“If you could recommend any good music books that would progress further in my studies it would be a help. So for now and until I hear from you again All the best”
There are a ton of saxophone music books out there. Some of them are great. Others are mediocre and some are not worth your time.
After getting a number of sax music books myself, hopefully I can help you get what you need.
If you check out out the saxophone music books in a music store, you’ll see a lot of different stuff.
Method books, jazz books, ‘fakebooks’ or ‘real books’, play-along books, theory books, classical saxophone books, saxophone etudes, scale books, saxophone duets, saxophone technique, transcriptions, among others.
Many of these books have some good music in them. How they are set up varies. It could be a step by step process with explanations like a sax method book or it might just have music to play like a duet book.
Having a solid saxophone method book is a good start. Generally saxophone method books use classical music as a foundation. Rubanks is the series that I have used.
The classical method books will teach you some solid technique which will help you with whatever you play. They include work on scales, technique, pieces, etc.
Getting some jazz etude books can help you understand jazz phrasing better. I used the Lennie Niehaus books and more recently got Greg Fishman’s books.
There has been some heated discussion about ‘fake books’/’real books’ in the jazz community. Ideally, you want to learn tunes by listening to them since whatever is written on paper will be missing part of the music. However, as long as you realize that, I think you can safely use a fake book to help you learn some songs.
Listening is crucial to your development as a saxophone player. Keep listening as you work through books you get. Transcribing tunes and solos yourself is great for you too. So don’t go overboard on getting books of transcriptions.
Play-along books, such as Aebersolds or Hal Leonard, combine listening and reading music. They can be a good tool as well as fun to play along with. If you’re trying to improvise on saxophone, you should probably pick up a few in the styles you want to play. They allow you to focus and play a song again as many times as you want. In a live setting you can only do that a certain number of times!
Saxophone duets and quartet music can be a lot of fun to play with friends and to perform.
Here are links to a few lists I have compiled of saxophone music books-
Leave a comment about saxophone books that have helped you or if you have a question!