Teaching yourself how to play a musical instrument is probably the easiest to do today. With the internet providing quick and even free access to lots of useful information and even instruction, it’s not impossible to start playing most musical instruments on your own. Some are easier than others but most are still possible to play on your own.
If you’re wondering how to learn saxophone by yourself, fret not as it’s also very possible to do. If a lot of people were able to do so, why can’t you, right? You just need the right techniques and tips to get the results you want.
To get you started, here’s a quick guide on the most effective things you can do to teach yourself how to play the saxophone.
Teach Yourself Saxophone: Steps to Self-Taught Saxophone
What do you need to do to start playing the saxophone? Here are the steps you need to do:
1. Get a saxophone.
It will be terribly difficult to learn how to start playing saxophone if you don’t have the instrument. Getting one, however, can be a challenge in itself, especially if you don’t know anything about the instrument just yet. A little bit of research can help you out, though.
Remember that you don’t need the best and most expensive option out there. As a beginner, there will be a number of budget-friendly picks that will already be a good match for you.
To further simplify your search, you can also focus on alto saxophone first. These are some of the most commonly available in the market so you’ll have lots of choices with them. Their sound is also more recognizable for beginners, so having one would be very helpful as you learn the basics.
2. Research about the different ways how to learn saxophone by yourself.
There are a few different methods you can try in order to teach yourself the saxophone. Some may suit you better than others so you need to know your options:
By the book
Back in the day, if you want to learn anything on your own, your best option is to get an instructional book on the topic. This is still an excellent option today. With the help of the best teach yourself saxophone book, you’ll be able to pick up valuable information and tricks in playing the said woodwind instrument.
They may seem old-fashioned but books are excellent instructional materials because you can always go back on them with great ease. Just a few page flips and you can quickly revisit points and instructions. You can also take down notes on them so you have a reminder when you’re going through the lesson again.
It’s also worth noting that some people get to focus better on a book than other things. This makes an instructional book on saxophone for beginners can really come in handy for many.
Through online video tutorials
One of the reasons why it’s so easy to learn just about anything nowadays is because there’s a wealth of information on the web. There’s a treasure trove of instructional videos on a wide selection of topics online, including playing the saxophone. All you need to do is to watch and follow the instructions on these videos and you’re good to go.
The best thing? Some videos are accessible without any charges so you can definitely teach yourself saxophone online free. There are lots of tutorials out there that cover the very basics so you can start from scratch.
If you’re a visual learner, this method might suit you best. The video tutorials will demonstrate the things you need to do so you can have a good idea of what you need to replicate.
To get the best results, however, you might want to stick with a specific series for the fundamentals. Switching around can be quite confusing in the earliest stages of learning so look for a series of tutorials that will cover all of the basics and follow that first. If you don’t think their techniques work for you, you can look for other resources. But for a systematic method and to make sure that you’ll cover all your bases, a series would be the best option for you.
Through online video classes
Speaking of systematic tutorial series, you can also opt to sign up for online video classes on saxophone basics. There are lots of services that offer this for a fixed fee. It’s similar to doing online video tutorials but your instructor can be an actual music teacher or even a professional saxophone player.
What sets it apart from free online tutorials is that the videos can be more structured, like actual music classes. There’s also usually a syllabus or an overview on the topics that will be covered so you know what to expect and what you’ll learn.
Through music learning apps
For something more portable, you can also take online saxophone lessons through learning apps. There are now several available and offer saxophone lessons that you can take at your convenience.
Depending on the format or offering of the app, they can use different techniques to teach you how to play saxophone. Some might have the same format as online video classes while others could give you more personalized instruction or feedback on your playing. There are those that will assess your performance so you can get help in spotting the areas where you need improvement.
If you’re one of those folks who are gifted in music or if you have an experience with other woodwind instruments, you might be able to learn by just listening to saxophone pieces. This is possibly the easiest way to do it but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you don’t have a good foundation or if you’re just not skilled in playing music, this might not work out at all.
The most important key in how to learn saxophone by yourself is to practice. Spend time on just perfecting your breathing techniques, posture, and finger skills. Muscle memory has an impact in music playing so it’s best to train yourself in this area thoroughly.
