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Home Alt Forums Saxophone Tips How to keep the enthusiasm in your sax journey

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        Hi sxpoet. Yes your post reflects exactly what happened to me on Friday. I hit a complete blank. Making silly mistakes, struggling with my breath and embouchure.
        Today went much better as a played through a long list of favourite tunes. The tone from the S80 is coming along nicely. Bev says that my sax has a whole new personality by upgrading to the S80 MP.

        I find the best way to keep motivated is to listen to sax players on CD, and to transpose new tunes to play on the sax. The various new musical forms help with making my playing more fluid, and forces me to concentrate on the sheet music.


          For some reason – I don’t see the post by sxpoet. The post box shows but it is empty?


            Hi Mel, yes the post is blank. Sxpoet’s post was probably lost in the broadband jungle. We see the same thing here at times. The bandwidth being so choked with Whatsapp traffic we can’t even get a simple message through. One of my comments appeared twice recently, real Jekyll and Hyde comms.


              try again

              this is what works for me…

              1- get yourself a music degree qualified teacher from day 1.
              If you watch JF’s teaching videos, that’s exactly what you should get in a music lesson when you learn a new song.

              2- The teacher should be the ONLY person allowed to give you feedback and keep you motivated and enthusiastic.

              3- Play in front of real people, only to gain confidence and experience the fun you can have performing.
              Don’t take any of their comments seriously, the only person to please with the quality of your performance is yourself. If you’re not happy with your performance, thats your problem – if there not happy with your performance, that’s their problem.

              3- Only get professional backing tracks that come supplied with professional music sheets.
              There’s nothing more frustrating if the sheet doesn’t match the track properly. That’s the equivalent of buying a jigsaw and finding it doesn’t match the picture on the box, even worse still is opening the box and finding it empty, that’s the equivalent of not having a music sheet for the backing track.

              4- Out of every audience you play to, don’t expect to please everyone. There will be people you’ll never get along with just like in real life, people who are jealous of what you can do and will put you down at every opportunity, then theres the complete nut cases that don’t know what they are doing and when to stop.

              5- if you don’t enjoy playing, pack it in and take up spoon whittling

              feel free to add your own tips enjoy playing. YOLO


                Hi Sxpoet. There’s some good points there.

                My first problem is that there isn’t a sax tutor anywhere near where I live, so I’m like a bird hopping around on the internet and looking for tit-bits of information. There’s nothing more irritating than hearing a language you don’t understand. The music terminology I was hearing distracted me from the music. So I set out to discover what 4th’s and modes etc was. This website and forum is a wonderful resource for sharing information and learning new aspects of playing and writing music. All thanks to Johnny for setting up this website and sharing his experience and expertise!


                  I find that learning new and sometimes simple things makes me reinvigorated and reinforeces that although a lot of what we need to learn seems so impossible when starting out, it really is just a matter of breaking it down and simplifying it. For example, a few of us chatted recently about learning “harder” scales like B and F# major. So I went off and practiced the F# regularly for a few nights by just slowing playing up and down the scale then jumping from 1 to 5 to 1 to 3 to 6 etc so not just playing straight up and down. I worked out the Blues equivalent by ear and without reference to theory sheets and tried to play little musical phrases in G Blues then repeat in F# and hey presto, it is now easy. As a newbie a year ago I had a mental blockout of F# simply because of the number of #’s on the staff scared me off it. I’m only a 2 year veteran of the sax but if I was just starting again I would concentrate on FULLY learning all the scales equally as well as I progressed. I do believe Johnny stresses this often! Now I know why…..

                  William Cingolani

                    I’ve been doing what Dazza does. Play songs in one key and then play the same song in F#

                    Michael Bishop

                      Good tips guys, pretty cool. I think if you’re having fun on your Sax, then it will surely keep you motivated 🙂 I was told by the dentist who misdiagnosed me that it was over for me–thanks to everyone for encouraging me to get a 2nd opinion. I was REALLY crushed with the timing of events…who wouldn’t be?!? After a few days passed and I could think clearly again, I came to the decision that I simply was not going to give up because it was just too much fun. If you’re really having fun with your music–because that’s what it’s all about–then everything else will come to you and it will all fall into place. For me, I love learning new things v.s. doing the same ole’ thing all the time. When we learn new things on the Sax, we improve and lets us do more on the Sax…and that is fun 🙂


                        Right on guys. Here’s what I used to do when I was practicing many hours a day…
                        choose a key and spend the entire practice day on it.
                        so, let’s say its Monday and you choose E.
                        work on the E scale, chords and it’s various variations etc all day long.
                        you play nothing but E-related stuff.
                        The next day pick another key and spend all day on that one.
                        the thing about this is that you’re not jumping around from this key and that
                        so you really get focused on the “key of the day”
                        this does work. don’t skip the easy keys like C…just work out faster on it and
                        use it as a measuring stick for the harder ones.

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