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lindso3000

New Member
Messages
19
I was just wondering what books you all have and what would be recommended for a beginner?
Or maybe a DVD?
Also how long is it recommended to practise a day? Ive been trying to do hour sittings but it makes me light headed, and i find i cant stand with it for long as its so heavy on my neck.
Tips?

Thanks,
Linds :mrcool
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
366
My first book was "The Complete Saxophone Player" by Raphael Ravenscroft. Still got it somewhere.

Have you tried sitting to play, move the sax to your right side or even try in front. If you are tall enough it may be possible to support the sax on the chair base between your legs.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,013
A BG sax sling will take the strain off your neck. I prefer sitting comfortably as well. Getting light headed is a sure sign that you are overdoing it, so take it easy. "Saxophone Basics" by Andy Hampton and "Learn As You Play Saxophone" by Peter Wastell are a couple of books you could look at. There are many more. Make sure that you get the correct CD for your sax with any book you buy.

Jim.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
I also used Play As You Learn Saxophone, together with the Rubank Elementary Method. IMO Wastall contains a lot of good music that is more likely prepare you for classical music, but I don't think it contains enough technical work for reaching the standard expected at the end of it (about fourth grade). Rubank is the other way round. Its musical selections often are quaint, but the tech work is great. Now I use the Universal Method. Frankly, I can't imagine anyone starting on this one. It doesn't exactly rush you into tuneful pieces.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Blimey, some ancient suggestions from Beckmesser.:shocked:

I've been using Creative Saxophone mostly lately. A bit more up to date and geared towards popular music.
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Breathing Exercises ...

Polite snip ------------- 8< -------------

Getting light headed ...
Hey Linds ...

My opinion is that breathing exercises may well help you overcome this - you could be suffering from "to much" or "not enough" oxygen when you play for long periods at present ...

Swimmers [for example] sometimes suffer from either holding their breath for to long or from Hyperventilation [Link here]

There are loads of diaphragm breathing exercises [Link] - just use Google ... ;}

As for books ...

I am a raw beginner [a n00b] ;}

I started with Absolute Beginners Alto Saxophone [By Steve Tayton] - The complete picture guide to playing saxophone, includes a CD ... [Link Here]

I moved onto "Larry Teal - The Art of Saxophone Playing" [Link Here]

And

"John O'Neil Jazz Method for the Saxophone" - [Link Here]

These last two books - I think are really very good ...

I am also reading music theory for dummies [Link Here] - cos I am one :)))

Hope that helps ...
 
Last edited:

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Blimey, some ancient suggestions from Beckmesser.:shocked:

I've been using Creative Saxophone mostly lately. A bit more up to date and geared towards popular music.
Yes, they are getting a bit long in the tooth. I have looked at afew books, and they actually all teach you much the same: basic fingerings, simple tunes, etc. The basic difference between them is the the choice of music they offer. I should that I looked at the jazz method. Some of the stuff in there is not simple. However, none of them take you all that far, and sooner or later you have to move into the more technical material.

At one stage I wondered whether something like the detailed Londeix books might be preferable. They take you from the beginning to quite advanced. But I can't imagine that anyone actually would want to stick with them. Sooner or later you want to play what appeals to you.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Linds, on the breathing, I agree with Sunray, but my guess is that you're not breathing enough. For now try to take a quick breath every couple of bars. I think most of us try to play until we can't hold out any longer at first. Trick is to take a quick breath every time the music allows it. If you watch the greats on youtube, you'll see that they take a lot of breaths while they're playing. Sometimes every couple of bars.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
Linds, on the breathing, I agree with Sunray, but my guess is that you're not breathing enough. For now try to take a quick breath every couple of bars. I think most of us try to play until we can't hold out any longer at first. Trick is to take a quick breath every time the music allows it. If you watch the greats on youtube, you'll see that they take a lot of breaths while they're playing. Sometimes every couple of bars.
The question of when to breathe is quite interesting. Usually one follows the apostrophes in the score, and that may mean going on for quite a few bars. How long one can manage without taking breath depends, among other things, on how well one knows the piece, one's length of experience with the instrument, one's breathing technique and, of course, the music itself. The low notes take more air than the mid-range notes. Familiarity with a passage really is frightfully important. It is the key to even legato playing.

