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Beginner Do I have to play that?

What

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314
Okay so my book teaches you notes, and then a short melody. Mentions nothing about scales, or breathing, not even a mention of how to articulate notes. I worked out scales thank to sources you all gave me and work on them and exercises everyday, and then work a bit of what I learned the day before to make sure I still have it, and the move on to something new. I feel I am progressing pretty well, but now I have hit a slight snag.

I don't mind playing "Au Claire de la Lune" or "My Dreydle" or even "Hot Cross Buns." I was expecting songs like this. However, now my book is getting into a string of extremely hokey folk songs like "Skip to my Lou" and "Oh Susana" to teach eighth notes. Now I need to learn this, but I would rather avoid these songs. Do you all know of any other simple melodies that might work in their place.
 

muzza

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109
I started on the Essential Element series and the tunes were not what I wanted to play. I was directed to John O'Neills, "The Jazz Method for Saxophone" and found it much better. It starts off with simply tunes but moves on quickly, so expect to take a little longer to be able to a. play the tunes, then b. play the tune with play along.
 

What

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Messages
314
I started on the Essential Element series and the tunes were not what I wanted to play. I was directed to John O'Neills, "The Jazz Method for Saxophone" and found it much better. It starts off with simply tunes but moves on quickly, so expect to take a little longer to be able to a. play the tunes, then b. play the tune with play along.
Thanks. I will have to hunt that one down. I am happy to taking a bit longer to do something I enjoy so much.
 

muzza

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109
I am mainly self taught and this book is structured so each chapter introduces a new note, concept, scales etc and the chapter tunes are bases on concept.

For example I am working on the last chapters now, being "Semiquavers; Grace Notes", and "6/8 time, 5/4 time and Irregular Phasing", then I finish by learning two Charlie Parker tunes "My Little Suede Shoes" and "Yardbird"
 

What

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314
I am mainly self taught and this book is structured so each chapter introduces a new note, concept, scales etc and the chapter tunes are bases on concept.

For example I am working on the last chapters now, being "Semiquavers; Grace Notes", and "6/8 time, 5/4 time and Irregular Phasing", then I finish by learning two Charlie Parker tunes "My Little Suede Shoes" and "Yardbird"
My copy should be here by Thursday :cool:.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I don't mind playing "Au Claire de la Lune" or "My Dreydle" or even "Hot Cross Buns." I was expecting songs like this. However, now my book is getting into a string of extremely hokey folk songs like "Skip to my Lou" and "Oh Susana" to teach eighth notes. Now I need to learn this, but I would rather avoid these songs. Do you all know of any other simple melodies that might work in their place.
Usually the books do a couple of things

- give you a variety of stuff to play which should help to stop you getting bored as well as giving you (kids...) exposure to different types of music.
- introduce new things with each piece or two. Could be fingerings, could be bigger intervals to develop breath control. COuld be speed, could be rhythms. Could be new key - or the relative minor of the major you know already. Many others as well.

Often the pieces aren't that interesting, or are simplified arrangements of well known pieces that may well sound not quite right. Trick I found for getting through stuff I didn't like was to look hard at what that piece introduced and work hard on that aspect. Made a big difference. For really bad sounding arrangements, I try to find the proper notes. Uusally a lot harder to play, but a lot more satisfying.

Scales seem to be introduced later, I think it's to help kids maintain interest.

If you do switch books, go through the new one from the start, making sure you can play all the pieces, cos there's no guarantee that things are taught in the same order, and you may miss something important.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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When I was learning I bought off ebay a couple of books of the 100 best tunes type then sold them again.
Although they contained a lot I didn't like or want to play the advantage of trying them was that because the tunes are well known I knew what they should sound like.
This meant that I didn't have to try to get the sound from the printed material but could fit that to the sound so I learnt what it meant.
If that makes sense.
 

What

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314
I can see what both of you are saying and Targa is right even if I hate them it is easier to know what you're playing if the tune is something you've heard a thousand times before. I was just hoping to avoid some of theses songs while still getting the needed lessons that they are used to teach. Years from now when I can play some really sweet jazz or pick up a piece of music I like and play it well it won't matter that I spend some time learning eight notes from "Skip to my Lou", but ya can't blame a guy for trying right?;}
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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No issue with what Targa says. Sooner or later you need to be able to translate dots into a melody. Takes a while, Targa's method should help a lot, as long as you don't switch your brain off....

apart from different tutorial books, I don' think there's a good way of avoiding stuff you don't like/hate, unless you have a teacher who can pick other equivalent pieces.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,219
Thanks. I will have to hunt that one down. I am happy to taking a bit longer to do something I enjoy so much.
Best price has either been Amazon or ebay. The other series worth looking at is "Creative Saxophone" by Santin & Clark. When I was learning I did not feel that happy about playing "Oh I do like to be beside the seaside" on soprano sax!


