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The Art of

Saxophone
An enjoyable and thorough series of exercises, songs and explanations.
Provides the beginning student with a firm foundation for study of the
Saxophone.
by Andrew Scott
Book and
Audio Set
The
Art of
Saxophone
An introduction to the
saxophone
by
Andrew Scott
andrewscottmusic.com
Copyright Notice
This publication is copyright © 2007 by Andrew Scott.
You may not resell, distribute, publicize, display on a website, exploit
commercially or use any part of this publication for any other purpose
than private study.
2
Contents
Parts of the Saxophone ...................... 3
Lesson 1
Assembling the Saxophone ........................... 4 - 5
Making a Sound on the Mouthpiece ................ 4
The Note A........................................................ 7
Tonguing........................................................... 7
Lesson 2
The Staff, Treble Clef ....................................... 8
The Half Note (Minim) .................................... 8
Bar Lines, Half Rests........................................ 9
The Quarter Note (Crotchet) .......................... 10
The Time Signature ......................................... 10
Quarter Rest, Final Bar Line........................... 11
Lesson 3
How to Tune the Saxophone........................... 12
Lesson 4
The Note B....................................................... 14
Repeat Sign, Bar Numbers.............................. 15
Two Note Samba ............................................. 16
Basic Blues (duet)........................................ 16
Lesson 5
The Note C ....................................................... 17
Easy to C .......................................................... 17
ABC Exercise ................................................... 17
The Dotted Half Note ...................................... 18
Boomerang ...................................................... 18
Half Measure ................................................... 18
Lesson 6
The Note G....................................................... 19
Country Modes ................................................ 20
Cool Dude ........................................................ 20
Satellite Song .............................................. 20
4 Note Blues .................................................... 21
The Common Time Signature ......................... 21
All too Common .............................................. 21
Lesson 7
The Note F ....................................................... 22
Bayou Stomp ................................................... 22
Fine Old Time .................................................. 22
Heavy Metals ................................................... 23
Beam Me Up .................................................... 23
The Slur ........................................................... 24
Legato Lullaby ................................................. 24
Lesson 8
The Note B
b
..................................................... 25
Flat to the Boards ............................................ 25
Love Me Tender............................................... 26
Flat Signs After a Clef ...................................... 26
Ode to Joy ........................................................ 26
Mango Tango................................................... 27
Batucada Blues ................................................ 27
Lesson 9
The Lead-In ..................................................... 28
The Banks of the Ohio ..................................... 28
When the Saints Go Marchin’ In .................. 29
Lesson 10
The Three Four Time Signature ..................... 30
Three to the Bar............................................... 30
The Tie ............................................................. 30
Barcarolle ........................................................ 31
Tied Down ....................................................... 31
The Whole Note............................................... 32
Good Evening Friends..................................... 32
Rhythm Review ............................................... 32
Count Me In..................................................... 32
Lesson 11
Breathing and Blowing.................................... 33
Lesson 12
The Note E....................................................... 35
Waltz of the Saxophones ................................. 35
Mary Ann...................................................... 36
Lesson 13
The Eighth Note (Quaver) .............................. 37
Shave and a Haircut ........................................ 37
Mick’s Mexican Mix ........................................ 38
Eight Enough................................................... 39
Lesson 14
The Natural Sign ............................................. 40
Natural Riff ...................................................... 40
Staccato ........................................................... 41
Staccato Waltz ................................................. 41
The Mexican Hat Dance .................................. 42
Staccato Blues ................................................. 42
True Blues .................................................... 43
Lesson 15
The Dotted Quarter Note (Dotted Crotchet) .. 44
Dotted Ballad................................................... 45
Cornpicking ..................................................... 45
Cuban Nights ................................................... 46
Most of You ..................................................... 46
Sonata Theme.............................................. 47
Lesson 16
The Note D....................................................... 48
The Carnival of Venice .................................... 50
O Susanna........................................................ 50
For He’s a Jolly Good fellow ........................... 51
Last Minute Blues ........................................ 52
Glossary ........................................... 53
Fingering Index ................................ 54
Transposing Table............................ 56
3
Parts of the Saxophone
The saxophone is made up of
the pieces illustrated on this page.
The instrument here is an alto
saxophone. The tenor saxophone
looks basically the same.
saxophone body
reed
mouthpiece
ligature
neck
neckstrap
tightening screw
cork
bell
4
Making a Sound with the
Reed on the Mouthpiece
Hold the neck with your hands.
Keep your fingers away from the lever
which lifts the pad.
Make an O shape with your lips.
Put the end of the mouthpiece into your
mouth so that your bottom lip becomes
a cushion to support the reed.
