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What to do if getting a instructor is impossible?

comoesa

New Member
Messages
4
I just picked my alto sax back up after completely dropping it since middle school(21 years old now) and I realize I never learned scales or anything really. The only thing I retained is basic sight reading and, thankfully, the fingering patterns for alto sax.<br><br>So, now I'm learning scales and trying to gain what little rhythm I had back. I think I'll hold off playing with others until I feel comfortable with rhythm and understanding scales/music theory/being able to put images or feelings to sounds.<br><br>Anyway, I've been reading around the web that getting an instructor is pretty much what all the beginners are told to do. Well, for me, that is simply not possible, financially speaking.<br><br>Now for my question; am I going down the right path? Honestly, I don't care for becoming any type of remarkable player. I just wanted to learn more about music and I had a alto sax sitting around, so, I decided to pick it up to better understand music.<br><br>
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
There are plenty of self taught sax players around. But instructors make things go faster and easier, and you get good feedback and a chance to ask questions, some of which don't get satisfactory answers in a forum - because we can't see/hear what's happening. They can also pick up on problems you're not aware that you have, and by early correction, save bad habits from becoming engrained and difficult to change.

I'd say you'll do OK if you want to. Lots of good web resources for music theory (and books).

Getting together with other players will also help a lot, especially the one's who're prepared to put up with your initial restart efforts.

Good luck!
It'd be great if you tell us more about yourself in the doorbell section, we're a friendly (and nosey) bunch.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
480
Locality
Frankston Victoria Australia
look if you really cant afford a music teacher then your at the right place ...........on your computer.
I mean 20 years ago there was no youtube / google / internet/wikipedia/ etc.
The raft of information on the internet is incredible . dont forget there is more ways to buy things than cash though .
Barter for lessons instead. or offer your body ...........no.no.no .......... just kidding.
Good for you though.
nessecity is the root of all invention.
follow your dreams
Regards
Allansto
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,957
Locality
Manchester, UK
I recommend playing with other people from the start, if you can. Really good for motivation and for exchanging ideas and experiences. If you wait until you're completely happy with your playing, it will never happen. At some level, we all think we're rubbish and leep trying to get better.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,689
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
My greatest reservation in regard to teaching yourself is the probability of developing bad habits that are difficult to correct later on. I highly recommend the Eugene Rousseau Steps to Excellence series of videos to provide some sound fundamentals to build upon as you go forward without someone with experience to provide feedback.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,917
My greatest reservation in regard to teaching yourself is the probability of developing bad habits that are difficult to correct later on. I highly recommend the Eugene Rousseau Steps to Excellence series of videos to provide some sound fundamentals to build upon as you go forward without someone with experience to provide feedback.
Or what about on-line lessons with someone like Tim Price?
 

saxyman

Member
Messages
266
Locality
Medway Kent
If you have a computer, why not give Smart Music a try. I still use it and get regular assignments from a tutor along with teaching.
It's ridiculously cheap and the exercises and scores with or without accompaniment are so numerous and cater for differing levels from absolute beginner to playing with a full band.
I know I have recommended this before, but personally I can't praise it enough.
I believe they still do a free trial.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,215
Locality
Skabertawe, South Wales
Where are you living? It might help to know where in order to direct you to the right resource. Not all teachers advertise, and a couple of times I have contacted someone who has directed me to someone, who has directed me to the right person!

Kind regards
Tom
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,380
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
I recommend playing with other people from the start, if you can. Really good for motivation and for exchanging ideas and experiences. If you wait until you're completely happy with your playing, it will never happen. At some level, we all think we're rubbish and leep trying to get better.
Good points - and it also helps with keeping in time. If the local training wind band will have me, I'm sur eyou'll find somewhere to play. Admittedly I have the advantage of being able to read music fluently in 3 of the 4 standard clefs and I can stumble through the 4th...
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Locality
Sweden
I just picked my alto sax back up after completely dropping it since middle school(21 years old now) and I realize I never learned scales or anything really. The only thing I retained is basic sight reading and, thankfully, the fingering patterns for alto sax.<br><br>So, now I'm learning scales and trying to gain what little rhythm I had back. I think I'll hold off playing with others until I feel comfortable with rhythm and understanding scales/music theory/being able to put images or feelings to sounds.<br><br>Anyway, I've been reading around the web that getting an instructor is pretty much what all the beginners are told to do. Well, for me, that is simply not possible, financially speaking.<br><br>Now for my question; am I going down the right path? Honestly, I don't care for becoming any type of remarkable player. I just wanted to learn more about music and I had a alto sax sitting around, so, I decided to pick it up to better understand music.<br><br>

Hi Comoesa!

