Useful Tips

How to play jazz on a saxophone


Saxophone is a reed musical instrument related to winds. If you focus on the principle of sound production, then it should be attributed to the group of reed wooden music instruments. Before you wonder how to play the saxophone, it’s worth knowing the history of its origin and a little important theory.

Short story

The saxophone was constructed in the first half of the 19th century, and more precisely - in 1841, when the music master Adolf Sachs was in search of eliminating intonational dissonances (discrepancies) between brass and wooden wind instruments. Also, his plans included filling the space between them with a timbre and displacing an uncomfortable bulky instrument - a bass ophicle, which outwardly resembled a bassoon.

So, Sax introduced his new creation under the name "mouthpiece ophikleid." In 1842, the master came to Paris, where the famous composer and companion of the master, Hector Berlioz, became very interested in his instrument. He published the creation of his friend in the journal Newspaper for Political and Literary Debates, giving a new wording to this instrument - the saxophone.

After a statement about it to the public, the instrument begins to become widespread.

Hector Berlioz becomes the first composer to write a new work, “Choral for Voice and Six Winds,” adding a saxophone.

In December 1844, the instrument debuted as a direct participant in the opera orchestra performing the opera The Last King of Judea, Georges Kastner.

Jazz and other directions

At the end of the 19th century, a new musical direction was emerging - jazz, in which the mouthpiece ophleid became one of the main performers, since the specific sound of the saxophone was the best suited for this style. Since 1918, a wave such as Saxomania has swept the world. This is mass production, wide distribution and recordings of 1910-1920, in which the timbre of the saxophone is clearly audible.

At the time of the birth of the swing (the direction of jazz), whole jazz ensembles or even orchestras came into fashion, where a group of saxophones was obligatory and amounted to at least 5 instruments.

Types of Saxophones

For many, it will come as a surprise that despite the common name of the instrument, the saxophone is divided into more than 8 categories, built on the register principle:

  • sopranissimo saxophone - a system in B flat,
  • sopranino-saxophone - tuning in E flat,
  • alto saxophone - tuning in E flat,
  • tenor saxophone - system in B flat,
  • baritone-saxophone - tuning in E-flat,
  • bass saxophone - tuning in B flat,
  • double bass saxophone - tuning in E flat.

As you can see: the types of instrument are classified in the same way as the voices in the choir (not counting the first two and the lowest options). To understand the division is quite simple if you have an idea of ​​the timbres of the above voices (soprano, alt and so on).

The five commandments of the saxophonist:

It seems that every novice saxophonist should know these commandments. Because an experienced one knows them and most likely observes them. 🙂

  1. Beautiful sound. Conquer all with him. Without him, they won’t listen to you.
  2. Convenience and comfort of the saxophonist when playing. You don’t want to play without them, and you won’t be able to.
  3. A good cane for the game and a few more canes in your pocket (luckily 😉).
  4. Serviceable saxophone and convenient mouthpiece. Everything is simple here. On the site, we’ll show you what's what.
  5. Inspiration and enjoyment of the game. Otherwise, why do all this?

To learn all this, we suggest taking lessons on the Saxophone Tutorial website, where you can learn:

  • saxophone as a tool - creation history, device and tips on care, storage and purchase,
  • lessons for beginners on how to start learning, how to prepare for lessons, how to assemble a saxophone for playing and the basics of musical theory,
  • training lessons on how to play the saxophone - visual explanations of the methods of playing the saxophone with detailed texts and pictures.

How to play the saxophone: tips

Everyone can learn how to play the instrument, the main thing is the regularity of classes (as in everything else).

A saxophone is absolutely not a tool that can be easily mastered independently, since it does not have a temperament system: you will have to play sounds yourself, focusing on your hearing and using the right breath.

It is much easier to cope with this task on the piano - in it all notes are already built-in automatically.

It should be done under the guidance of a teacher or tutor. He will be able to direct you in the right direction, point out errors and evaluate your game from the outside, which is very important in the process of learning to play a musical instrument.

