#1
I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I can't think of any other part of this forum to post in

I was thinking of learning how to play the saxophone lately, and i was wondering if anyone on UG knows what it's like and could possibly give me, a noob, some advice about it

thanks, guys
#2
I'm currently learning it too. It's not that hard, actually. You just need to remember a lot, and know how to blow well (Don't even say it)
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#3
practice quietly

if you practice loud you will sound like crap tone-wise


what kind of sax, tenor, baritone, alto?
#4
It would help if you went down to the south, around some train tracks, and sell your soul to the devil. Just make sure you get a notary look at the contract to make sure you won't get screwed.
#5
I played saxophone for about 5 years until I hocked it for a new axe. It ain't that hard, mouth technique can be difficult.
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#6
I played for five years .

Do you own one now? or are going to buy one?
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#7
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practice quietly

if you practice loud you will sound like crap tone-wise


Hard fail. Any teacher will tell you practice loud so you can get used to moving the shi t ton of air you need to play wind instruments. And when your having problems with anything you can imagine, the first the a teacher will tell you to do is use more air, and usually the problem is fixed.
#8
i've been playing the alto sax for about 7 years now. its not too hard to learn but you just need to develop your jaw muscle really well. just a word of advice on reeds though, always go vandoren and never buy rico. when you become more experianced at playing you'll be able to tell teh differance easily. just out of curiousity though, what sax are you learning?
#9
the hardest pert is learning how to use your mouth properly, and even then it's pretty easy compared to something like a trumpet, make sure you start on 1 or 2 hardness reeds though.
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#10
I've played for about 8 years now, alto and tenor, lots of fun. Be very careful with your mouth. I ruined my bottom lip in my first year of playing by biting it too hard. Then I found an embouchure that gives way better tone than my old "bite-y" one. Think of saying the sound "oooooo" as in Smooth. That's one very good embouchure shape for jazz. The other is the classic lower lip over your bottom teeth one, but be SURE NOT TO BITE. I have no feeling in my lower lip, 6 years after making that mistake. Don't DO IT.
#11
i'm thinking of learning tenor
I know a guy who plays tenor, so maybe he could show me a few things... gotta find a teacher as well

so, from what i know, besides learning how to use my mouth correctly and stuff, do i basically just blow air and press some keys? (yeah, very noob sounding, i know)

i was also told that i'd have to buy a new reed every month, is that right?
#12
I played Alto Sax for a year
I could never hit high D's and E's, but it did teach me to read music so that was useful
#13
Start out on 2 or 2.5 reeds. Increase about 1/2 strength either when you are comfortable enough or about every 9 months. Be sure to switch reeds when the sax starts to go flat when you are playing. If it's an alto, low notes may be a little hard, so practice proper embouchure. Higher reed strength=better tone+it is easier to hit high notes. I have been playing for 2-3 years.
#14
Quote by parkerfly123
i'm thinking of learning tenor
I know a guy who plays tenor, so maybe he could show me a few things... gotta find a teacher as well

so, from what i know, besides learning how to use my mouth correctly and stuff, do i basically just blow air and press some keys? (yeah, very noob sounding, i know)

i was also told that i'd have to buy a new reed every month, is that right?

Alto is cooler.
#15
Quote by dantheguitarist
Start out on 2 or 2.5 reeds. Increase about 1/2 strength either when you are comfortable enough or about every 9 months. Be sure to switch reeds when the sax starts to go flat when you are playing. If it's an alto, low notes may be a little hard, so practice proper embouchure. Higher reed strength=better tone+it is easier to hit high notes. I have been playing for 2-3 years.


this is true, but if you have a weak diaphragm (and a lot of people who don't sing or play a wind instrument do) anything harder than a 2 you'll have a really hard time.
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#16
Quote by dantheguitarist
Alto is cooler.


Bari > alto and tenor .

I'm not a sax player myself, but I'm in a jazz band, which is cool. If you actually do play baritone sax, learn Moanin' by Charles Mingus. One of the best songs ever.
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#17
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
this is true, but if you have a weak diaphragm (and a lot of people who don't sing or play a wind instrument do) anything harder than a 2 you'll have a really hard time.

Well, I started out on 2s, and then I moved on to 2.5s in a bout a year or so. Then about a 1 1/2 years later I bought 3s. I recomend La Voz (I think that's what they are called) reeds, IMO.
#18
Quote by Ikilledkenny
Bari > alto and tenor .

