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JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
8
Hello All,

Recently picked up a Alto Sax, complete novice but having lots of fun on it!

Can anyone recommend the best online courses to learn? Doesn't seem ideal learning from a computer but in current circumstances I have no other option.

Free would be ideal but I guess any that is great value for money will work!

Cheers,
Joey
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
Hi,

There are many resources on the site Taming The Saxophone: the ultimate saxophone site including a lot of things to learn when starting up.

Youtube is chock full of hundreds of teachers offering free tutorials. Better Sax is a good one to look up.

or McGill School

There's a few pages on this topic here:
 

Murillogf

New Member
Messages
9
The mcGill sax school is giving a free 14 days access to their course (I think it usually costs about 29 dollars per month).

I found some of the videos there very usefull. For sure its worth taking a look.
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
I just spent a few minutes looking at other online Eric Marienthal students' videos at ArtistWorks. There are many songs I wouldn't want to learn, but others have and they then submit them to Eric, in addition to exercises. He then replies with his analysis and suggestions. Any student can watch any of the hundreds of these pairs of video exchanges available. I believe this is not done anywhere else, so I'm mentioning again it now. It's a compelling feature of AW's method that I often forget. This content grows every few weeks, enriched by other students newly submitted videos and Eric's responses. It's well worth checking out as it's richer than just a collection of lessons and exercises or lessons. It's more like an infinite master class.
 
Messages
87
I just spent a few minutes looking at other online Eric Marienthal students' videos at ArtistWorks. There are many songs I wouldn't want to learn, but others have and they then submit them to Eric, in addition to exercises. He then replies with his analysis and suggestions. Any student can watch any of the hundreds of these pairs of video exchanges available. I believe this is not done anywhere else, so I'm mentioning again it now. It's a compelling feature of AW's method that I often forget. This content grows every few weeks, enriched by other students newly submitted videos and Eric's responses. It's well worth checking out as it's richer than just a collection of lessons and exercises or lessons. It's more like an infinite master class.
Thanks for reminding us of the ArtistWorks platform. Maybe I should take a look. I've been considering getting occasional online lessons via Skype or Zoom for some feedback but just have been on the fence about it. ArtistWorks might be a suitable alternative.
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
Thanks for reminding us of the ArtistWorks platform. Maybe I should take a look. I've been considering getting occasional online lessons via Skype or Zoom for some feedback but just have been on the fence about it. ArtistWorks might be a suitable alternative.
I'm a big booster of their system because I initially took upright bass lessons from John Patitucci. There's nothing like engaging with people at the highest level who are also great and motivated teachers. But the thing I mention above is unique, as far as I know. It's an infinite amount of insight given ion things I didn't even know I wanted to know :)
Yesterday I was inspired to try a tune I had ignored, based on the work of another student. And not everyone is advanced on the site, despite Eric's high level, there are some beginners and many intermediate players. You feel at home in the community regardless.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
2,089
I signed up for Bob Reynolds Online School last Year. There is a waiting time to get into the School as he only opens up a couple of times a Year. It's Super Organised and full of info. I didn't make the most of it at the time and decided to drop out. Partly because I felt it was a bit advanced for me and I wasn't getting enough out of it due to various reasons. The Guy is a Monster Player and Organiser and his site benefits from it.

I took up Nigel McGill's free two week offer about a Month back. It's a well organised Website and I really like Nigel's approach. I feel in all it's a bit more suited to 'my level' (mediocre) compared to Bob's site. Not that it's low level or scrimping on more advanced stuff. I just feel the curriculum (as it were) suits my generally casual approach to learning. I got a further sweetener offer after the initial 2 weeks, and I've decided to continue a bit longer on the Monthly payment scheme. Yearly payments are much cheaper with McGill's, but I'm happy to pay on a Monthly basis for a while.
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
Learning a musical instrument when not in a music school is a lot like working from home.
There's no question that we're lucky to have so many different approaches to learning! For people who are used to going through life as autodidacts, you could probably learn everything by searching out all of the many excellent YouTube video series. Then you could listen critically to the hundreds of thousands of recordings by the masters, from Bird, Trane, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and on through Kenny Garrett and Maceo Parker and the new names that don't roll off my tongue.

Not everyone is capable of working from home without a work context around them, physically. They get distracted by external things like family and internal ones like the desire to party or go swimming when it's nice out. They need direction and structure. In learning music, we have the chance to combine all of these things, and add the structure and discipline of a school with a method. The choice of what school depends entirely upon the feeling you get from the school.

We live in a golden age of musical education! We're also fortunate that there are very different approaches to the various schools. Beyond schools, there are of course private video lessons. You can usually get a taste of these from the numerous free learning videos out there.

