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Learning to Play The Saxophone

Love listening to jazz records and want to play like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane or David Sanborn? From bebop to jazz fusion, the saxophone is a powerful instrument with a rich musical heritage.

There are several types of saxophones. The most recognizable to novice students may include the alto, tenor, soprano and baritone. Each one plays within a specific range of notes. From the low notes of a baritone to the dramatics of a high-reaching soprano, the type of saxophone chosen by a musician or composer can alter the mood and sound of a jazz piece. (Source for types of saxophones:

Finding the right teacher for saxophone lessons to help you grow is important. Saxophonist Jessy J, who has worked with Michael Bolton and Paul Brown, suggests that students look for "a teacher that is excited about what their students are doing as well as some one that is involved with the growth of their students." Adding, "As a student I think it's important to interview your teacher before you begin studying with them. Ask them about their background, etc. You also need to have specific goals like, improving your technique, learning theory, composing, arranging, or improvising. Be specific with your teacher so they know the best way to help you, communication is key."

Once you have chosen a competent teacher, it's important that the student be dedicated to learning. "It's relatively easy to get started on the saxophone. However, in order to advance you need to spend time practicing. In order to accomplish this, one needs to be dedicated, have a great work ethic and practice. Nobody is going to do this but you," said national recording artist Jack Prybylski.


10/9/11 Minor edit.

Kirk Whalum Saxophone Workshop
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