Fitting the Reed
After you have dampened the reed,
place it on the mouthpiece. Secure it
loosely with the ligature, then adjust it so
that there is only a hairline of
mouthpiece showing behind the tip.
Tighten the ligature screws.
Lesson 1
Preparing the Reed
The reed must be damp for it to vibrate properly. Some players soak their reeds
in a glass of water for a few minutes before playing, but you can usually get away with
holding the thin end in your mouth for about thirty seconds.
Fitting the Mouthpiece
Apply some
cork grease to
the cork at
the top of the
neck. Push
the mouthpiece on with a twisting action until it covers about half
to three quarters of the cork. Line up the flat piece of the
mouthpiece with the hole at the other end of the neck.
The mouthpiece should slide smoothly but very firmly over the cork.
You may not need to apply grease every time you assemble the saxophone.
5
Attaching the Neck to the
Body
Loosen the tightening screw at the
top of the saxophone body. Insert the
neck and swivel it so that the mouthpiece
points away from the bell. Tighten the
screw.
Put your neckstrap on and clip the
saxophone to it.
Adjust the length of the strap so that
the mouthpiece is level with your mouth.
The neckstrap supports the entire
weight of the saxophone. If you
need to lift the
saxophone with
your right
thumb your
neckstrap is
too long.
Buzzing Sounds Track 2
This track contains the sound of the
reed and mouthpiece attached to the neck.
The pitch is bent down and up as the
player loosens and tightens his lips.
Your top teeth should touch the
mouthpiece about one centimetre from the
end.
Blow gently and smoothly. The
mouthpiece should make a buzzing noise.
Buzzing Sounds
When you can make a sound, vary it
by tightening and loosening your lips.
You can hear this on
Track 2 of the CD.
6
T
Fingering Diagram for the Note A
Left
Hand
Keys
Thumb Rest
Left Thumb here all the
time.
Right
Hand
Keys
Blue Shapes
Finger holds key
closed.
White Shape
No finger necessary.
Left Hand Right Hand
1
3
2
1
3
2
4
4
T
2
1
7
Holding the Saxophone
Whenever you pick up the body of
the saxophone, make sure you hold it
with one hand under the U bend at the
bottom, and the other gripping the bell.
Try not to squeeze any keys or rods
because too much pressure can bend
them.
The Note A
Place your fingers in position for the
note A as shown on page 6.
Blow into the saxophone.
You are now playing the note A.
Tonguing
Use your tongue to start and stop the
notes. As you play the note A, whisper
the word doo, several times.
The tip of your tongue will push
the end of the reed against the
mouthpiece, blocking the flow of
air. When you release your
tongue, the air flow will start
instantly, creating the syllable
doo.
This technique is called
t o ng ui ng . Sa x o pho ne
players use it all the time to
make notes start and stop
cleanly.
Listen to Track 3 on the CD.
Tips
• Fingers which are not pressing a key closed should hover above their home
keys, ready to close the key when necessary.
• Your left thumb should always remain on the thumbrest. If you let it
dance around you won’t be able to balance the instrument as well.
Tongued Notes Track 3
First you will hear four A notes played
without tonguing. Then follow four notes with
tonguing. You can hear the difference. Without
tonguing, the attack on the note sounds more like a foo than a doo.
8
Lesson 2
The Staff (or Stave)
A staff (plural: staves) is a set of five lines and four spaces upon which music can
be written. The lines and spaces are numbered from the bottom.
The Treble Clef
The symbol at the left end of the staff is called a treble clef. Every line of
saxophone music has these clefs to show you how notes are named. There are other
clefs, such as bass and alto clefs, but for saxophone playing you only need to know this
one.
4th space
3rd space
2nd space
1st space
The Half Note
(or Minim)
The half note (or minim in some
countries) symbol looks like a hollowed
out egg, with a stick on one side. A half
note has a value of two beats.
The note above, written in the second
space of the staff, is the A note you
learned in the previous lesson.
The Half Note A
The position of a note in the staff tells
us its name.
2nd space
5th line
4th line
3rd line
2nd line
1st line
9
Exercise 1 Track 4
This exercise contains three A notes, each to be held for two beats. On the CD
there are another two beats on the hi hat cymbal after the third A, then the exercise
is repeated three times. The second and third repeats contain only the hi hat and bass
drum.
Play the three notes below, tonguing each one.
The Bar Line
Notes can be grouped in measures or bars. Bar lines divide groups of notes into
equal numbers of beats.