The choice of lessons is and should be based on one question:
Will this inspire me to reach out for that goal I have in mind, or will it be an endless series of exercises that I know I should be doing to get facility and familiarity with the music?

While this is a golden age in that sense, it's a terrible one with the wold closed down momentarily! Going out to play with others is capital and it was critical for all the musical giants of the past. I hope things will be better next year! Meanwhile, there's school.
 
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randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
Thumbs through thesaurus... o_O
Here's a list:
A few famous ones:
  • Django Reinhardt was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist.
  • Jeff Loomis Guitarist and composer, known from the band Nevermore, is a self-taught guitarist. He has stated in interviews that he took few lessons in his youth but "didn't do much".
  • Erroll Garner jazz pianist and virtuoso, who never learned to read music.
  • Jimi Hendrix was a guitarist and singer-songwriter, considered to be among greatest electric guitarists in music history.
  • Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana, was self-taught on guitar.
  • Noel Gallagher, singer, musician, multi-instrumentalist. At the age of thirteen, Noel received six months probation for theft from a corner shop. It was during this period of probation, with little else to do, that Noel first began to teach himself to play a guitar his father had left him, imitating his favourite songs from the radio.
  • Dave Grohl drummer and guitarist from Nirvana stated he never took music lessons, for drums nor guitar.
  • Nasir Jones Hip-hop legend, better known as Nas, dropped out of school at seventh grade. Born and raised in the Queensbridge Houses in Queens, New York City, Nas is self-taught in all the major academic areas of history, philosophy, science, math, English.
  • Marshall Mathers Hip-hop superstar better known as Eminem, dropped out of high school at age 17 and had to repeat ninth grade multiple times. He has gone on record as saying that his ability of rhyming comes from his love of studying other hiphop artists ( Such as Beastie Boys, L.L. Cool J., Dr. Dre, and several other artists), as well as reading the dictionary front to back multiple times to expand his vocabulary and use of multi-syllabic words.
  • Paul Gray, bassist, co-founder and songwriter for the Grammy-award-winning band Slipknot stated "I am self-taught, never took any lessons".
  • Bruce Springsteen is self-taught in multiple musical instruments, including guitar and piano, and has been a voracious reader since encouragement was given to follow this direction by manager Jon Landau in the mid-late 1970s. His only further education was a brief period of time spent at Ocean County Community College.
 
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Murillogf

New Member
Messages
9
You can be autodidact only to a limited range of instruments. I've never heard of a cellist or violinist that plays at concert level who taught himself. Some instruments have a very technical demanding and some are not intuitive.

For rock and pop I think yes, you can be autodidact, but for jazz and classical it depends very much on the instrument and ones capabilities of learning from watching others and self critique.

Even thought the sax can be more intuitive I strongly believe you should at least seek, from time to time, a more experienced critique on your playing.
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
There are probably NO classical players that haven't taken lessons or been to school. Jazz is a different story. Yes, if you can and want to, you should take saxophone lessons.
I forgot to mention that ArtistWorks also features private concert videos of Eric playing with Peter Erskine, Russell Ferrante and Nathan East, as another extra. A lot can be gleaned from watching and listening to them as well.
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,599
I signed up for Bob Reynolds' program when it opened last fall. I like it very much. There are tons of lessons of all levels that Bob demonstrates and explains how they work, why they work and what skills they develop. There are transcription challenges of the month. You can email Bob with the things you want to work on and he will suggest various courses and lessons he has available.

It's been going very well for me. I learned an intonation exercise that I do daily and it has been a huge help. I also am making use of Bob's lesson that shows how to pull an interesting lick out of a solo and use it to work on technique, articulation, time feel and every other aspect of playing.

So far, it has been well worth the monthly fee.
 
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Morph

New Member
Messages
20
I imagine Jay (Better Sax) resources would be very good, he's a good player and, judging from his videos, seems like a great teacher.

Bob Reynolds' online studio is great but possibly better for intermediate to advanced players (whatever that means)
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 1/2 years
Subscriber
Messages
4,491
The difference is in interactivity. Do you exchange personal videos with these teachers? Other than private lessons, I don't think so. However, that's not to say they aren't all valid. I'd just go with whatever you feel is the best for you and your goals.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
7,882
One of the very best I have found and can highly recommend is learnsaxophoneonline Dr. Jeffrey Cunningham is an experienced educator with stellar credentials and years of teaching experience.

I was skeptical at first when I read one of his ads and contacted him with a lot of questions. He answered them graciously and offered to put me on his mailing list to review his teaching material free of charge. I have kept up with many of his lessons and have found them to be excellent.
 
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