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Saxophones are Sensational!

Updated on August 29, 2017

Snazzy Saxophones!

Saxophones share such a jazzy, snazzy, special sound! Do you enjoy listening to them? Do you play the saxophone? Either way, this page is all for saxophone lovers! Come read about the masters of sax, learn something new about music or jazz., try a few new tips in your playing, or just kick back, click on a video, close your eyes, and relax with these superb songs!

This page is meant to be a resource for my students and anyone else who loves sax to use. If you know of a helpful saxophone site, please leave it for me and I would be happy to check it out or add it. :D

Saxophone Instruction

~ *Taming the Saxophone* by Pete Thomas contains a tremendous amount of information about the saxophone whether you are a beginner or totally advanced! It contains articles on: choosing instruments, practicing, history, music, repairs; Sax tutorials, tips, etudes & exercises; tone production and special sound effects; and numerous jazz music theory lessons! There is so much, I cannot possibly list it all for you here, but if you are looking for ways to improve your playing and knowledge, you will probably find the category you are searching for!!

~ Also from Mr. Thomas, the *Cafe Saxophone (Discussion Forum)*. If you don't find what you want from the above site, this varied group of saxophonists will probably be able to answer your questions! *Pete Thomas' home website* also has tips on composition and recording that may be helpful to you!!

~ The "Study Tools" at the *Sax Shed* contains: saxophone transcriptions; study materials & guides; technique & tone warm-ups; scale and pattern printouts; practice motivation suggestions; midi files; glossary

~ Sax Lessons by Alastair Ingram contains different level lessons, music, recordings to play with, and other helpful materials. Many are free; some require tuition.

~ Woodwind Fundamentals from Victor Morosco has brief articles on proper head positions for all instruments, embouchure training routine for clarinet and saxophone, and first exercises for clarinet, saxophone, and flute.

~ Teaching (or Learning) the Saxophone Embouchure" by Bruce Pearson has some good tips for improving saxophone tone.

~ Sax Gourmet has several articles and tips about saxophone from Steve Goodson and Paul Coates and a huge list of sax reference and history materials. Don't forget to read the humor pages, either!

How a Saxophone is Made!

Online Video Lessons - Nice Supplemental Materials

Online lessons and tips for playing may be helpful for advancing your talents, but I would not say they are inclusive. If you are learning about the instrument, especially as a beginner, I would highly recommend finding either a school band director, private teacher, or sax player to guide you along your path. A lot of bad habits may develop that you are not aware of without some one on one instruction. Teachers may make your playing journey go much smoother and help you advance quicker. I know from personal experience that I have had new students come to me who said they have struggled with a concept for a long while, but after a few professional tips they can now play better.

~ The How to Play the Sax: Video Series by Mitch Kaplan at eHow contains:

* Types of Saxophone Music & Sounds * Saxophone Assembly * How to Hold a Saxophone Properly * Parts of the Mouthpiece * Saxophone Warm-Up Routines * How to Play Major & Minor Sax Scales * How to Alternate Saxophone Scales * Single & Double Tongue Techniques for the Saxophone * The Flutter Tonguing Technique for the Saxophone * The Trill Technique for Saxophone Beginners * Humming & Blowing as Beginner Saxophone Techniques * Using Saxophone Vibrato * How to Tune the Saxophone * Types of Saxophones * How to Buy a Saxophone for a Beginner * How to Rent a Saxophone

Also at eHow:

~ The "How to Play Alto Saxophone: Video Series" by Leslie Burnick:

* Choosing an Alto Saxophone * How to Assemble a Saxophone * What are Saxophone Reeds? * How to Use the Saxophone Mouthpiece * Breathing Techniques for an Alto Saxophone * Note Articulation on an Alto Sax * Alto Saxophone Fingering * Maintaining Your Alto Saxophone * How to Transpose Notes on an Alto Sax * How to Play Octaves on an Alto Saxophone * Range of the Alto Sax * Disassembly of an Alto Saxophone * Playing the Alto Saxophone with Metronomes

~ "Saxophone Basics: Video series" by Mariane Miyanna Nielsen:

* Saxophone Handling Tips * Wetting Saxophone Reeds * Saxophone Hand Position * Saxophone Playing Posture * Saxophone Mouth Position * Saxophone Blowing & Tonguing Tips * Saxophone Fingering Tips * Finding Saxophone Left Hand Keys * Playing Saxophone Notes: B, A, G * Finding Saxophone Right Hand Keys * Playing Saxophone Notes: F, E, D

~ "Saxophone Notation & Fingering Chart: Video Series" by Nazim Rashid:

* Range of Notes for the Saxophone * Reading the Music Staff for Saxophone * Lines & Spaces in Saxophone Music Notation * Notes Outside the Staff in Saxophone Music Notation * Line System for Saxophone Music Notation * Sharp & Flats for Saxophone Music Notation * Note Value for Music Notation

"Advanced Saxophone Exercises: Video Series" by Brian Medeiros:

* Correct Posture & Embouchure for Saxophone * Note Transition for Advanced Saxophone Players * Finger Movement for Advanced Saxophone Players * Upper Register Runs on the Saxophone * Playing High Notes on the Saxophone * Advanced Tonguing Techniques for Saxophone Players * Breath Control for Advanced Saxophone Players * Playing Saxophone with a Vibrato * Playing Saxophone with a Growl * How to Bend Notes on the Saxophone * Playing Saxophone With a Fluttering Tongue * How to Play Runs on the Saxophone * How to Play Triplets on the Saxophone * Swing Exercise for Advanced Saxophone Players * Practice Systems for Advanced Saxophone Players

~ "Alto Sax Tips" by Richard Sheff

~ At the video below from youtube, check on the right side column for similar videos. Some look very good, others ... well, let's just say you may want to view with caution. :)

Jazz Instruction

Playing Tips, Music, Theory, Instruction

~ *The World of Jazz Improvisation ~ "The series of articles below is part of the syllabus for Jazz Improvisation courses MUS 331,332 and 530 at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Instructor: Prof. Joan Wildman"

~ *Jazz Resource Center

Jazz Theory ~ Chord Symbols, Dominants & Subdominants, Scales - A Simple Approach

Jazz Tools ~ Piano Voicings A Systematic Approach, Transcription Series

Jazz Masters ~ McCoy Tyner, CD Reviews

~ "How the Saxophone Works" is a fascinating article about the saxophone. It is a section of Michael Furstner's Jazclass Courses where you will find numerous lessons about music theory and history. There is quite a large amount of free lessons and materials. More materials for purchase are available, also.

~ The Passion for Jazz website has interesting articles about the history of jazz, styles of jazz, a timeline and more. (Look down the left column of the page.)

A Great Jazz Book for all Instruments! - by James Aebersold

Volume 1 - How To Play Jazz & Improvise
Volume 1 - How To Play Jazz & Improvise
Mr. Aebersold has a wonderful video for training musicians in the arts of jazz and improvisation! He has also written uncountable books full of technique exercises, jazz music theory, and transcripts of solos from a variety of styles. Most of his books come with a play-along CD for practicing. This book is the best book of his series to start with the basics. It includes exercises, scales, pieces to play with the CD, and easy to understand instruction. Teachers and students will find this book very helpful.

Meet the Saxophone Family!

These are only the main members of the sax family. If you would like to learn about some extra special members, click around Dr. Allreeds website! You will find recordings and info on other members of the saxophone family that you will enjoy. Many more fun sound and info samples may also be found!

Free Sax Sheet Music

~ ~ The Sheet Music World Center contains tons of free sheet music and MP3's to download! Classical, jazz, and everything in between including well known pieces and totally original compositions! Did I say there were tons? I mean it! Cool stuff!

~ Jazz Sax Transcriptions ~ these are just a sampling. Check out the main page for an incredible amount of music to purchase at Sax Solos

~ Saxophone Journal has jazz sheet music transcriptions in Eb and Bb for free. Recordings to accompany them and related articles are available through subscription to the journal. Informational articles on saxophone may be found on the journal's homepage.

~ 8 Notes has 58 free alto pieces of sheet music and an additional 21 for members. Jazz riff lessons, free saxophone lessons, member files (more sheet music of original compositions), and the saxophone forum offer other free resources, also. Click on tenor sax, bari sax, and sax combinations for more music.

~ Dr. Feezell has 75+ simple arrangements of free saxophone sheet music plus tons for other instruments, also.

