can get some sort of a sound to come out the other end of the sax, though I must say during my little practise session today I did find that it was easier to get that sound than I did yesterday. I managed to play a scale using all the basic notes... I think

I am working on getting a teacher, I have two possibilities not too far away. Fingers crossed one of them will be able to take me on.

I have just ordered the dvd and the first two volumes of Taming the Sax, and have been watching the little clips on the Taming website to help me figure this out.

I will hopefully be able to work on a few things before I get to my first lesson.

Will try recording and playing back too, I do a lot of videoing of my training sessions with my dogs so I can watch my training sessions back and find it very helpful. Will do the same with my sax practise.
 
At the moment I am over the moon if I can get some sort of a sound to come out the other end of the sax.
Great advantage of being a beginner is that every time you play, there's an improvement :)

As a beginner, I remember that being able to play a tune confidently with a backing track seems a long way off, it really isn't, though I will warn you that as you progress, the end point of being able to play well seems to get further and further away as you begin to learn just how much there is to learn :)

Seriously, with a couple of months then you should be able to start taking part in the SOTM and BOTM threads we run in the 'Your sound clips' area. These are very much for 'improvers', the first couple of times I posted it was just the first bit of the melody, that's fine...and then your playing will start to improve even faster.
 
The Peter Wastell book is good for adult beginners. I would advise against buying anything expensive until you see what books your teacher uses.
 
I also started on the Peter Wastall book. I consider it more of an outline of what one has to learn. So I used the Rubank method at the same time. It does things in much more detail, but the choice of tunes to learn is not designed to grab the imagination of the learner.
 
Great advantage of being a beginner is that every time you play, there's an improvement :)

I wish, I just had a little practise trying to get the first three notes to sound true and I fear I was worse today than I was yesterday. Half of what I produced sounded like farts. Really struggled with my embouchure today, I had leaking lips, tried to tighten up and stopped the sound all together.

As a beginner, I remember that being able to play a tune confidently with a backing track seems a long way off, it really isn't, though I will warn you that as you progress, the end point of being able to play well seems to get further and further away as you begin to learn just how much there is to learn :)

Seriously, with a couple of months then you should be able to start taking part in the SOTM and BOTM threads we run in the 'Your sound clips' area. These are very much for 'improvers', the first couple of times I posted it was just the first bit of the melody, that's fine...and then your playing will start to improve even faster.

You are right that seems to be a long way off at the moment. I am sure I will get there. Time to sort out my first lesson with a proper tutor I think.
 
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You can find a fingering chart and lots of advice for starters on the web. Since you are currently looking for a teacher, you could wait to see what book they recommend.

Meanwhile, things you can practice on your own are:
- Blow long notes on the mouthpiece and neck, and on the sax. Try to play a nice "G" (look at the fingering chart)
- Use the fingering chart to start learning the "G major" scale, going up one note at a time (G, A, B, C ,D, E, F#, G), and also down as far as you can (G, F#, E, D, C). Initially you will find that it gets harder as you get higher or lower.
- Make up little tunes using the notes you can play. (If you are a good player, this is called "improvisation", the rest of us call it "noodling".)
- See if you can pick out some simple tunes, like Frère Jacques, or God Save the Queen.

Thank you for the suggestions, @nigeld. I have booked my first lesson ,the first time slot he had available was next Friday so I have a little wait. I will use it to practise long notes. So far I can do G, A and B long notes, most of the time. I find it gets harder as I go up the scale. I have managed it a few times but not with any consistency at the moment. I will just keep trying until I get it. Today was a disaster, I managed lots of squeaks and farts with a few proper notes in between. I found that 20 minutes of practise is all I can manage at the moment before my mouth gets too sore. I did find today that I was gripping the mouthpiece too hard, so I am trying to make a concerted effort to relax my jaw when playing, which results in a much nicer sound. Seems like even when I don't sound good I still learn something just from trying to figure things out.
 

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