Is it possible to teach yourself saxophone ?
YES !! It is more than possible to teach yourself saxophone !
Just like anything in life, you can teach yourself pretty much anything these days…..with a bit of help.
The internet is an amazing resource.
Websites such as Youtube, Udemy, Skillshare and a whole host of others (like this one !!!) will show you everything you need to know about learning how to play the saxophone, and more.
A few things to keep in mind when trying to teach yourself saxophone:
You will need a saxophone !!
Beg / Borrow / Buy / Rent (but please don’t steal !!) a sax.
No amount of watching videos about learning how to play the saxophone will help if you don’t actually have one.
Play the kind of music that YOU want to play.
There is nothing more demoralising and soul destroying than learning classical music if you are into heavy metal…and vice versa.
If you aren’t inspired then you will soon give up.
Play your favourite songs. Learn the chorus vocal melody, or guitar riff, or bass line – play them all on your saxophone.
Some songs are more difficult than others, and sometimes learning a new skill takes a little longer than you might prefer.
But, if you are playing what YOU want to play, you will persist, you will persevere, you will triumph !!
You will need to actually play your saxophone.
Unfortunately, learning a musical instrument takes time.
Playing your saxophone for 5 or 10 minutes a day is much better than playing for 30 or 45 or 60 minutes once a week.
If you do this for a month or two or three then you WILL be able to honk your sax in a way that is actually pleasing to your ear.
Play what your teacher/mentor/guide suggests, but also play what you want to play. Start your practice session with some scales and some long notes for a minute or two, but then try to play the song that has been stuck in your head for the last few days…..
You will hear and feel yourself progress, slowly at first, but you will soon gather enough momentum to look back and be justifiably pleased with yourself.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Decide early on on what your musical goals might be.
If you want to be a rock star – go for it !! If you want to be a jazz legend or join the state symphony orchestra, then go for it ! If you just want to be a bedroom warrior, then go for that too !! If you want to teach yourself saxophone, go for that too.
If your goal is to play one song at a friends wedding because he/she is putting a band together for the night, then learn your song and have fun at the reception celebrations 🙂
Part of playing the saxophone involves being relaxed. If you are tense and worried then it will be easy to play “wrong” notes, or not quite sound like you might wish to sound like. Just chill. Breathe. Relax.
Be inspired, but perhaps recognise that it is unlikely that you will be immediately able to replicate note for note your favourite sax solo from your favourite band if you have never played a musical instrument before. It’s OK to have your “L” plates on !!
Make sure that you have fun with your saxophone.
If it’s a chore and a pain then it is unlikely that you will persist long enough to achieve your musical goals. Please go out of your way to enjoy your saxophone playing. Play what you want to play. Be that orchestral music, or a rock song, or some smooth jazz licks, or even “Happy Birthday” for your 4 year old son/daughter – just play. Play some songs from your favourite TV programs from when you were a child – Batman or The Muppets spring to mind. Play for 5 minutes or 5 hours, or anywhere in between – as long as it’s fun.
The only problem with this is that it is difficult to play the saxophone when you are smiling !!
A teacher of some description will make life easier for you.
Yes, you can go and buy a saxophone and work out how to put it together, make a sound and fumble your way through some notes all by yourself. However, this will take ages and ages, will be extremely frustrating and you will learn bad habits that will stop you progressing.
Teaching yourself saxophone – with some help – is an excellent goal and strategy !
An in person teacher will arguably be the shortest route to success. However they are most likely be expensive and time consuming given potential travel time as well.
This is obviously not a problem if you have the funds available for your new hobby. Please just make sure that you find a teacher that wants to help you play what YOU want to play, rather than what THEY want you to play and how THEY want you to play it.
Online saxophone lessons are significantly cheaper, but just as good.
You can easily find a website or lessons or a teacher that will help you on your way to becoming the saxophonist that you want to be. You CAN teach yourself saxophone, yes, but without some kind of help it will be difficult and time consuming.