The ability to take a deep breath is crucial. Some training material suggests that one should be able to hold a tone for ten seconds. Most players can do this.

If you are improvising, you have of course more opportunities to create breathing breaks. But you still have to manage the passage so that it has a beginning and an end.

Now, beginners can't keep track of all of this. Phrase lines will not appear right at the start. Once they do, you should try at least to observe them. Good luck. And don't overdo your practice. There will be plenty of time to give in to the saxophone addiction.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
I always reckon the best thing a beginner can have is a book of tunes - and tunes that they like.
Playing exercises is all good and well, but let's be honest - they can be terminally boring.
You also don't have many reference points with exercises...whereas with a tune that you know, you can tell right away just how far off the mark you are. As you struggle to get the tune to a half-recognisible state you'll be working on your tone, your timing and your tuning...without really noticing it.

Regards,
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,933
I always reckon the best thing a beginner can have is a book of tunes - and tunes that they like.
Playing exercises is all good and well, but let's be honest - they can be terminally boring.
You also don't have many reference points with exercises...whereas with a tune that you know, you can tell right away just how far off the mark you are. As you struggle to get the tune to a half-recognisible state you'll be working on your tone, your timing and your tuning...without really noticing it.

Regards,
Wot 'e said wiv brass knobs on it.

Here's a good search


Good Luck
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
+1 for "Saxophone Basics" by Andy Hampton. I started on this book and it was great working through it with my teacher. Highly recommend a teacher! The tunes start off very simple and work through to tougher pieces. loads of little advice and tips about reading music and actually playing the sax including scales and long notes.

When I started I was told it was best to play for 15 minutes to half an hour at a time as you get very tired. As the weeks roll on you'll find yourself doing long sessions without any problems.

Breathing exercises as mentioned earlier are very worth while and I've been doing those ones mentioned on Taming the Saxophone that Sonny Rollins does every day. It has really helped control my breathing.

As for fatigue with the weight around your neck - I highly recommend finding a strap or harness that takes the stain of the top of the spine. Again look on the Taming of the Sax at the strap recommended by Pete called the Cebulla - I have a few myself and love them!
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,556
I've got the Dip In 100 graded sax tunes (or something like that!) It's got lots of common tunes marked with 3 different graded levels.
I'm impressed your embouchure can cope with an hour at a time :welldone - unless you already play a wind instrument. After 2 years, I still only play 3 x 30-45 minutes a day.
I'd never had a problem with breathing until our last band practice. We were playing a Mama Mia medley - a lovely piece. About 3/4 way through there is a change of tempo and style with the comment "bright triplet swing". The conductor told us to "give it some welly" which I duly did, and promptly I the world began to swim and I had to rush for a chair to sit down (or fall down). Mind you, I was more concerned about damaging my sax, than myself :)))
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,901
I learnt from The Complete Saxophone Player, it was recommended to me by the optician at the Eye Hospital.
 

Ben Cain

Member
Messages
107
I used complete sax player and the usual suspects. Moved onto Larry Teal art of sax and also Otto Langey Sax Method (old but if you want classical sax a great training) Get a BG harness, changed my life from torture with my tenor sax to pleasure. Im an hour at a time kinda guy.
Ben
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
785
What sax do you play? depending on what you have i would gladly send you one of my old beginners books. I play tenor. Free of charge of course. Phil
I was just wondering what books you all have and what would be recommended for a beginner?
Or maybe a DVD?
Also how long is it recommended to practise a day? Ive been trying to do hour sittings but it makes me light headed, and i find i cant stand with it for long as its so heavy on my neck.
Tips?

Thanks,
Linds :mrcool
 

lindso3000

New Member
Messages
19
Firstly, thanks to everyone who has replied!!

I play an Alto sax.

I used to play flute :)

Ive seen some of the books you have mentioned.My local shop has a large collection of books so il write down the names you have mentioned and see what i can find.
I'm looking for a local teacher and i'm sure that will help me a lot.

Il let you know how i get on :)

Linds
 
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