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Blues Saxophone Line – Alto Sax

by Neal

The blues saxophone line from before that I played on tenor, for alto!

I know it can be frustrating to have an entire combination of music (or whatever you’re learning) at full speed multiple times at the beginning of a lesson.  Since this is only two bars, didn’t think that an issue.  But let me know if you have questions!

So it plays three times at normal speed at the beginning.  You could probably learn it by ear if you’ve some experience doing that or at least pick it up quickly once you see the written line.

When it’s slowed down, I’m just playing the notes, not with the rhythm of the line.

Note for beginning players:

On saxophone, you don’t play the same key with different fingers.  Each finger has a specific role and may operate a single key or multiple keys.  There aren’t ‘voicings’ which can be done different ways.  I just play a little piano myself.

Check out the saxophone fingering chart if you’re confused on what the fingering diagrams mean.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesus Fuentes January 27, 2011 at 10:15 am

Hello , well thanks for the tip , as a beginning sax player Im just learning to get the feel on the musicality of the notes so this helps a lot.

Thanks and keep those tips coming



david Ayodele April 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

l love you ,you are great ,pls teach me how play duet with saxophone and jazz scale


Neal April 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thanks David, how long have you been playing?


wan December 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I like your Blues Saxophone line. I like to learn more Blues line or Blues licks. Where can I get it? Can you suggest a book or dvd on Blues line?


Neal December 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Not really….. Generally you learn these things one at a time, often by ear. They’re not always written out. Maybe I’ll make a class with more blues lines.


Matt April 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

Bring on some more blues lines please!


PATRICK MUTURI April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Thanks Neal for that blue line, It’s a nice one to add into my repertoire. I’ve been playing alto sax now(learning) for the last 2years.I’ve heard that if you play in a certain key with tenor sax you’ve to tranpose the same song when playing with an alto.Did you’ve to do the that with the blue line when you played from tenor to alto?


Matt May 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Get hey Neal, got anymore blues lines?


Neal May 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Hey Matt, you could play this Stanley Turrentine line I just uploaded. You can play it as written for a D-7 chord.

(I played it on tenor, so on alto it works, just starts in a different place)


Amy May 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm

This is really helping me feel the groove, thanks! And I also noted at the beginning that your mouthpiece is way off the cork when my teacher says not to do that, but you sound really good! Why is that? When ever I try that I sound like a dying goose! XP


Neal May 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Hey Amy, glad you like it. Different saxophones have different characteristics. You’ll place the mouthpiece at one position and it could work, but it might not work on another sax. Depends on the player too.


Sahra July 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I really don’t understand why my saxophone sounds a lot different then yours. I plan an A, it doesn’t sound like the A you’re playing. Did you use a Tuner thing to change the pitch, or is my Saxophone kinda messed up?


Neal July 4, 2012 at 4:06 am

Hey Sahra,
How different does my note sound compared to your note?



Luke July 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Thanks Neal,

This blues line really helped me out. I have learned to play a new note Eb!


Neal July 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Hey Luke,
You’re welcome.


Dave January 10, 2013 at 4:39 am

Hey Neal great site. I just picked up an alto sax last saturday. I’ve been playing
blues harp for 40 years and I find the effects I use on the harmonica helps me with the different effects on the sax.
Bending notes,high to low on some.
Your site has given me a lot of tips.
I’m having a ball with a one Hr. practise every day. Thanks


javier ramirez January 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm

alto sax rocks it has a big tone


qtpaul May 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

Thanks Neal for that blue line what key would that be in. Have you got any resources to help me to transpose please.
Kind regards
Ps Thanks for your help.


Neal May 22, 2013 at 5:14 am

Did you type the word transpose into the search bar on the side of the site? That should get you to a couple of posts. Check out Saxophone Tribe if you want more help. Thanks


Mario November 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I haven’t had a chance to leave a comment because I have been a little busy. I like the website and the videos they have helped me a lot thanks.


Neal November 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Mario


Henry April 6, 2014 at 4:57 am

Hi do soprano alto sax sound different from normal alto sax, or its is to say am not getting well with my intone


Neal April 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Yes, soprano sax will sound different than alto sax. It’s going to be harder on soprano to control the tone compared to alto or tenor.


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