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Beginner Learning when there's no teacher...

jeepmammouth

New Member
Messages
17
Is it possible?

hi,

I've tried to no avail to get a teacher in the general area but there's nothing unless i'm willing to travel 90 minutes by car (which i'm not). PLenty of piano, guitar and even violin but no luck for sax.

So, my question is this. Is it truly feasible to learn just using play along books and online site such as this one?

Thank you for your time.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,414
Location
Daventry
Are you in the UK? Have you tried the teacher list on www.sax.co.uk?

Hard to imagine anywhere so deprived that the nearest sax-teacher is 90 minutes drive away ;}
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Yes it definitely is. I have only had two very basic lessons, the rest is just mucking around trying to make sound that I like. If you can make a sound and work out fingering charts then you stand a fair chance of playing the sax without lessons. Have you any musical background? If you do that will probably help. This site is one of the best (IMHO) others will suggest play along Cd's DVD's (Pete does a good one) and various books depending on the style you wish to play. Good luck with it and have fun!
 
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jeepmammouth

New Member
Messages
17
Have you any musical background? If you do that will probably help. This site is one of the best (IMHO) others will suggest play along Cd's DVD's (Pete does a good one) and various books depending on the style you wish to play. Good luck with it and have fun!
I can read music (albeit very hesitantly). Tks for the input. Nice to know that others have taken that way and had success.
 

ukwoody

Member
Messages
81
Location
Milford Haven, Pembrokshire, Wales
Are you in the UK? Have you tried the teacher list on www.sax.co.uk?

Hard to imagine anywhere so deprived that the nearest sax-teacher is 90 minutes drive away ;}
Haha, you need to try living here in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. 35 miles to the nearest dual carriage way. 40 to b&Q, and about 65 miles to the nearest sax teacher that I have found.:(

still, the beaches are so deserted this time of year no-one can hear my squealing on the reed when the girlfriend kicks me out as she watches the telly, LOL.

regards
woody
 
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losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
Personally I've never had much luck with formal 'lessons' of any sort. I did have a couple of guitar lessons donkey's years ago but it took me a couple of years to absorb even those. Best way of learning about music, in my opinion, is to find someone else at roughly the same level of incompetence, who also wants to learn the same instrument, and get together with them regularly to swap notes (excuse pun!). Any need for explanation of musical theory that comes up, most of which is pretty arcane anyway, is easily served by trawling around the Internet these days ... and even then two like heads are better than one.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,581
Location
Lundy Island
You can't generalise I find, some people do very well without teachers, others don't. You need to have good discipline, drive and self confidence to teach your self. Of course these are things that some people have others don't, but you can learn them.

(But you may need a teacher to learn what you need to teach yourself. :) Hope that makes sense!
 
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jeepmammouth

New Member
Messages
17
(But you may need a teacher to learn what you need to teach yourself. :) Hope that makes sense!
Yes it does thanks. That might actualy be a practical way for me to do things. Just do 'spotcheck' with a teacher every few months for a lesson or two.

Good Idea.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
Yup, I think that's the answer. You'll never manage a weekly session with a teacher with those distances, so a once in a while check to ensure you're on the right track and not developing bad habits will probably work fine. One other thought, though. To add in a reference point every now and again, you might be able to do some distance learning online via a web cam.
 
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jeepmammouth

New Member
Messages
17
To add in a reference point every now and again, you might be able to do some distance learning online via a web cam.
Yea, I've found a few place like that on the web. Are there any that you guys know are good?
 

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
293
Location
Tasmania
Have You had a look at SmartMusic I am currently subscribed for a year ( only $30.00 us ) It caters for all levels and styles ... I wish this was around 30 years ago ... You will need a microphone though.. they sell them as well or you might already have one. Certainly worth a look.

Adrian
 

AndyB

Member
Messages
210
Location
Durham, NC, USA
As a child, I played tenor almost 10 years without lessons and did pretty well but hit a technical brick wall eventually. I was lucky in that I learned on an old Conn with excellent intonation.

When I restarted, I restarted on alto which did not have the same intonation. I found that 9 months of lessons on technique and intonation benefited me greatly. I had to drop my lessons when I changed jobs, but I can work on material and continue to polish technique on my own now. But another pair of ears was very good to get restarted and catch some problems early. And lessons were critical for getting started on the right foot for embouchure and articulation. There were things that I learned from teachers that are in no books.
 

MarathonMum

New Member
Messages
17
Location
Swansea
I taught myself to play the sax and read music as I never got round to finding a teacher and now find I haven't the time. I was quite disciplined though and practiced for at least one hour every day without fail and did all the boring scales etc. It can be done if you're keen.

Having said that - I do feel that I am missing something which I think perhaps I would get with a teacher but as I only play for my own pleasure it doesn't bother me much. I would probably feel differently if I was planning on playing with others. Worth thinking about your eventual goals I suppose.

I think the best of both worlds would be to have at least a lesson a month if you can manage it.

Sharon
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
I have found it possible to teach myself, although I played flute and piano for many years before.

I have had one formal one to one lesson (with the tutor who takes my jazz evening class) when I first started on the Alto, the rest is trial, error and practice.:)
 

Luluna

Señora
Subscriber
Messages
698
Location
Vermont, USA
If you are nearer to Sutton than Montreal - maybe try posting a flyer? There is so much live music and Jazz in that little ski town I know there must be someone nearer to help you get started.
There may be experienced players willing to tutor you closer than you think :)

It also might be worth asking at your local school to see if the music teacher there might know anyone. Once you find the circle of musicians in your area - you'll be surprised how many there are.

I can relate to the distance challenge....I'm an hour from Burlington and an hour and a half from Montreal - it doesn't sound like much, but all the driving on country roads adds up to more miles than time.

Good luck in your quest...I'll ask around at my next band rehearsal at Johnson State College - a lot of the old-timers travel quite a distance and perform in Quebec. Will PM you with any info.
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
Some very reputable people worth investigating are Steve Neff(neff music), Greg Fishburn(who has written an excellent book for 'beginning improvisers') and Tim Price.
At least two will do 'interactive' online lessons, or you send them clips, OR you buy their packaged lessons.
I think a guy called Pete Thomas has useful stuff on a CD and website, too ;-)
 
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jeepmammouth

New Member
Messages
17
Good luck in your quest...I'll ask around at my next band rehearsal at Johnson State College - a lot of the old-timers travel quite a distance and perform in Quebec. Will PM you with any info.
Thanks, apreciated.
 
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