The Half Rest (or Minim Rest)
Rests indicate that you don’t need to play any note. The following symbol drawn
on the middle line of the staff is a half rest (or minim rest). It means: play nothing
for two beats, but keep counting.
Exercise 2 Track 5
This exercise on the CD is played four times - twice with the saxophone and
hi-hat, and twice with just the hi-hat.
There are four beats introduction to most of the exercises on the CD.
Think: 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 2
2 beats + 2 beats = 4 2 beats + 2 beats = 4
rest for 2
Think: 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 2
rest for 2
Numbers in bold type are placed under notes that you tongue.
Numbers in light type are under beats that you sustain or just count.
10
The Time Signature
A time signature is a symbol that tells you how many beats should be played in
each bar, and what kind of beats they are.
The Quarter Note (or Crotchet)
A quarter note symbol is a solid egg shape with a stick. The quarter note has a
value of one beat.
Exercise 3 Track 6
On the CD, this and the next three exercises are played twice.
The pair of fours above are known as the four four time signature. They mean
that each bar contains four beats. These beats can be any combination of quarter and
half notes or rests, or other notes that you will learn later.
Exercise 4 Track 7
Think: 1 3 4 1 3 1 3 4 1 3 2 2 4 2 2 4
Think:
11
The Quarter Rest (or Crotchet Rest)
The Final Bar Line
The thick and thin lines at the end of the next exercise are a final bar line. They
indicate the end of a piece of music.
Exercise 5 Track 8
Exercise 6 Track 9
Tip
It is normal to feel some abrasion on the outside of your lower lip as a result
of the reed rubbing against it. As your lips get used to the aggravation, the skin
there will become stronger. If it cracks and starts to peel, try using a lip balm,
and avoid the saxophone for a couple of days.
The quarter rest symbol is a squiggly
device meandering between the 1st and
4th spaces of the staff. Its value is one
beat of silence.
12
Lesson 3
How to Tune the Saxophone
Tuning Track 1
Step 2
Start Track 1 again. Play your A, then listen to the saxophone on the CD.
Step 3
Was your A at exactly the same pitch, or was it higher or lower?
Step 4
If your note sounds the same as the CD note, your saxophone is already in tune.
Go to Step 7.
You will need to be able tune the saxophone to make it sound at its best when you
play with other instruments or recordings.
You can do this by playing a note and then comparing it to a reference tone.
Step 1
Listen to Track 1 on the CD, following the music on the chart below.
13
Step 5
If your note sounds lower than the CD, your saxophone is said to be flat. Raise
its pitch by pushing the mouthpiece further onto the cork, then repeat Steps 2 and 3.
Step 6
If your note sounds higher than the CD, your saxophone is said to be sharp.
Lower its pitch by pulling the mouthpiece out along the cork, then repeat Steps 2 and
3.
Step 7
As a final check, play your A at the same time as the saxophone on the CD. If
the two notes are in tune they will sound like one instrument. If not, there will be a
harsh, irritating beating sound, somewhat like two blowflies sparring. Return to Steps
2 and 3.
Tuning Tips
1. Don’t be too concerned if you can’t tell whether you are sharp or flat.
Development of the ear takes its own time.
2. Hot weather makes the saxophone sharp. Cold weather will make it flat.
You will need to adjust your mouthpiece more on very hot or cold days.
Pushing the mouthpiece on
raises the pitch.
Pulling the mouthpiece off
lowers the pitch.
14
Note Stems
Notes written below the middle line have
their stems on the right of the note head
going up. Notes written above the middle line
usually have their stems on the left going
down. Notes on the middle line can have
their stems in either direction.
Lesson 4
The Note B
B Exercise Track 10
The location of a note on the staff tells
us its name. The note B is written on the
middle line of the staff.
Middle
or 3rd line
Stem
Note head
T
1
15
The Repeat Sign
Chord Symbols
The letters and numbers above the staves in the following songs are chord symbols.
A guitarist or keyboard player can use them to accompany you. The top row of symbols
is for accompanying an alto or baritone saxophone. The bottom row is for tenor or
soprano.
Bar Numbers
(or Measure Numbers)
B & A Exercise 2 Track 12
The two dots before the
final barline are a repeat sign.
They mean: play the piece
again from the start.
B & A Exercise Track 11
This and all the following exercises on the CD are played twice - once with the
saxophone and accompaniment, then again with just the accompaniment.
Bar numbers (also called measure numbers) can be used to help you quickly find
your place in a piece of music.
16
Basic Blues Track 14
Shuffle Style
A piece of music for two instruments is called a duet.
Two Note Samba Track 13
17
Lesson 5
3rd space
Easy to C Track 15
Bossa Nova Style
ABC Exercise Track 16
Fast Latin Style
The Note C
The note C is written in the third space
of the staff.
