Playing for four months
If you have been playing for a few months, you are starting to get how to play the saxophone. You can probably play most of the notes. But sometimes when you play music, there are strange sounds and you may not know why. Certain notes may be difficult. And how you play melodies may not be the same as how you hear them on recordings and as played by professionals.
Here are some of the conversations I had with Daniel. What you get out of many things depends on what you put into it. Daniel made a lot of progress.
Nice to hear from you! I signed up to your website because of the great videos I found on youtube… they are up there as being some of the very best that I have found and so I am very interested to find out what your lessons are like!
So, I have been playing alto no for about four months… not a long time i know, but I have a great Sax Teacher, a guy called Martin Dale who luckily lives near me in Plymouth (UK).
Unfortunately I will not be staying in the area long, as i plan to travel to New Zealand for 2 years on a work/travel visa, gaingin work experience in conservation and ecology.
Me sax will be coming with me ( I invested in a Yamaha YAS 280 and am very pleased with it, Martin really put it through its paces too and reckons its a great instrument for students with a nice sound)!
My question is really more of an appeal for advice… with traveling around, I will most likely find it hard to get a regular lesson with a sax teacher, which is a shame because I do learn so much more in an hour with tuition than i do a few hours by myself….
anyway thanks for any advice you can give me! and ill look forward to signing up for some of your lessons
I’m still loving your lessons. They are great and a really good way to practice songs and techniques alongside scales! Especially as I am now traveling, backpack on my back and sax case in hand, through New Zealand! I have only been playing for six months but I really feel like I am making progress through your site! Especially as traveling, it’s impossible to have a regular tutor, your pretty much my music teacher!I usually find myself doing some scales training, as well as trying out a few tunes every day, but I have not been able to progress onto training my ear yet… I think I had better walk before I learn to run!
I was wondering if you had a particular piece of music…. I have been trying to look for the notes for the sax solo in David Bowies ‘ somebody up there likes me’.
It’s one of the many pieces of music on the sax that really got me interested in the instrument, and I would love to be able to play it, or perhaps get any tips on how to start off with learning the piece by ear?
Thanks for all your good work! Ad I look forward to more lessons!
all the Best
Thank you. That sounds like a fun way to travel!One of the tricks of ear training is to start simply and then build up, like you do with a lot of things. Check out the ear training section in Saxophone Tribe.I’ll check out ‘somebody up there likes me’ and help you learn it by ear. It would be faster to just buy the sheet music, but since you haven’t learned music by ear before, that could be the better thing to do.Thanks
I am really impressed with your site! I have been getting email from you for a few months now but now I have decided its time to sign up and make use of all these lessons! I have been learning for around six months now, I had a teacher back I the UK, but am now traveling New Zealand and so am pretty much trying to self teach…. That’s why I have joined Sax Tribe!
I really love the blues and jazz musicians… There are so many to name, so much great talent, but I’m also a fan of saxophonists like Wes Magoogan, Candy Dulfer and Eric Darius. David Bowies sax on ‘somebody up there like me’, was one of the many pieces of music that inspired me to take up the instrument.
Just listening to the David Bowie tune, you want to learn the sax solo at the beginning or that and the melody line that Bowie sings too?Thanks
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!
It’s a great way to travel… I am having a terrific time here, although people keep saying to me ‘ oh a sax! Play us a tune!’, which I can barely do well at the moment as I have just started, but your licks have come in handy there and a few other blues riffs I have learnt seem to satisfy their curiosity until I’m confident about playing a song well!
I would love to start learning the solo at the beginning, but eventually I would like to carry it on with the whole song. It sounds like the sax is being improvised over the vocals but I cannot be sure…. I will definitely check out the ear training section now I am signed up to the tribe… I am going to take a look around and start planning some lessons around the links there, but if I can start training my ear early on I think it might do me good as you suggest!
I did learn the first part of ‘a time for us’ by niño rota by ear about two months ago, but this was a pure accident… I was playing a random melody warming up my fingers when I strung together a G, Bb, A, D and recognised it as that tune… I carried on a little more and fumbled through some of the other notes by trial and error!
Any tips you can give me for starting to learn the notes by ear and working out the key along with your lesson would be amazing!
No problem. I won’t always get back to you quite as quickly, but will get back to you pretty soon most of the time.Sounds like you have motivation to learn some tunes then! Any tunes in particular that they request?That’s good you worked out that one tune. It’s easier than you think sometimes. Other times it will take more work.Do you know all the major scales? If you don’t, learn them, it will make learning tunes much easier. Spend a little time on scales each day to get them, don’t spend your entire practice time on them.For the solo on the Bowie tune, the first few notes seem to be
F F G# G# F
Not to burst your bubble too much, but it’s David Sanborn playing and it sounds like he gets into the altissimo range. At 0:14 into the tune it sounds like an altissimo G# or Ab.
So you can work on this one a little bit, but my guess is that you won’t be able to play that note immediately. Check out the lesson on overtones/altissimo if you want to try out the altissimo range and see if you can get it though.
Try working through the steps I outline, it includes some music, some exercise, some feedback, etc.
And let me know what questions you have.
Those are just a few of the conversations between Daniel, myself.