As you learn the saxophone, method books and other sax books can be a great way to systematically work on playing the instrument. Here are a few books that I have used and recommendations on the appropriate order to work on them. But remember that you should definitely listen to saxophone players and other music in addition to working through books! Ideally you want to play in groups and get private lessons if you can afford them too.
Progressive method book for saxophone. Starts slowly with notes, exercises, melodies. I would use a fingering chart like the one on Sax Station though.
Good book to start working on improvisation. Comes with a CD that has a backing band that you can play along with. The melodies are simplified a bit and the chords are not overly complex.
Continuation of the Rubank Method. More challenging exercises, scale studies, and melodies. Good book to work through.
Scales and chords throughout the full range of the saxophone. I used this book to warmup and work on my scales/chords for a good while.
Playing duets with another sax player can be a lot of fun. This book in particular is challenging, but the lines weave together well and make some cool music.
Volume 16 – Turnarounds, Cycles & ii/V7s to get familiar with the harmonic cycles in music
The Music Lesson
– by Victor Wooten. This book changed my perspective on music in a very good way.
A more advanced book that was actually written for oboe can be played on saxophone (on the cover it states ‘for oboe or saxophone’ for a greater challenge.
Art of Saxophone Playing – Larry Teal
Greg Fishman’s Books:
Volume 64 – Salsa Latin Jazz, to play some Latin music, check this book out, it’s not at a beginning level and some of the tunes are fast.
–The Jazz Theory Book. Definitive resource for harmonic theory in jazz, by Mark Levine. Playing some piano will help you understand this book.
Patterns For Improvisation By Oliver Nelson,
Charlie Parker: Charlie Parker Omnibook – E-flat, for alto saxophone and baritone saxophone
Charlie Parker: Charlie Parker Omnibook – B-flat for tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone
What do you think of these books and what sax books have you used that helped you?