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Beginner Preparing for you first lesson!

sally cinnamon

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Wolverhampton West Midlands
What advice do would you give to someone in prep for their first lesson - as stated in my welcome thread its not until June 1 (they are very busy!) I am trying not to do to much as I don't want to get there and find I have been doing things horribly wrong - so am just trying to get my ebouchure (SP?) kind of feeling right and trying to get a sound thats not like a duck being strangled! Have also ordered a new mouthpiece and some reeds - owt else you can think of??:confused:
 

richardfm

New Member
Messages
28
Location
Cornwall
I've only been learning for 18 months, but unless money is unimportant to you I'd cancel the order for mouthpiece and reeds until after your teacher has been able to hear/see what you are doing and suggest what to buy.
You could instead by an instruction book (which will tell you the fingerings) with a CD (so you can hear what the exercises should sound like) and try practicing the first few lessons there. I started with the abracadabra book, and that still seems like a good/lucky choice. You could phone your teacher and ask them what they normally use with their students.
 
OP
sally cinnamon

sally cinnamon

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Wolverhampton West Midlands
I've only been learning for 18 months, but unless money is unimportant to you I'd cancel the order for mouthpiece and reeds until after your teacher has been able to hear/see what you are doing and suggest what to buy.
You could instead by an instruction book (which will tell you the fingerings) with a CD (so you can hear what the exercises should sound like) and try practicing the first few lessons there. I started with the abracadabra book, and that still seems like a good/lucky choice. You could phone your teacher and ask them what they normally use with their students.
Hi Richard - I have a couple of books already - I bought the one by Pete Wastall and I think the other one is the complete saxophone player - I need a new mouthpiece as the orginal is a bit manky! See am learning already I neeeeed a new mouth piece - sound like I have been here years!:D
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
Morning Sally

Congratulations on taking up the sax. You will not regret it

I would try to find someone who already plays to give you a few tips or try to get hold of a copy of Pete's DVD http://www.petethomas.co.uk/saxophone-instruction-dvd.html

This will give you enough information to get you producing a pleasing tone but do not worry too much about it. It is not an instant thing. Just keep at it and it will come.

The 1st is that far away now

Good luck

mamos
 
OP
sally cinnamon

sally cinnamon

New Member
Messages
8
Location
Wolverhampton West Midlands
Morning Sally

Congratulations on taking up the sax. You will not regret it

I would try to find someone who already plays to give you a few tips or try to get hold of a copy of Pete's DVD http://www.petethomas.co.uk/saxophone-instruction-dvd.html

This will give you enough information to get you producing a pleasing tone but do not worry too much about it. It is not an instant thing. Just keep at it and it will come.

The 1st is that far away now

Good luck

Thanks Manos am looking forward to my lesson but already a little nervous - have visions of me turning up and my poor tutor shaking his head in disgust and telling me to give up now! The tone thing is soo variable - Saturday had a really good day when I felt things were starting to come together but yesterday was awful and nothing was going right so I stopped - will have another go later though.
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
My wife is going through the same thing at the moment

She has just got an alto and is finding it hard to get a consistent tone but in most other ways she is far ahead of me because she reads music and understands chords etc so as soon as she learns her way round the horn I will be learning from her:shocked:

What mouthpiece have you bought?

mamos
 

richardfm

New Member
Messages
28
Location
Cornwall
Morning Sally

The tone thing is soo variable - Saturday had a really good day when I felt things were starting to come together but yesterday was awful and nothing was going right so I stopped - will have another go later though.
I wouldn't worry about that. It's just a matter of practice. I remember my teacher telling me it usually took a few weeks for the embouchure to stabilise so that you can get a consistent note. Stopping, packing everything away, going and doing something else, and coming back to it later in a relaxed frame of mind is probably the best thing you can do.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Thanks Manos am looking forward to my lesson but already a little nervous - have visions of me turning up and my poor tutor shaking his head in disgust and telling me to give up now! The tone thing is soo variable - Saturday had a really good day when I felt things were starting to come together but yesterday was awful and nothing was going right so I stopped - will have another go later though.
No decent teacher will do that. Mine keeps telling me I'm doing well and my tone is improving and when I say but it's nowt like yours she smiles and reminds me it's her profession and she's been playing for over 15 years!

A great book that helped me is The Art of Saxophone Playing by Larry Teal. I'd suggest all you need to do is start working on your breathing - diaphragm breathing is different to the way we normally breathe and takes some practice.

The tone will be variable for ages - I've been playing for 20 months and it still varies a lot!

There is another great book that is used by so many top players which is Top Tones for the saxophone by Sigurd Rascher but you will need to at least understand how to breathe and what constitutes 'good' sound before attempting the exercises.

Oh, and don't spend loads on mouthpieces and reeds - get guidance from you teacher.
 

Mamos

Member
Messages
691
Location
Falmouth Cornwall
Richard is right

The harder you try the harder it is

If you are having a bad session leave it for a bit and come back to it later

The most important thing is to remember this is normal and not to worry about it

Worrying makes it worse

I used to have a problem with G and every time I played a G it would squeak

Then I started worrying about it and whenever there was a G coming I would tense up and guess what, a bloody squeak:w00t:

mamos
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hi Sally, i'll throw my pennyworth in here as well. I agree with the others, but please don't beat yourself up. I have been playing 14 months now and inititially had technical problems, i.e.getting my fingers around the saxophone. ( They look complicated when you first see them, don't they ?) But as you progress you will undoubtedly want to improve your tone. It's no good being able to whizz around the instrument if you sound like you are strangling a cat.
As HD says, no teacher will tell you, you are crap but where you need to concentrate on.
Unless you are very gifted and it all comes naturally it will take work, but believe me it is such nice work, doing scales, arpeggios, long tones and even some tunes, you will see how quickly you progress. Please let us all know how your first lesson goes. Any queries come back. We are all at different levels so a wealth of knowledge here. Good luck Phil :welldone
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hello Sally,

I think being a little nervous is inevitable, but I hope it's tinged with excitement as well. You have taken the first step on a wonderful journey and you will take many more steps before you know what's happening.

As for getting ready, well I'm not sure my advise has much value but I'd add to what the others have said, listen to the kind of music you want to play, find a player or players who's tone and style you admire, there is the technical side to playing and then there is the bit that makes you you and that comes from the sound that you have in your head, I'm not sure that can be taught.

Have a note book and jot down any questions or problems that come up, that way when your mind goes blank you can refer back to your notes and ask your teacher.

All the best,

Chris
 
Hi Sally
There are some good tips from the boys on preparing for your first lesson
this one was given to me by a banjo tutor
Get yourself a small digital recorder, switch it on when you walk in the door and off when you leave, the rest is history!
rgds
Clive;};}
 

Laura-Rose

Member
Messages
39
Location
Hampshire
Manos,
I always squeek on a top G too!!!!
I was given advice to give more breath - and it stopped!
Although it's probably focusing my mind on something else other than being worried and tensing up about a duff note!!!
 
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