Is The Saxophone Hard To Learn ?

This question comes up quite regularly – I am often asked ” is the saxophone hard to learn ? ”

Let’s have a quick look at what is involved with learning how to play the saxophone before you decide the answer.


1 – You need access to a saxophone.


A saxophone is fairly difficult to learn if you do not actually have a saxophone !  It’s hard to learn how to play the saxophone without one.  It’s also hard to learn how to ride a bike without a bike and it’s hard to learn trigonometry and integral calculus without a scientific calculator.

The simple solution is to rent, buy (new or used), beg, borrow, or steal a sax *.

If you put in enough hints and suggestions, maybe a saxophone might just magically turn up at Christmas time or for your next birthday.  If you save even a small amount of money every week, pretty soon you will have enough saved to buy yourself a saxophone.

* Please note that stealing a saxophone is NEVER a good idea…..


2 – You need to actually want to play the saxophone.

If you are not really into the whole ” I wanna learn saxophone ” thing, then chances are high that you will lose interest in playing your saxophone very quickly.

So – in this case, the saxophone MAY be hard to learn if you do not have the musical drive or enthusiasm to give it a red hot go.  But even then, you’ll be getting a song out of your saxophone in no time with only a little bit of effort.

And you may find that you could be be pleasantly surprised with your new found saxophone induced awesomeness.


3 – Putting your saxophone together and making a sound for the very first time.


Like most things, the first time you do something it can be a little unfamiliar and feel a bit confusing.

Do you remember the first time you drove a car, or tried a new sport, or challenged yourself in some way ?

Yes, you instantly WANT to be the expert, but the reality is that it might take a few attempts before you can achieve some simple successes.

How do I fit the neck onto the body of the saxophone ?  Don’t forget to take the little rubber stopper thing out of the top first !  Where does the reed go ?  What is a reed anyway ?

How do I play this thing ?  Fold your bottom lip over your bottom teeth, rest your top teeth gently on the top of the mouthpiece, hold your cheeks in, have firm and strong lips and mouth, then blow !

So many questions, so many simple answers.  It is not hard to learn how to play the saxophone.


4 – Play the songs that YOU want to play on your saxophone.


The reality is that it will take a few sessions before you can play the saxophone at a level to which you are satisfied.

If playing Hot Cross Buns is your goal, then I can assure you it will take 15 minutes at the most to rock that bad boy !!

If playing Careless Whisper or Baker Street or Lily Was Here or the sax solo in Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run or Pink Floyd’s Money is your goal, then it will most likely take a month, or two, or three or even more of 15 minutes daily saxophone practice before you can bring the house down with your mega-star-saxophone-awesomeness.

But this does not mean that the saxophone is hard to learn !  It just takes a little time, like all new things do.

Playing the music that YOU want to play will inspire you, it will excite you, it will provide the motivation for you to achieve your musical goals.  Go for it !!


5 – Practice Makes Perfect.


Is the saxophone hard to learn ?

No, it’s not !!!

But – reality check here – you need to crawl before you can walk, you need to walk before you can run.

You will need to put in some time and some effort.

Like all things in life, and certainly when trying to work out the answer to the question is saxophone hard to learn, you get back what you put in.

If you practice, if you play your saxophone every day, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes each day, you will see rapid improvement.  This means that no, the saxophone is not hard to learn.


6 – Guidance.

Learning any musical instrument – including the saxophone – while locked away in your bedroom with the curtains closed and the internet off, while possible, is not ideal.

Having a guide, a mentor, a teacher, or someone else who is more experienced than you are at the beginning stage will make learning how to play the saxophone soooooooooo much easier.

Having someone to help you will mean that you will progress at a faster rate.  You will not learn bad habits which can hinder your learning and your progress.

Is the saxophone hard to learn ?  Not if someone is helping you !


So, is the saxophone hard to learn ?


Short answer – no !!




P..S.  If you would like simple step by step instructions to help you learn how to play the saxophone, all neatly organised in the one convenient location, all provided by an experienced saxophone teacher who can help you to play the music that you want to play quickly and easily, then check out our saxophone lessons membership options.  Get started on your saxophone journey today !


Remember – I can help you learn How To Play The Sax 🙂


YES – I want to Have Fun, Play Sax, Be Awesome and Repeat !



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