~ Music Scores has a mix of free and purchase sheet music for saxophone. I purchased a membership from here and was pleased with finding interesting music for my students and self. I especially liked some of the ensemble arrangements as I frequently seem to have interesting mixes of instruments playing together. This site made it easier to find music for the kids.

~ has a fun looking list of where to find sax music - although some I tried to click on were shut down from GeoCities.

~ Free Digital Sheet Music ~ you sort of have to hunt around on this one to find the sax stuff.

~ Free Saxophone Quartet Sheet Music from Mr. Bruce Evans - find MIDI recordings, scores, and parts for a variety of sax quartets for many levels.

Some suggestions of great players at these sites! ~ Top 10 Most Influential Jazz Saxophonists, Famous Alto Saxophone Players, Famous Sax Players, and best of all, 100 Greatest Saxophonists.

Famous Sax Players! - Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Fun Stuff!

All things related to saxophone are fun!

~ Weird Woodwinds & Jazz by "Dr. Allreeds" is a page you don't want to miss! There are pictures and information about all types of saxophones you have ever imagined (and many you won't believe exist)!! Fascinating woodwind relatives are found on the page also. Scroll down to the bottom for numerous woodwind links and resources!

~ Here is something science and physics buffs will enjoy! Learn about the inner workings and tone production of the saxophone at Saxophone Acoustics: An Introduction.

~ One of the best overall sites for saxophone is, of course, Sax on the Web. A little of everything saxophone is on this site!

~ Saxophone-Players Website has lots of cool stuff on the saxophone, history, players, pictures, family, parts, beginner lessons, and effects.

~ A Tribute to Charlie "Yardbird" Parker - Lots of fun recordings, pictures, and stuff about this awesome player!

~ The Vintage Saxophone Gallery has pictures and descriptions of all sorts of saxophones makers and types. It's fun to compare the different brands and models with the information given here.

The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini - Cool Saxophone Tunes!

The Pink Panther ~ Henri Mancini & Orchestra

I've Got Rhythm ~ Charlie Parker

More Charlie Parker videos at this link!

Should sax be used in other styles of music, too? Which ones?

101 Saxophone Tips: Stuff All the Pros Know and Use
101 Saxophone Tips: Stuff All the Pros Know and Use
"This book presents valuable how-to insight that saxophone players of all styles and levels can benefit from. The text, photos, music, diagrams, and accompanying CD provide a terrific, easy-to-use resource for a variety of topics, including: techniques; maintenance; equipment; practicing; recording; performance; and much more!" ~ Nice reviews written on the page.

Interview with jazz saxophonist, Cookie Monster!

It appears that many of the most popular saxophone jokes over the web are similar or exactly the same from one page to another. Wanting to list my favorites, but not knowing how to properly credit them, I am giving page addresses which contain them. If anyone knows of the original authors of the jokes, please leave me a note and I will certainly give credit where credit is due.

"What's the difference between a bari-sax and a chain saw? ~ 1 - Vibrato and 2 - The exhaust."

"What are trumpets made out of? ~ Leftover saxophone parts."

"What's the difference between a saxophonist and a gentleman? ~ A gentleman knows how to play, but doesn't."

"There is a man on a boat that is in a shipwreck. The boat crashes on a jungle island and the man is greeted by natives. In the distance, he hears the sound of drums. He asks what the drums are for and the chief answers, "The drums must not stop." The man is forced to stay the night in the natives village. All through the night, the drums keep on going so he got no sleep at all during the night. He got up in the morning and went to the chief again, begging him to know why the drums couldn't stop. The chief answered, "Because, when drum solo stop, sax solo start." "

Jokes quoted from Yahoo Answers.

"Why don't sax players stay married? ~ Blaming it on the reed doesn't work."

"How do you know a sax player is at the door? ~ The knock speeds up."

Mississauga Pops Music Jokes

"One day a person was walking by the band room and saw the Saxophonist moving back and forth in a somewhat irregular fashion, yet also in time with the music. Curious, the person walked in and up to the Saxophonist and said, "So tell me, why is it that you move with the music when you play? Are you really 'getting into it' or something?" ~ "Well," said the Saxophonist, "I do really get into the music, however the reason I move back and forth so is because of the silly trombone player behind me!!" " from Music-Scores Forum.

"Why did the lead alto sax player play so many wrong notes? ~ He kept ignoring the key signature. He thought it was a suggestion."