I wrote a post yesterday about how to play the saxophone with the focus on the beginner sax student. It offers some guidance and good points which will benefit your studies. Congratulations on choosing a great instrument to play. Play On!

//Greger

P.S I've added some more videos in the blog as well both for beginners and intermediate students. Feel free to check them out here: http://Saxophonehub.com/blog D.S
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ozjett

New Member
Messages
8
Just because you get an instructor full time maybe you can sign up with one on a casual bases maybe 30 minutes once a month just to make sure you are on the right track.
 

marc1024

Member
Messages
29
Locality
Belgium
If going to a teacher regularly is not possible, try to go now an then as ozjett suggests
I also started up playing saxophone after years.
I decided to get up to speed myself, but bumped into some problems,
sound is bad when playing short notes (stacato) and problems to attack notes when trying to play fast.

I started to read on what is supposed to be a good embouchure, but apperently I misinterpreted things
and started off in a bad way.
So today I got my first lesson and immediately the teacher told me that my basic embouchure
was not correct (lip too wide out and embouchure too loose) and because of that
I don't have enough control over the reed, causing these problems.

After applying the corrections, immediately my tone was better and it took less effort to play.

So to get away from my bad habbit and hammer in the good stuff, my teacher
recomended me to to stop doing the more difficult stuff I was playing and go back
to basics for a while (lots of long tones, and play in front of a mirror) to make shure I keep on using the correct embouchure
 

Jane M L

Member
Messages
265
Locality
Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion
Hi Comoesa!
I'm new here too. I found Dan Christian's site easily because he has ' 3 tunes to play and astound your friends ' on Youtube, which was just what I wanted to do - though more to astound myself. He has 4 groups of lessons from absolute beginner. He covers embouchure and breathing with some really solid practise techniques. And above all he gives the notes in just the letters which simplifies the songs especially. Short lessons. Nice open personality.
And the little application called Saxtutor is free and you can improve your ear by checking your sound against the notes played by the computer. It gives ant possible scale, for instance, at the touch of a button. And don't forget to record yourself as you climb the learning curve.
And on this site - Tamingthesaxophone, Pete Thomas has some excellent lessons that I think are previews of his teaching dvd. If you like his breezy, positive style and can learn from the shorts he gives online, you will surely get lots from the dvd.
And finally you can pick up tips about individual problems with playing from dozens of fun and competent teachers on Youtube.
In some ways, learning online is easier than with a personal teacher because you can tackle each problem as it occurs, no cost and no waiting till the next lesson. It forces one to be clearer in self scrutiny and to become more aware of technical possibilities by checking out lots of possible teaching ideas.
Hope this helps!
 

gregerhillman

Member
Messages
52
Locality
Sweden
Hi Comoesa!
I'm new here too. I found Dan Christian's site easily because he has ' 3 tunes to play and astound your friends ' on Youtube, which was just what I wanted to do - though more to astound myself. He has 4 groups of lessons from absolute beginner. He covers embouchure and breathing with some really solid practise techniques. And above all he gives the notes in just the letters which simplifies the songs especially. Short lessons. Nice open personality.
And the little application called Saxtutor is free and you can improve your ear by checking your sound against the notes played by the computer. It gives ant possible scale, for instance, at the touch of a button. And don't forget to record yourself as you climb the learning curve.
And on this site - Tamingthesaxophone, Pete Thomas has some excellent lessons that I think are previews of his teaching dvd. If you like his breezy, positive style and can learn from the shorts he gives online, you will surely get lots from the dvd.
And finally you can pick up tips about individual problems with playing from dozens of fun and competent teachers on Youtube.
In some ways, learning online is easier than with a personal teacher because you can tackle each problem as it occurs, no cost and no waiting till the next lesson. It forces one to be clearer in self scrutiny and to become more aware of technical possibilities by checking out lots of possible teaching ideas.
Hope this helps!

I'd like to add to your list with my Sax School over at http://saxophonehub.com.
Now, if you are a beginner I've got a basic free silver membership to get you started.
As of last week I also offer a Gold membership, which is a premium membership. It has a lot more features besides the High Quality videos, but you can check that out on my site if you like.

PLAY ON!

// Greger
 

OiGoier

New Member
Messages
18
Locality
At the moment - Redditch, Worcestershire
Well done for picking up the sax again.

I say just play and enjoy. If you have any particular questions then post them on here or email me. Having a teacher does help but why wait and if you want to sound fantastic enough then you'll find the money for a teacher from somewhere!

Good luck!
 

saxyman

Member
Messages
266
Locality
Medway Kent
I don't know of any other that does as much and is such fun as well.
And not at the same price for what you get for your money. Just one of the online instruction books is worth the cost.
The other thing I can confirm is that their support has always been first class.
 

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