I'm not a sax player myself, but I'm in a jazz band, which is cool. If you actually do play baritone sax, learn Moanin' by Charles Mingus. One of the best songs ever.

Touche... Tenor sounds sexy, Alto sounds awesome, Bari sounds sexy and awesome.
#19
Quote by dantheguitarist
Well, I started out on 2s, and then I moved on to 2.5s in a bout a year or so. Then about a 1 1/2 years later I bought 3s. I recomend La Voz (I think that's what they are called) reeds, IMO.


yeah i started on 2s also (i think 1s are for little kids or something) but I would start getting a 1 and a 2 and use whichever is more comfortable, it helps to get your embouchure down and whatnot (I recommend not using your teeth at all as far as that goes, it's hard at first but gives you a lot more control over the sound IMO)
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#20
Quote by dantheguitarist
Touche... Tenor sounds sexy, Alto sounds awesome, Bari sounds sexy and awesome.


Damn right .
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#21
reeds need to be replaced when they chip, warp, or soften to the point where they don't hold pitch well anymore.

Find a good beginner book at a music store, buy it, and practice it relentlessly... When you finish that one, move onto the intermediate book.

I reccomend the "Standard of Excellence" series.
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#22
Quote by parkerfly123
i'm thinking of learning tenor

so, from what i know, besides learning how to use my mouth correctly and stuff, do i basically just blow air and press some keys? (yeah, very noob sounding, i know)

i was also told that i'd have to buy a new reed every month, is that right?


I started playing a Tenor earlier this month as well, however ive been picking it up fairly easy because im a Clarinetist as well.

While blowing air and pressing keys doesn't seem to bad, its alot more complicated. When your in the high notes, you need to have a narrow and quick air stream, and when your in a low notes, you need a wide and slower air stream. To do this you are going to need to narrow your throat as your in the high notes, and you need to open your throat more as you descend down the instrument. For every note, it takes a different amount of speed and width of the air stream. From the G just above the staff to the G in the staff should come fairly easy, but the others will take some work.

Lip slurs are great for these. What they are is playing the same notes in different octaves. Start with the highest note you can play, then play it an octave down, and then play it the next octave down. Then do that in reverse starting with the lowest to highest. This will help range and intervals.

Probably the best advise i've ever been given is that tone is more important than any aspect of woodwind playing. Even if you have horrible articulation, bad since of rhythm, and no grasp of fingerings, you'll still sound alright if you have a good tone. A good tone will be hard to get. It took me 4 years of clarinet playing until I developed a tone I was happy with, even though I still try and improve it everyday.

As for reeds, they can last up to three months if there properly taken care of. That means keeping them in proper humidity, and not keeping them out in the open when there not being used (that will cause them to wilt). Rico Royal sells a 'Reed Vault' that comes with pack that keeps the humidity in the vault just right for the reeds to last longer, plus easier to pick up and play.

Everyone has different opinions on different reed company's. Personally, I do not like Vandorens for clarinet, but love them for saxophone. When it comes to sizes, I would definitely stick to softer reeds. But advise on moving up can be misleading. Ive been playing on reeds for 7 years now, and I do not like playing on the highest reed. I like the medium hard ones.
#23
For awhile, it's going to be hard developing a good embouchure, so that's something that you should focus on (other than learning the notes). Play with strength as well, if you play wimpy you will never develop a strong tone.

Also, I think alto would be good to start on. It doesn't matter much, but it's a good way to get used to the sax.

And another note, If you have trouble finding right reeds, try Vandorens.
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#24
well, i've been playing for about 3 years now, and it's pretty easy. i recently switched over to tenor sax, was playing alto. if you're starting out, try alto.


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#26
Quote by parkerfly123
what makes an alto easier than the rest to start off on?


it's small and theres a lot of easy, nice sounding music written for it.
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#27
BUMP

so i know this thread is old but i figured i'll just use this rather than start a new one

I've rented a sax already, a tenor. I didn't know what the guy at the music store was handing me, but currently i have 2.5 reeds vandoren, a neck strap, some cork grease, and an (apparently) 10 dollar mouthpiece
i've had one lesson so far, and all i really know how to play is G, F, E, D, C, and A
I havent done anything with sharps or flats just yet

I'd just like a few pointers, because sometimes whenever i play a note, it comes out an octave higher than i mean for it to be, like C most of the time or D
is it the embouchure? what's wrong with it? how can i go about fixing it so the notes dont come out all weird?

any other tips would be great as well, i've done as much as i can with the first page of advice already i'd just like more if possible

thanks