If there is no opportunity to engage with a mentor, then your friend will be the tutorial for playing the saxophone. At present, lessons for self-taught people can be easily found on the Internet, in which all the basics of learning will be painted from and to. You can also contact the print media for help. For example:

  • "School of playing the saxophone", Bolshiyanov,
  • "To the jazz saxophonist", Zvonarev.

A large amount of literature can be found in textbooks for children's art.

As soon as possible and more professionally did not want to play the saxophone, striving for the level of Marcel Mühl or Sigurd Rasher, it is worth realizing that the pace in your case is a secondary task. Speed ​​should not play any role in the first steps of tool development.

It is worth deciding on the type of saxophone, because despite the kinship, they have differences. The best option is the alto saxophone, which contains all the best qualities of this instrument.

The last and most important piece of advice on how to play the saxophone is knowledge of musical notation. Not a single correct and effective training is complete without elementary theory. To play sounds, first of all, you need to learn all the notes, scales, tones, intervals and other important fundamentals so as not to flounder like in the sea, completely not understanding where to head for.

Game technique

The fingering (the arrangement and alternation of the fingers) of the saxophone is very close to the oboe, but the lips do not tuck so much.

The principle of sound extraction is similar to the method of playing the clarinet, but on the first it is much easier to hold an ambushur (the position of the articulating apparatus during the game of wind instruments).

With the sound of the saxophone, it is possible to make a sufficiently large amplitude during vibrato, as well as clearly accentuate the staccotto (jerky touch of the game) and make a smooth movement from one note to another (glissando).

The saxophone overcomes the group of wooden ones according to the possibilities of dynamics (at the level of the horn). Despite the fact that the instrument itself is not included in the classification of winds, the ability to merge with a timbre allows it to harmoniously interact with the group described above.

When wondering how to play the saxophone, you need to understand that you need basic knowledge of the methods of the game, before you are just a few of them: frulatto (tremolo reception performed with the help of the language), resonant sound, ultra-high register performance and flag-sounding in it . Polyphony is also possible.

Interesting Facts

Clinton, the forty-second president of the United States, owned a saxophone well; earlier he wanted to connect his life with music.

Saxophone is one of the main nominations in the Russian Delphic Games youth competition.

In the Soviet Union, jazz music succumbed to criticism (40s and 50s). Then there was such a sharp expression: "From the saxophone to the Finnish knife - one step."

How to play jazz

How to learn to play jazz? There is no definite answer. Perhaps you will discover such a strong nature that it will allow you to create your own jazz style, or even develop your own language. Absolutely, the basic course of classical harmony will be far from superfluous, as well as lessons on the instrument. But where do you start?

First of all, you need to find the opportunity to listen to good jazz (jazz piano). Famous musicians such as: Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Pat Metheney (Guitar) and many others have created a huge heritage , presented mainly in the form of sound recordings. But it is possible to find some notes for piano and other instruments.

Try to analyze what you listen to, especially what you like and what itchy hands play. Try to get these jazz notes. Then you will not need to reinvent the wheel, and the stage of familiarization with the texture will be easy and enjoyable. In any case, the requirements for jazz musicians are higher precisely in terms of creating the composition "on the fly", and in terms of interaction with other musicians in the process of improvisation. This path is very long, and by good masters jazzmen become closer to adulthood. So go for it.

After reviewing these materials, users will have many detailed answers to the simple question "how to play jazz." Do not think that playing is easy. However, the opinion that playing it is difficult is also incorrect. You can play jazz professionally, but also at the initial level. Musicians, having first become acquainted with blues pentatonics, are initially amazed at the simplicity and sophistication of its sound, about the same thing happens when you get acquainted with the blues grid. Personally, I was fascinated as a child, performing my first boogie composition, naturally, by notes. But in those days, the big problem was to find comprehensible notes, textbooks, and even jazz compositions themselves. Now there are many, and we are trying to select the best. Playing jazz is interesting.

The site has a collection of "Notes for saxophone"

The notes are adapted for learning and will allow you to master different tricks of the game. The music collection includes:

  • melodies for beginners - simple and familiar from childhood,
  • exercises and studies from the "School of playing the saxophone",
  • Popular and classic ringtones

If you want to start training right now, go to the beginning of the training block:

Why should you learn to play the saxophone?