2
T
2
18
Are you still tonguing each note?
Half Measure Track 18
Merengue Style
Boomerang Track 17
Jethro Style
The Dotted Half Note
(Dotted Minim)
A dot written after a note lengthens it by half of its value. A half note, with a dot
after it, is played for three beats instead of two.
2 3 2 3 rest
2 3 2 3 rest
2 3 4 2 3 4
2 3 4
quarter note
(or crotchet)
1 beat
half note
(or minim)
2 beats
dotted half note
(or dotted minim)
3 beats
19
Lesson 6
2nd line
G Wiz Track 20
Boogie Woogie Style
G Exercise Track 19
Afro Style
The Note G
The note G is written on the second
line of the staff.
2
3
1
T
1
2
3
20
Country Modes Track 21
John Denver Style
Satellite Song Track 23
Bogey Style
Cool Dude Track 22
Goodnight Style
21
4 Note Blues Track 24
Chuck Berry Style
The Common Time Signature
All Too Common Track 25
Medium Rock Style
This symbol is known as the common time
signature. It is frequently used instead of the four four
time signature, and has the same meaning - four beats
per bar (or measure).
22
Lesson 7
Fine Old Time Track 27
Country Jethro Style
Bayou Stomp Track 26
Rockabilly Style
The Note F
The note F is written in the first
space of the staff.
1st space
2
3
1
T
1
3
1
2
1
23
Heavy Metals Track 28
Heavy Metal Style
Beam Me Up Track 29
Scott Joplin Style
24
The Slur
A slur is a curved line written over or below several notes. When a slur is applied
to notes it means that you play them smoothly. To do this, keep blowing as you change
the fingering for the different notes. Only tongue the first note of the group enclosed
by the slur.
Another word for playing smoothly, often used in music, is legato.
Slur Exercise 2 Track 31
Slur Exercise 1 Track 30
Legato Lullaby Track 32
Alberti Style
Slur
25
Flat to the Boards Track 33
Reggae Style
Flat signs apply to all Bs in the bar. Bars 1 and 5 of this song each contain only
one flat sign, but two B
b
notes.
Lesson 8
There are several different fingerings
for B
b
. Most players prefer this one.
The Note B Flat (B
b
)
This note is lower than B, but not as
low as A. Its pitch is halfway between B
and A.
The sign
b
in music notation is
pronounced “flat.”
The flat sign is written after the note
in text, (e.g. B
b
) but before it on the staff.
T
1
Use the base of your
right hand first finger
on this side key.
1
2
26
Ode to Joy Track 35 Ludwig van Beethoven
Classical Style
Ludwig van Beethoven lived in Europe from 1770 to 1827. This piece is an an excerpt
from his 9th Symphony.
Flat Signs after a Clef
Flat signs are often written on the staff, after a clef. When this happens, as in Ode
to Joy, you play every note on the middle line as B
b
.
Love Me Tender Track 34
Blueberry Hill Style
27
Mango Tango Track 36
Tango Style
Batucada Blues Track 37
Batucada Style
In bars 5 and 6 of this song you may prefer to use the second fingering for B
b
shown
on page 55.
28
Lesson 9
The Lead-In (or Pick-up)
Songs do not always begin on the first beat of a bar. A lead-in is a group of notes
that occurs before the first complete bar of a song, as in the next song.
The Banks of the Ohio Track 38
Country Style
On the CD there are five beats to introduce this song. Count: 1 2 3 4 1,
then play.
Lead-in
The final bar of a song that begins with a lead-in contains the beats that were left out at the start.
Tip
If your reeds become wrinkled after you moisten them in hot weather, you
can iron them flat. Use your thumb to press the thin end against the flat part
of your mouthpiece for about half a minute.
29
When the Saints Go Marchin’ In Track 39
Trad. Jazz Style
On the CD there are five beats to introduce this song. Count: 1 2 3 4 1,
then play.
30
Lesson 10
The Three Four Time Signature
The numbers
3
and
4
after a clef are called the
three four time signature. They mean that there are only
three beats in each bar, instead of four.
A waltz is a piece of music written in three four
time.
Three to the Bar Track 40
Waltz Style
On the CD there are three beats to introduce songs in three four time.
The Tie
At first glance a tie seems identical to a slur. The difference is that the tie connects
two notes of the same pitch, whereas a slur connects two or more notes of different
pitches.
To play a tied note, keep counting as you blow, but don’t tongue the second note.
