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Beginner tips for a beginner



starting from scratch.i dont know how to play sax yet, dont have a background about playing instruments under woodwind family. what advice can you give before i study this instrument?

i dont have a saxophone YET, im planning to buy alto saxophone but i dont have any idea what kind of brand is good for beginners,please do suggest
Hi Duy

I would have a look at the sax packages over at
You can hire a sax for three month at the end of which you can either send it back or carry on with the monthly payments until it is payed for. I have a sakkusu alto and tenor both saxes are really good and my wife has a trevor james alto which is also very good for the money.
The sax packs come with everything you need to get started including a DVD, sax stand, music stand, decent mouth piece, reeds and strap.
Excellent value and a great service.
The next step would be to find a teacher who can show you the right way to start playing and hopefully avoid any bad habits early on
Good luck and enjoy it

Where to Start ???

Hello Mate ...

Well to start with I guess you need to think about what instrument you want to play [Alto, Tenor Baritone etc] there are a number of choices ...

There is also loads of really useful information and help here in the cafe and on associated websites - see the top banner on this forum if you really want to "tame a sax" or two ... ;}

Try looking on UTube at saxophone players - [Google will help] ...

At least you may find the sound and style you may wish to adopt ...

Your post hints that you may have experience with an instrument family other than woodwind ... If yes then this will certainly offer transferable skills in some way ... :D

There are loads of helpful people here who will be along to welcome you and to give their advice ...

PS - I only started playing this year - [I'm a total n00b to all music] - I find this place fascinating and a great inspiration ...

Cheers - Welcome to the Cafe ... ;}
thank you guys for giving me advice. happy to be a part of this community. many people here are friendly and helpful! this place rocks! :)

thank you sunray.:)
hi there mamos.

is it possible to learn saxophone (Alto) with out a teacher? cause im a little bit short of money i think. but im working on it :)

Hi Duy,
if you can manage to pay for a couple of lessons at the start, I'd strongly recommend it. That way, you'll be sure you've got a good embouchure (how your mouth sits around the mouthpiece and reed and how you blow it) and how you hold the sax from the start. It's much easier to build on something that's already correct, than develop a bad style yourself and then try to correct it later. If you can manage a couple of lessons, you could then look at maybe just one lesson per 4-6 weeks, with some good honest regular practice at home in between.
Enjoy your instrument, and the cafe.
If it's any help, my first alto sax was a Jupiter 500. It was a reasonable instrument, I had no problems playing it, but I'm no expert
I traded up (and rather treated myself) after a year to a Yanigasawa 901.
This is going to sound crazy! and a lot of people won't agree with it.
Buy a treble recorder, and learn to play it, with your bottom lip tucked between your teeth and the recorder. don't bite hard, just keep it soft, blow gently, keeping your cheek muscles under tension as if you were saying "ooo". Don't puff your cheeks out!!
This will give you a good start, as the fingerings are similar, it will provide a good basis for your embouchure and you will find the change over to the sax a lot easier than starting on sax (and a lot cheeper).
The books on learning the recorder, are easy to understand (they are aimed at children) and you won't need a teacher until you change to sax, and by then you should have a good grounding in the subject.

Good luck,
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Speaking as a teacher, I'd say get a teacher!

It's great that you're keen on the sax (the finest instrument known to musicians, the result of years of evolution)!
The thing is it's easy to play the sax. Which means it's easy to play it badly.
The problem comes if you then want to play it well, unlearning all the bad habits! A lesson now and again should set you back on track and you can progress as quickly as you like.

The other reason to get a teacher is for motivation, since there will be times when you get frustrated and feel like giving up - most people find a teacher very handy for explaining what you're doing right as well as the bits you're getting cross about.

It's money well spent in the end, I promise!

Hi There!

There are lots of good priced used Altos on - ones to look out for are Jupiter, Elkhart, Artemis, Arbiter, Trevor James. If there is one you are not sure about please mention it here. An excellent starter book is "The Jazz Method for Alto Sax" by John O'Neill, including CD, which would help with some of the stuff that teachers help with. If you were in South Wales I'd be very happy to offer some coaching free of charge, though am not a teacher.

Motivation is the key to learning an instrument - finding a style of music you'd really like to learn, or a sax player you'd like to play like, or having other aims. I really loved Jan Garbarek's music, and initially started on Soprano, but now mainly play Alto Sax.
There are also many online resources for learning sax - youtube etc. so do have a look.

Anyway, a big welcome to you, and I hope that playing the sax gives lots of pleasure in the future!
Kind regards

Just had a look on Preloved - 2 Jupiter saxes at £200, Elkhart II sax at £160 - some good bargains!
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hi there mamos.

is it possible to learn saxophone (Alto) with out a teacher? cause im a little bit short of money i think. but im working on it :)


I've never had any lessons, I just taught myself from 'The Complete Saxophone Player', and looking for hints on here and other websites.
As I only play for my own amusement I have no idea whether I am good, bad or indifferent to other people but I seem to be making a nicer noise the more I practise.
I just taught myself from 'The Complete Saxophone Player'
That's what I did first time round (20 years ago). This time I need to pay a lot more attention to getting the basics right, particularly embouchure, breathing and, keywork. I may be wrong, but I don't recall a single mention of "subtone" in the 'The Complete Saxophone Player'. So much more information is available these days!
Hi Duy!

Best website for music teachers is The best advice after seeing who is available is to have a chat first and see whether the teacher is talking the same language and is keen on teaching the music that you would like to play - some teachers specialise more in Classical music, or traditional Jazz, or more contemporary stuff. You'll know whether you have made a good choice soon enough, and several teachers offer a trial lesson at no/low cost.

Good luck.
thanks Mandyh

i probably need some lesson thanks for the advice. :) is it hard to learn this instrument?


I haven't found the basics hard, but then I already the treble clef music and had played the recorder for years, so the fingering is very similar. My teacher is wonderful - I just clicked with her, so every lesson is a pleasure. I am fortunate enough to be able to practice 2 or 3 times daily (and we live in a detached house, so I don't need to worry about disturbing the neighbours either)

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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