  • underline your status. Music was taught to all aristocrats. Many rulers - kings, emperors, presidents - played musical instruments,
  • music and speech are twin brothers. There are phrases and sentences in music and in speech. There are questions, exclamations and other punctuation marks. Therefore, those who play and sing speak and write better. They learn foreign languages ​​more easily and learn grammar faster,
  • You can learn at any age. Improving physical health and performance. There is a lot of information about this,
  • Creativity develops. As you know, creativity is the most sought-after ability in the 21st century. You can generate new ideas,
  • if you can give a new impulse to life - enter the world of music and get rid of the routine of everyday life. Playing the saxophone is a great anti-stress. You can calm down or have fun in a sad moment,
  • learning to play the saxophone is also overcoming the impossible, overcoming your fears. Yesterday it seemed impossible to you, but today you can start playing. Willpower, the habit of regular classes and self-discipline are additional bonuses from playing the saxophone.

Is it difficult to learn to play the saxophone?

Let's start with the most difficult. From what is most often frightening for beginners:

  • saxophone technically sophisticated musical instrument. Yes this is true. The form, mechanics, valves, mouthpiece of the saxophone - all this is an excellent example of technical skill. This is what allows us to state that play saxophone simple enough - the saxophone is made not to make it difficult to play, but to make it possible to play beautiful music. Play enthusiastically, beautifully and for a long time! Therefore, be sure to handle it,
  • the music played on the saxophone is complicated. We claim that different music is played on the saxophone. No one forces you to start with complex tunes. Start with the simple ones. Develop skill. Over time, get to the execution of beautiful topics. Indeed, saxophone is for a long time. Often for life. Saxophone is a hobby, joy and love.

Start learning, stop waiting for a better moment. I’m not your style!

Learning to play the saxophone

Want to master a saxophone? Master it!

You will succeed! If you have the opportunity and time, go to a music school. There they will tell you that the basis for training a saxophonist is independent rehearsals at home. And it is true. So, in any case, the information on the Saxophone Tutorial website will be useful to you.

See how easy the girl plays the saxophone. And so you can!
Sophia Tyurina. Victory Day.

Please click on your button if you like it.

Maybe you don’t have a saxophone?

This is fixable. Of course, it cannot be said that saxophone is a cheap instrument. But it is durable and even inherited. In general, if you want to learn how to play the saxophone, you will need an instrument.

For a child, an alto saxophone is most likely suitable. In the future, if you decide, go to the instrument building a tenor. There are many manufacturers of saxophones, so you can choose an affordable tool for training.
The lesson 1.6 on the site is devoted to the selection of a saxophone and tips on how to buy a saxophone so as not to make a mistake and not overpay.

Saxophone. A bit from the history of creation.

According to Wikipedia, the saxophone is a reed wind musical instrument. By sound, it belongs to reed woodwind musical instruments.

The saxophone was designed by the Belgian music master Adolf Sachs in 1842.

At that time, the inventor of the saxophone worked in his father's music workshop in Dinan. Sax tried to eliminate the intonation discrepancies between the wooden (flute, clarinet) and copper (trumpet, horn) instruments of the brass band. For this, it was necessary to fill in the timbre space between them. Adolf Sachs perfected the mouthpiece of the clarinet and adapted it to the ophikleid brass instrument. The result was a new wind instrument - "mouthpiece ophikleid."

New musical instrument received:

  • metal conical body "serpentine" shape
  • Boehm’s ring valve system,
  • mouthpiece with a single cane.

In August 1841, the mouthpiece ophleid was presented at the Brussels Industrial Exhibition. The design of the tool turned out to be so successful that subsequent improvements and improvements left it virtually unchanged. Therefore, over time, the new tool was named after the name of its inventor Adolf Sachs. And now we know him under the name saxophone.

Currently, the saxophone is used in a brass band. Less commonly in symphony. It is also often used as a solo instrument, accompanied by an orchestra (ensemble). The saxophone is one of the main instruments of jazz and its related genres and pop music. This instrument has a full and powerful sound, a melodious timbre and great technical mobility.

Now you can definitely start the lessons of the game: