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Saxophone Technique

Developing Your Saxophone Technique

The links for the Saxophone Technique Lessons are Below

Johnny Ferreira

Saxophone technique might mean different things to different people. I want to be clear that what we’re dealing with here is the ability to move your fingers proficiently over your instrument. Is it speed? Yes. It’s also about being smooth and efficient. At first your fingers will move way more than they should. They’ll go much higher than they need to be.

What I mean by this is the movement away from your sax keys. The further away they go the longer it will take for yoy to bring them back! These extra movements will ultimately slow your speed down. More on that later on.

Like your saxophone tone, your technique will take some time to develop. You need to play finger exercises in order to develop your hand to brain coordination, finger dexterity, and rhythm. The speed of your fingers is totally dependent on the quickness of your brain. Think about that for a moment.

We can all move our fingers around very fast, but playing fast notes on a saxophone depends on how quickly you know where to put them, and this is decided by your brain, not your fingers.

Use a Metronome to Speed Progress and Guarantee Success

The best thing you can do right now to develop your technique is by working with a metronome. As you will see in lesson one, a metronome can be of great value. Your practice sessions without one can turn into a big waste of time and effort. When working on speed we will slow down and speed up, depending on the scale and level of confidence we have at that particular moment.

Slowing down and speeding up is a terrible way to practice and can lead to bad habits as you progress to other things, such as playing actual music.

Here’s How It Works…

After a while, you’ll be able to play any scale as long as you know all the notes and their fingering, and as long as you play it slow enough. So, let’s say you set the metronome to a very slow speed of 50 beats per minute (BPM). You go ahead and play a C major scale perfectly along to each beat of the tempo the metronome is giving you. Now if it was drastically turned way up to something like 150, three times faster, you most likely wouldn’t play the same scale free of mistakes, at least not as smooth as with the 50 BPM tempo right?

But let’s say you were indeed able to play it perfectly at 50 BPM. Then stopped and moved the tempo up to 51 BPM. One is such a small increment that we probably can’t even tell the difference just by listening to it. So chances are you’d be able to play the scale perfectly again at this tempo. Now you turn it up to 52. You probably can’t hear much of a difference from when it was at 51 so you’ll probably play it perfectly at this new tempo. If you put it back to 50 the difference would be noticeable.

Imagine doing this practice routine for a couple hours each day, going up in increments of one. You would eventually be able to play that scale (or any scale) at the highest speed. This is the power of working with a metronome!

Let’s get started…

The Metronome Trick For Finger Speed

This is how you get lightning fast! Follow along, be patient and do it every day…it’s guaranteed to work!

Tonguing Lesson

Bad tonguing technique can really slow you down. It’s very important to make sure you get this right from the start.

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When you’re ready, check out Blues Saxophone Improvisation