6 Month Beginner Saxophone Course with GEORGE MICHAEL’s Sax Soloist, Ed Barker
Learn the sax in just 6 months with this comprehensive, step by step course. You don’t even need to read a note of music…These saxophone lessons have been described as “the most comprehensive beginner saxophone lessons on the internet.”
Pictures from the Lessons
Who is this course for?
This course is for those who are completely new to music and to the saxophone (who haven’t read a note of music in their life and who have never touched a saxophone) and those who might already play a little sax who want to re-visit the core, fundamental principles of the instrument and ensure they haven’t got into any bad habits along the way.
Is the saxophone hard?
No instrument is hard if you have the drive, enthusiasm, passion and dedication. If you REALLY want to be able to play the saxophone – this course will make it happen for you and will unlock your potential.
Can a musically illiterate person like me really learn the saxophone in 6 months?
If that’s how you feel about yourself, this course is DESIGNED for you! Nobody is born with an innate musical or saxophone playing ability. What’s required is hard work, dedication, enthusiasm, a motivational teacher and a structured lesson plan!
Ed’s mission is to show you that you, too, can get there. He will be there every step of the way to support you. Whatever age you are and whatever experience you have, this course will show you that you, too, can become a great saxophone player.
How much practice do I need to do to keep up?
No you don’t need to do thousands of hours over the next 6 months. The thousands of hours will come throughout your playing career and will never feel like endless hours of practice but hours of fun! All you have to do for this course is 15-20 minutes every day. If you discount the day you watch the lesson, that’s just a maximum of 2 hours per week.
Surely it’s more effective to have a private lesson with a teacher there in the room?
Actually, no. That is a more expensive and time consuming way of learning. Remember, these lessons come direct to your email inbox, you don’t have to leave your home and you can watch them at any time as many times as you like.
Also, a lot of time spent with a private teacher will be you practising in front of them, not them actually teaching you. On this course, Ed teaches you, you go away and practice in your own time and if you have any questions, you post them underneath each lesson for Ed to answer.
You get the best of both worlds: an efficient learning process along with the benefits of having your own private teacher – throughout the whole 6 months! It’s a much more refined and efficient process.
Hello and welcome to the Beginner Saxophone Course at Ed Sax School. It’s a privilege to be able to teach you everything I know about this wonderful instrument and how to play it. I hope you’re ready for some hard work and fun!
I’m starting off lightly today, as it’s your first lesson and I’m going to ask you to ask yourself why you want to learn the saxophone. I also want to tell you about my defining philosophy in life which is that we’re not born with any talents – that our minds are completely malleable and can learn anything with the right combination of dedication, passion, motivation and guidance. I know that I’m right about this and that’s why I wanted to set up Ed Sax School in the first place – because I genuinely believe I can make you a great sax player, even if you aren’t any kind of musician already!
I talk more about all this in this lesson.
Today we are going to look at the parts of the saxophone. As you might have already seen, it’s in bits when you open the case so we’re going to look at each of them and what they do.
This week I’m in the London store of sax.co.uk, showing you which sax and accessories you need. I’ve chosen a sax which sounds great, is easy to learn on but which doesn’t cost too much money. I’ve also got you a cheeky discount from sax.co.uk so watch below to find out more.
Congratulations on purchasing your new sax! I hope you’re happy with it.
Today we are going to look at how to set it up.
At last we are going to start using the saxophone to make a sound! Today we are going to look at embouchure – the use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips around the mouthpiece to make a sound.
Great work last week – I hope it’s making sense and you’re beginning to feel comfortable with the embouchure. Thanks for your questions – keep them coming! Today we are going to get that crook onto the body of the saxophone and learn how to hold the saxophone properly. Holding it properly ensures you can play for longer (because it doesn’t hurt in any way) and make a better sound as it can affect adversely your embouchure if you don’t hold it right.
Today we are going to learn our first few notes! You have got the basic sound sorted now and that’ll put you in a great position as we move forward. Now you just need to learn some of the keys and fingerings so that you can turn that sound into different pitches.
I hope you’ve been having some fun and success with the exercises from last week’s lesson. As you’ll notice, things are beginning to get harder but I know you’re handling it and if you’re not, please get in touch via the comment feed below so I can answer any questions you have. Also feel free to go back and review lessons from previous weeks so that you can refresh your mind and recap on the basics.