You can access online saxophone lessons at any time of the day or night that suits you. If you don’t feel like playing today, then don’t. But, if you suddenly want to play your saxophone right now and learn something new, simply log in and pick a lesson !
There is no right or wrong with learning how to play the saxophone. You do you !
It is completely and totally fine to teach yourself saxophone.
Just remember to have fun, play saxophone, be awesome, repeat !
Not a member yet ? Really ? Join us and get access to the always increasing library of saxophone lessons, our Members forums and PDF cheat sheets.
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,
- all available when ever it suits YOU (rather than when it suits someone else),
- with a forum community to ask questions and receive (and give) answers
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 !
HowToPlayTheSax.com – where saxophone lessons come to YOU !
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Hey there Matt ,,
I have bought a 1927 Martin tenor
Played the clarinet a long time ago
Can’t wait get in to sun blues/jazz
Cheers – Chris. T
That sounds like a great purchase Chris !
Is it in good condition ? Do you need to do much to fix it up ?
Even if your clarinet playing days were perhaps a little longer ago than you might prefer, they will hold you in good stead for your saxophone.
As long as you play the music that YOU want to play, you cannot go wrong 🙂
Have fun, play saxophone, be awesome, repeat !
Thanks For the Word Sir, am really Happy & Bless
No problem Samuel.
Please keep playing your saxophone 🙂
I really liked the tips. I would love to learn saxophone.
Thanks for visiting 🙂
I am from India and 54 years. I have bought o e Alto Sax and want to learn how to play. Unfortunately I am not at all acquainted with the western notes . I am aware of Indaian classical notes.
Thanks for visiting and for your comment 🙂
A musical note is a musical note – irrespective of its cultural background – as far as I am aware….certainly in so far as the way it sounds. Yes, they may have different names.
The good thing about learning another musical language is that – when it comes down to it – there are really only 12 notes:
C D E F G A B – plus a few sharps and flats.
In most of the video saxophone lessons here on my blog, I show the saxophone fingering and mention the name of the note(s) being used.
Hopefully this helps !
But, above all, don’t forget to have fun, play saxophone, be awesome and repeat !
Keep playing your saxophone 🙂
I have been in love with sax and I bought tenor sax and I need to learn it please
Thank you for visiting HowToPlayTheSax.com and well done on your choice of musical instruments !!
I am slowly adding Tenor saxophone lessons into the mix here….but the key word there is slowly….
For what it’s worth, and you probably know already, the fingering of the notes is exactly the same on all saxophones.
The note “B”, for example, is using the first finger on your left hand – irrespective of whether you are playing a tenor, or alto, or soprano, or bari sax.
They do, however, sound different.
Watch this space – more Tenor sax lessons are being added !
Having said that, the 7 free lessons I’ve got for you if you sign up with your email address, will work for Alto or Tenor saxophone.
Keep playing your saxophone George 🙂
I want to start playing saxophone but my problem is that i dont know the type of sax am going to buy as a beginner please enlighten me on that.
Hi Adewale – as a beginner, the choice comes down to Alto or Tenor saxophone. I would recommend to NOT start with a Soprano sax.
The main difference between Alto and Tenor is size and price. Altos are smaller and slightly cheaper.
I wrote a blog post that shows and demonstrates Alto and Tenor saxophones that may help here:
I will love to play saxophone I’m 60
But I got the sax but don’t know how to play
Thanks for stopping by HowToPlayTheSax.com 🙂
Congratulations on getting hold of a saxophone ! It is never too late to start playing, irrespective of how old you are.
In regards to learning how to play the saxophone, may I suggest that you sign up for the 7 free saxophone lessons via the form above. This will get you started with putting your sax together, blowing your first notes and songs, finger placements, etc.
From there, at the risk of a shameless plug, have a good poke and explore the blog here at HowToPlayTheSax.com ! There are HEAPS of lessons and articles available – all aimed to get you playing rock, soul, funk and blues songs….and becoming the rock start that you possibly could be.
And, our Awesome Members from all over the world are achieving great things with their saxophones too 🙂
Does this help ?