The saxophone is an intricate and elegant musical instrument that can turn heads wherever it is played. It adds depth and dimension to music and has its own way of encapsulating the audience. And there is no doubt that this musical instrument is tough to get the hang of. This is why the guitar and piano are the most played instruments compared to the saxophone. However, there is a way to make the saxophone an instrument that is easy to learn and play. It all depends on the right technique, passion, and determination to learn.
If you are contemplating learning the saxophone but are hesitant because it ranks high in terms of difficulty in learning, then you have come to the right place. Here are some tips that you can follow to make your saxophone learning and playing journey a breeze!
Is saxophone hard to learn? – What to keep in mind
How easy or difficult playing the saxophone is, depends on a mix of factors. Let’s have a look at some of them as follows.
1. Ability to Grasp the Basics
The first aspect on the list is getting the “embouchure” right. This is the way that your lips rest on the mouthpiece of the saxophone. If you perfect this, you can produce high quality notes. To get it right, however, a lot of practice is required.
2. Prior Experience With Wind Instruments
If you have had prior experience of playing wind instruments, then playing the saxophone should be easy. Wind instruments include the flute or clarinet. If not, then learning how to play the saxophone may be difficult, but not entirely impossible.
3. Finding the Right Instructor
Having a professional and experienced instructor by your side can do wonders. In this manner, you can pick up on the right techniques and have your mistakes identified in the initial stages. By doing so, you can correct any discrepancies and follow the right methods in no time. Thus, be sure to communicate your saxophone playing goals with your instructor and keep them in the loop regarding your progress.
Experienced instructors do not focus on helping you play the same tunes over and over again, they seek to help you develop the fundamental skills that can help you pick up on complicated notes later. This is exactly what you want to cash in on.
4. Choosing the Right Equipment
When you start your journey towards learning how to play the saxophone, having the right equipment is vital. This can impact your ability to grasp the basics and add quality and dimension to your playability. You want to avoid value brands here. Instead, opt for a used saxophone if you are on a low budget. It’s better to invest in a trusted and reliable brand than to go for a cheap and low-quality instrument. Remember this as a rule of thumb for any musical instrument going forward.
In addition, other attachments can help make your learning curve efficient. Having the Selmer S80 C mouthpiece can improve the sound of your saxophone. Similarly, the Bonade ligatures are useful in holding the reed into the mouthpiece. A rigid neck strap that is of a non-stretch material also allows you to balance out the weight of the saxophone over your neck and shoulders. All these accessories combined can help make it easier to learn the saxophone. Thus, you want to invest in them for the long road ahead.
5. Your Mindset Matters
Lastly, the mindset that you have when it comes to playing or learning the saxophone matters as well. If you are persistent, determined, and resilient in your approach, then playing the saxophone should not be a struggle. Having your eye set on the goal is the way to go. This is the key factor that will push you to practice more and invest your time in learning this musical instrument.
You can do your research on some of the famous saxophone players such as Charlie Parke or John Coltrane. Observe and analyze their skills and movements, and aim to learn how to play one of their most praised performances. By having a goal in mind such as this, you are sure to find yourself on the right track.
Tips to Follow While Learning the Saxophone
There are some tips and tricks that you can follow to make your saxophone playing journey even more stress-free. Here are some of them.
- Be sure to engage in breathing exercises. This is because the saxophone requires a strong set of lungs. For this, practice breathing exercises that engage your throat and diaphragm. You can follow the guide given in this video to learn how to inhale and exhale in a manner where your diaphragm muscles are strengthened.
- Find the right position and stick with it. Experiment with different ways and see which position fits best with you while holding the saxophone. There is no right or wrong way to hold the saxophone. What matters is that you are comfortable and able to execute your music playing abilities in a consistent manner. Whichever position you pick, be sure to stick with it!
- Practice makes perfect! You want to practice as much as you can. Skip the shows on Netflix and sit down to practice instead. The more you do this the better your muscle memory is going to build up, allowing you to pick up on complicated notes at a rate faster than expected.
- Make the right investment when it comes to reeds. You want to opt for a reed that is of high quality. This is because high-quality reeds dampen the possibility of splinters occurring.
The Bottom Line – Don’t Give Up!
Like all musical instruments, the saxophone too has its own charm. To play it, however, passion and perseverance are key. If this is what you have instilled within you when it comes to playing the saxophone, then you can be rest assured you will stay on the right track. In addition, by following the tips and guidelines provided here, you can further ease into your saxophone learning journey. You can even share this article forward with your friends who may be a bit hesitant about learning how to play the saxophone, it might motivate them to get on board.
To get information on different types of music and instruments, you can check out our blog at Musician Authority. Here you can find a wide range of guides and tips on how to learn easy tunes on your guitar, ukulele, and even get the right tips on how to start your own band. Musician Authority is the trusted mentor you need to make your music career kick start with the right energy and vigor!
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