Learning to play a musical instrument is a great opportunity, and music lessons offer plenty of benefits, including reduced stress and improved coordination. If you think that you’d like to learn the saxophone but aren’t quite sure where to start, we’d be happy to guide you as you sign up for saxophone lessons, find the right instrument, and start your journey to becoming a musician.
Your First Steps in Learning the Saxophone
If you’d like to set yourself up for success, follow these steps in order to give yourself a great foundation as a saxophone player.
Find a Great Teacher
Your music teacher will have an important role in guiding you as you become a musician. A great music teacher will be able to teach you how to properly play the saxophone, and will instill great habits when it comes to posture, technique, practice, and more.
When looking for a saxophone teacher, make sure to find someone who specializes in the style of music that you want to learn, like jazz or classical, if you have a particular style in mind. You and your teacher need to be a good fit in terms of personality, and you should feel confident in your teacher’s skills and ability to teach you the skills that you’ll need. Your teacher should be a professional teacher, and take their job as a teacher seriously.
Only Buy a Saxophone with Guidance
One of the major reasons why it’s so important to find a saxophone teacher before you buy your instrument is because your teacher will help you to find the instrument that’s just right for you. If you purchase a sax on your own, you might end up with an instrument that really doesn’t suit you, or is difficult to play, or is in need of repair – and that can be a very expensive mistake.
The first thing that your teacher will help you with is to decide what type of saxophone is right for you. From the alto sax to the tenor sax to the soprano and baritone sax, there are plenty of choices. Many beginner musicians start with the alto (especially children), because it’s usually the most affordable option and is smaller than the tenor and baritone, making it easier to handle.
Next, your teacher will help you to decide on the right model sax for you. There are some beginner model saxophones (we only recommend the Yamaha in this article) that are affordable, and starting on one of these instruments is often fine as long as you realize you’ll need to upgrade in a few years. However, there are also some saxophones that are marketed for beginners, but their quality is subpar, making them difficult to play and prone to breaking. Your teacher can help to steer you away from these models.
If you would like to purchase a used saxophone, your teacher can help by playing any instrument that you consider to test it out, check for issues, and make sure that it’s worth the purchase price. Used instruments can provide you with the most value, as long as the instrument is properly maintained and repaired. You’ll get a better instrument at a lower price. But the used market is where you’ll need the most advice – used instruments are more likely to have issues that need to be repaired. This is where the advice of a teacher will be most useful, because they can spot these problems for you.
You’ll use your instrument for years, so it’s important to make sure that you make the right purchase.
Listen to Saxophone Music
As you start out on your journey, this is a great time to listen to different types of saxophone music. From classical to pop to jazz, the saxophone is a versatile instrument and you’ll discover all sorts of different tones and techniques simply by actively listening to music. You’ll also get a better sense of what style is most attractive to you.
Make sure that you’re listening to talented artists. For instance, if you want to get a feel of great jazz sax playing, this list of the 50 best jazz saxophonists is a good place to start. Want to get a feel for classical saxophone music? Then start with these six great classical saxophone players.
As you listen to music, think about which of the styles you like the most. This will help to give your teacher some ideas when it comes to finding music that you’ll enjoy playing, and can help you to develop a great tone, too.
Make Time in Your Schedule
Learning the saxophone – and learning any instrument – takes time. You’ll need to schedule regular saxophone lessons (and the more often you can take lessons, the better). But more than just lessons, you’ll need time to practice.
Your teacher will provide you with specific practice recommendations, but generally speaking, expect to practice for at least between a half hour and a full hour a day, five days a week. This will vary a bit depending on your skill level, and as you become more advanced, the amount of time that you’ll need to spend practicing will increase.
Your Next Steps
Ready to learn the saxophone? Start by scheduling some saxophone lessons, and your teacher can help to get you set up with a quality instrument, a practice schedule, and appropriate music. At Sage Music, we have talented saxophone teachers who can help you to discover all that this amazing instrument has to offer. Contact us today to schedule your first lesson!