"How do you tune 5 saxophones? ~ You shoot 4."

"When should a saxophonist change his reed? ~ Whenever a difficult section comes up in the music score."

"How do you put down a tenor saxophone? ~ Confuse it with a bass clarinet."

"How do you define a perfect pitch? ~ Throwing an alto sax in a toilet from 20 feet without hitting the rim."

"What is the difference between a saxophone and a trampoline? ~ You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline."

"What's the difference between a lawnmower and a tenor sax? ~ 1 - Lawnmowers sound better in small ensembles. 2 - You can tune a lawnmower. 3 - The neighbors are upset if you borrow a lawnmower and don't return it. 4 - The grip."

"How are a saxophone and guillotine similar? ~ They are both lethal, always sharp, and work best when dropped from high places."

"Why did Adolphe Sax invent the saxophone? ~ He hated mankind, but couldn't build an atom bomb."

"The reason why so many weird noises come out of the saxophone is because Adolphe Sax never issued any instructions on how to use them. Contrary to popular believe the saxophone was invented as a percussion instrument meant to be beaten by hammers… very large hammers."

"Small wonder we have so much trouble with air pollution in the world when so much of it has passed through saxophones."

"A saxophone is like a lawsuit. ~ Everyone is happy when the case is closed."

Quoted from Music Jokes.

"What's the difference between a saxophone player and a large pizza? ~ A large pizza can feed a family of four."

"How can you tell if a saxophonist is intelligent? ~ He can understand a fingering chart except for and"

"What is the definition of a half step? ~ Two altos playing in unison."

"How is a tenor sax solo like a sneeze?~ You can tell it's coming but you can't do anything about it."

"What did the saxophone player get on his IQ test? ~ Drool."

"What's the difference between a garbage truck and a baritone sax? ~ One's a massive, noisy, scum-encrusted hulk and the other is a public sanitation vehicle."

"What's the difference between a tenor sax solo and a bottomless pit? ~ It's reasonable to hope that a bottomless pit won't go on forever."

Quoted from A Canonical List of Band Jokes. (More giggles are found there about saxophone and many other instruments.)

Adults ~ Last but not least ... You may want to be cautious where you place your saxophone between gig sets so you won't have the same problem as this musician.

More Saxophone Jokes:

Music Education - Instrument Jokes ~ Outcast Jazz Band

What brand of reeds to you like the best?

See results

What are your favorite sax tunes, friends? - Thanks for visiting!

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    • JoyfulPamela2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: Cool! I love playing, too!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love a lot of jazz tunes. Some of them have great saxophone instrumentation in them and I feel like it's where the instrument belongs.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the awesome lens. I played Tenor Saxophone all through highschool. I really enjoyed this.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: Thanks, William! I visited and enjoyed the link you left above. Very cool learning materials! =D

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a fantastic collection of sax and jazz stuff. I will definitely be coming back here and free jazz lessons

      Thanks for your expertise!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I always enjoyed the sound of Sax. My schoolmate from high school had one and I remember him playing almost every year at the schools' End of Year ceremony. Now he is playing at some local jazz group and they are performing every saturday and I have to admit I'm their regular guest ;)

      This lens deserves a big LIKE!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens - I love the sax. My main instrument is the alto but I've also got a C melody (which I made a lens on

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      thank you for this lovely lens! attempted the sax once and i have to admit it was hard work! cheers

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: Great! I love the sound of Yamaha instruments, too! =D

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Yeah the sax is truly a sweet sounding Instrument. One sax player I love to listen to is Kirk Whalum simply awesome, and if you a learning to play I would highly recommend the Yamaha YAS23 - simply brilliant!

    • madoc profile image


      9 years ago

      A wonderful lens! Makes me wish I still had my alto from my days in a high school jazz band. Well, maybe I could finally afford to get a soprano...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love the sax and so everyone in my family.

      My son just bought himself one and is trying to learn.

      Well done lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love the Sax! Jazz is my thing. Very creative lens!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent lens. Very interesting. I love the sound and the look of saxophones.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      10 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Yes sensational! My husband and daughter both play saxophone (well my daughter played tenor in the Pep band so I didn't hear much of it, but my husband plays in our basement) so I've gotten accustomed to listening to them close up. Quite an experience! Great job on this lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very nice lens Mama! I will share it to FB soon, and possibly Twitter.


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