Before we go much further, I want to make sure you can use the tongue to define the start of each note. We call this articulation and I talk more about it here.
So the last two lessons have been full of information and there is no shame in repeating these lessons, practicing the exercises lots and really taking your time before you move onto the next lesson. This time spent is an investment – if you rush, you won’t reap the rewards later. If you take your time, you certainly will.
For this reason, I’m going to develop what we have learnt so far and get into it in even more detail (and not learn any new notes yet). Here’s the lesson.
Learning how to practise effectively is one of the most important things I can teach you on this course as this will open your mind to learning new skills in any field, not just the saxophone or music. The psychology of practicing is so important and many students fail because nobody has told them the sort of things I’m about to tell you here.
At last, you’ve got to the stage where we are going to start making that right hand do more than just support the instrument with the thumb! Today I’m going to teach you four new notes and by the end of the lesson, you’ll have learnt your first major scale.
So in the last lesson, you got together the notes of the C major scale and the C major arpeggio with the three articulations. I want to give you some more advice and exercises this week, based on those same notes.
How’s everything going? All making sense? As always, please comment below the videos if you have any questions because then I can answer them for the benefit of all students. If you have a question, odds are someone else taking the course somewhere in the world will have the same question as well!
This lesson focuses on more C major scale exercises. I explain more here.
So far, we have covered the notes in the C major scale (the white notes on the piano). But today we are going to look at the notes inbetween them – the black notes. I teach you the fingerings here.
Today I come with great news! You are about to add 12 notes to your repertoire without learning any new fingerings…find out more here.
How’s the chromatic scale coming along? Have you managed to hop over that break fluently? That’s the trickiest part of learning to play the saxophone for beginners and if you’ve got that sorted, without any bumps in the sound, you’re well on your way.
Today I want to look at two additional notes for you to work into the chromatic scale you’ve just been practising.
In today’s lesson, there’s no new information but I am going to consolidate all the exercises we have covered so far. You have learnt 27 notes (out of an official total of 33. I use a further 8 at the top end but we can look at those in future courses and lessons). Isn’t it amazing how far you’ve come in such a short space of time? Didn’t I tell you that with just a bit of hard work and dedication, you’d start making it happen?
Congratulations on getting through that marathon! You’ve done really well.
In today’s lesson and the next two lessons, we are going to take a step back and look at improving the quality of the sound you are producing. So far you’ve become really fluent and the fingerwork should feel really natural to you now. But the first thing an audience hears is your sound. It’s all very well having a huge vocabulary but you need a voice people want to listen to and that they warm to. That’s where we are turning our attention now.
I hope you’ve been producing some lovely, long notes and you haven’t been feeling faint after producing them! If you are, you’re doing something wrong. Please ask any questions you’ve got on the comment feed below so that I can answer them for you.
It’s important to be able to play notes in tune – at the correct pitch. Otherwise, if you play with other musicians and you are out of tune, it won’t be as pleasurable to them, you or the audience. Today I teach you about tuning both with the position of the mouthpiece on the crook and with the way you play the instrument.
Welcome to lesson 20 – you’re nearly there. You’ve done amazingly well to get this far and to be keeping up. The less than dedicated will have dropped out before now so you’re doing well to be in the elite bunch that makes it this far.
As I said previously, the notes at the bottom the sax can, if played wrongly, sound abrasive and raucous! Sometimes you want them to sound like that if you are playing rock and roll. But I like to have the capacity to make them sound beautiful, quiet and expressive. I teach you how to get those sounds here:
How have you been sounding this week!? I know it sounds mental but trust me, this exercise is the best thing I was ever taught. Remember to post your questions below the lesson if you’re having any trouble or need any advice.
When you got the sax out of its box for the first time, you probably wondered what all those funny looking side keys are for. Well today I’m going to teach you all about the palm keys. After today’s lesson, you’ll know all the notes from a bottom Bb to a top F# – the entire official range of the instrument.
Now that you’ve learnt all the fingerings on the saxophone, it’s time to look at some alternate ways of producing the same sounds. These are useful in certain situations and it’s good to learnt them from the start.
Today we look at some advanced effects on the saxophone, namely bending and growling!
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU MADE IT!
It’s been a tough 6 months, hasn’t it? But you’ve lived up to my high expectations and demands and kept up. I hope you have found it rewarding. If you’ve been doing the exercises, putting in the 20 minutes practice each day, taking seriously what I say in the lessons, you should be sounding great by now.