Playing the saxophone can feel difficult and straining at the beginning because your body isn’t used to it just yet. However, if you keep doing the same things, your body will get used to the motions and even anticipate them. This makes things easier as you improve your playing skills.
Also highly recommended: hire a saxophone instructor
While it’s completely possible to figure out how to learn saxophone by yourself, a lot of saxophonists and enthusiasts still recommend working with an instructor. An experienced teacher will help you with your technique which is impossible to do on your own.
They can spot the small things that you might be doing wrong and give you all kinds of feedback in your playing. They can also correct the wrong things you learned from being self-taught.
A lot of saxophone players who learned by themselves say that getting a music teacher improved their skills significantly even if they’re already playing for years. Having an extra pair of ears and someone with more experience can truly be beneficial, especially in learning musical instruments.
More Tips on How to Learn Saxophone by Yourself
Aside from the steps below, here are a few more tips that can help you in learning how to play the saxophone on your own:
Play the music you like so you’ll enjoy the process.
Making learning fun also makes the process effective, and that’s a fact. This is why you should make sure to play the kind of music that you actually like so you can enjoy the process of teaching yourself the saxophone.
Doing this will help you retain information better and associate the tasks that come with the process with something fun so you’ll be more motivated to go through all of it again. It can also convince you to practice more which is essential if you wish to hone your skills.
Maintain your instrument properly.
To minimize possible hurdles in your learning process, make sure to maintain your instrument properly. Regular cleaning is an absolute must, for starters. Keeping your saxophone dry is another thing you should always ensure. Proper handling is also essential.
If a specific method doesn’t work for you, don’t stress yourself too much over it and proceed to try something else.
One of the most frustrating things about teaching yourself the saxophone or any musical instrument is that not all tricks might work for you. This is why there are several ways to go about this task as not everyone learns the same way. There are those who need to replicate by sight and sound while others can execute instructional words without a hitch.
If you’re not progressing with the method you chose, it’s best to check out your other options instead of getting frustrated about not being able to get the results you want right away. As the list above shows, there are several different ways that can teach you how to play the saxophone on your own, you just need to find your right match.
Can saxophone be self taught?
Yes, it’s possible to teach yourself how to play the saxophone. There are lots of ways to achieve this goal and it’s up to you which method you’d like to use or which one will suit you best.
Is the saxophone hard to learn?
Quantifying how easy or hard saxophones can be to learn is a complicated matter. Some find it easy to learn, especially those with a background in other woodwind instruments. For the uninitiated, it can be quite a challenge.
Then, there’s also the fact that the saxophone doesn’t offer instant gratification. Unlike other musical instruments where hitting the notes will instantly give you the sound you want to make, that’s not always the case for the saxophone. Producing the perfect pitch and tone requires practice and learning, so you might not sound great with it right away.
Should you take private lessons?
As mentioned above, getting an instructor is highly recommended when learning the saxophone. However, private lessons might not be important if you can’t afford it. Again, as mentioned above, some learning apps can already provide the feedback lots of learners need. So if that’s what you think you require to improve your skills, such services can already make do for you.
Has anyone ever taught themselves saxophone?
Yes, lots of people were able to teach themselves how to play the saxophone.
How long is it to learn the saxophone?
It’s hard to put a number on the amount of time it’ll take for someone to learn the saxophone since not everyone develops skills at the same pace. Some say, however, that it can take 10,000 hours to develop this skill. This, of course, is a ballpark figure but with the amount of effort and practice required to refine one’s skills in playing, it’s not a far-fetched number.
Does practice really make perfect?
For learning the saxophone, yes. You’ll need a lot of practice to develop your skills to do what you want to do with this woodwind instrument.
Can I learn the saxophone as an adult?
Yes, it’s never too late to learn how to play a musical instrument. Your age can actually be an advantage as you may already have knowledge in other woodwind instruments or other musical instruments.
The Final Word/Conclusion
Again, it’s possible and not too difficult to figure out how to learn saxophone by yourself. The steps and tips above will help you tremendously in getting started, so make sure to keep them in mind.
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