The O'Neill book is £14.88 alto and £16.88 tenor at Amazon. The first Creative Saxophone book is £10.00 with Amazon and is suitable for both alto and tenor (seperate CDs for each). Both are really good, and not designed for children! Amazon.com have them all at $20, $27, and $14 respectively!

Kind regards
Tom:thumb:
 
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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As adult learners we tend to face this problem with most instruments and most tutor books - just be grateful it's not covered in "cute" kittens and puppies....
 

Justin Chune

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The Jimmy Dorsey "Saxophone Method" is still in print and I think that Peter Wastell's "Learn As You play Saxophone" is good for adult beginners.

Jim.
 

What

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314
Thanks.Thats one I will enjoy for practice, and you never know when you might need it later. I am also planning on ordering your DVD soon. My credit card just had a fit when I tried to order it, probably because this is the first time purchasing something using your site. I will call them and get it sorted. Thanks again for putting together so many great resources for us. They have been invaluable to me.
 

TomMapfumo

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5,219
I used the O'Neill "Jazz Method for Trumpet" book as well when learning and they were all extremely useful in motivating an adult to get good grades in both saxophone and trumpet - in UK the O'Neill helps people to Grade 4 and upwards. The Santin and Clark series includes pieces which feature as examination pieces for Grade 6,7 & 8 on both Trinity Guildhall and London College of Music exams.
 

jbtsax

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Beginning band books such as Essential Elements and Standard of Excellence are very carefully constructed by experienced professional music educators to follow a pattern of sequential steps to teaching not only how to play the instrument, but how to play music as well. (There is a difference.) Learning mathematics is very similar to learning to play a musical instrument in this regard.

If the tunes at the beginning seem simple and child like---they are. They have to be simple to incorporate only the notes and rhythms (note values) covered up to that point in the book. Children's tunes just happen to have a limited range and number of notes so that children can sing them. In each method as more and more notes and fingerings are learned along with more and more note values and rhythms, the number of songs that can be mastered increases and they become more sophisticated and "adult like".

For adult beginners, I would recommend that you suck it up and play completely through the method book(s)---kiddie tunes and all. If "Hot Cross Buns" is boring, play it with some rhythmic variations, try it up an octave, try it starting on different notes. Jumping around in any method book can create gaps in the learning sequence that can hang you up at a later time. You can, however supplement your study with books of graded solos appropriate to your level of ability.

A motivated adult learner can go through these beginning band methods much faster than younger players---especially if they have some piano background. I used to take my beginning classes through them one page per week. If this seems excessively slow, one needs to remember that tone production, posture, tonguing, intonation, correct hand position, musicianship, music theory, music history etc. are being taught at the same time which are not found in the book, per se.

There are some exceptions to the above. If someone has developed musical skills on another instrument, say the trumpet, and then starts on the saxophone they can of course go much more quickly to the literature once the fingerings and tone production skills are learned. They have already paid their dues on "Hot Cross Buns" on their primary instrument. :)
 

TomMapfumo

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5,219
Absolutely no need for an adult beginner to learn a kiddies book. The books listed above prove that quite clearly. If you are an adult learn from an adult book! Simples!
 

jbtsax

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I have ordered both of the suggested books, and will comment further after a thorough review.
 

What

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314
I understand what you are saying Jbt about the importance of learning to play music is equal in importance to learning to play then instrument. Thats why I am using instructional books that teach music and not just trying to learn to play by ear. I am just hunting for a source that might teach them same, but using examples and songs that I might enjoy a bit more. I would not stop learning if the only way was with the cheesy folk tunes, I would just suck it up, but there have been some good suggestions here. Mr. Thomas not quite Egyptian song taught me a new note and helped improve my timing working to play along after I had the notes right, and The Jazz Method book looks like it might be just what I am looking for, if I find I am learning less about music then I wanted I can always go back to "twinkle twinkle little star."
 

saxyman

Member
Messages
267
I found it very difficult at first to play music that I did not know, but when I play with a local wind band, I play Tenor and normally I play backing, which bears no resemblance to the actual tune.
I have to rely on playing the music in front of me, at the same time I must listen to the others but not be distracted by the lead who are playing the melody.
When I practice at home, the parts I play dont always seem to make sense on their own, but it is imperative that I learn them.
Hope that makes sense.
 
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