2 2
2 3
The Tie Track 41
Think: 2 3 1 2 3
31
Barcarolle Track 42 Jacques Offenbach
Parisian Waltz Style
Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) began his musical career as a cello player. His most
famous composition is the Can-Can.
Tied Down Track 43
Bogey Style
2 4 1 2 4
32
Good Evening Friends
Play B natural in this exercise, not B
b
. B natural is plain, everyday B - the second
note you learned.
2 3 4
The Whole Note (or Semibreve)
In the last song, Tied Down, you created a note
with a value of four beats by joining two half notes
together (bars 1-2, 5-6, etc). There is another way to
write a four beat note, called a whole note (or
semibreve).
2 3 4
Rhythm Review
Count Me In Track 44
Achy Breaky Style
33
Lesson 11
Breathing and Blowing
When it comes to taking deep breaths, many people think that it is necessary to
make some effort. This is not always so. After you have mastered the technique shown
in this lesson, you will understand how deep breaths can be given, not taken.
There are two stages of breathing - the in-breath and the out-breath.
Breathing Begins with Blowing
Without your saxophone, slowly blow out as much air as you can. When your
lungs are empty, hold your abdominal muscles tightly so that no new air enters your
body. Hold your muscles tight for as long as you can, until you are almost desperate
for air, then let go suddenly.
If you are still reading, you must have breathed! Did you notice how easy it was
to take your breath compared to the effort you made to blow out?
Repeat this procedure a few times until you can feel that the energy used to
breathe in is far less than the energy you use to blow out.
Use energy to
blow out.
34
Tip
Don’t try to suck air when you are breathing in. Just relax. Allow Nature
to fill your lungs. Save your energy for blowing the saxophone.
Nature Abhors a Vacuum
When you empty your lungs, you
create a low pressure system inside your
body. Outside the body is a high pressure
system. Nature tries to equalise these two
systems by helping you to take a breath.
The quickest way to get more air into
your lungs is to relax and let the
principles of physics work for you.
Breath Marker
The following symbol appears at certain places in the music to tell you when to
take a breath:

Breathtaking
Relax to
breathe in.
35
Lesson 12
The Note E
Waltz of the Saxophones Track 45
Chopin Style
E is written on the first line of the
staff.
1st line
1
2
3
2
1
36
Mary Ann Track 46
Bossa Nova Style
37
Lesson 13
The Eighth Note (or Quaver)
An eighth note (or quaver) is equal to half a quarter note.
When two or
more eighth notes
are joined together
their tails become a
beam.
Beam
Shave and a Haircut Track 50
Hip Hop Style
In bar 2, will you be playing B natural or B flat?
Eighth Note Exercise 3 Track 49
Eighth Note Exercise 2 Track 48
Eighth Note Exercise 1 Track 47
rest rest rest rest rest
Tail
Think: one and two
rest rest
Think: four and
38
Eighth note Exercise 4 Track 51
Mick’s Mexican Mix Track 53
Music Box Style
Five beats introduction.
Eighth note Exercise 5 Track 52
39
Eight Enough Track 54
Country Rock Style
Tip
Clean and dry your saxophone by pulling a cloth through it after each
practice session. Pay particular attention to the mouthpiece and reed. You will
need to take the reed off to clean the mouthpiece properly. Failure to do this will
result in a buildup of stale, green mould. Do you really want that in your mouth
next time you play?
If your mouthpiece has already reached the disgusting stage, merely soaking
it in a basin of warm soapy water will not work. Scrub it clean with an old
toothbrush.
40
Natural Riff Track 58
Miles Davis Funk Style
Natural Exercise 1 Track 55
In the second and fourth bars of this exercise you play B natural (B
n
), not B
b
.
B
n
is the first B you learned, on page 14.
In the first and third bars, play B
b
.
Natural Exercise 2 Track 56
Natural Exercise 3 Track 57
Lesson 14
The Natural Sign
n
A natural sign cancels the effect of a flat sign. Natural signs only last until
the end of a bar. Then, the flat sign after the clef comes back into play.
41
Staccato
You have seen that a dot written after a note
lengthens the note (page 18).
A dot written above or below a note means that
you play the note short and detached from other notes.
This method of playing is called staccato. It is the
complete opposite of playing legato, or smoothly.
To play notes staccato, think of the letter “d” when you tongue the note, instead
of the syllable “doo.”
Staccato Exercise 1 Track 59
Staccato Waltz Track 62
Jazz Waltz Style
Staccato Riff 1 Track 60
Heavy Rock Style
Staccato Riff 2 Track 61
Bossa Nova Style
42
The Mexican Hat Dance Track 63
Fiesta Style
Staccato Blues Track 64
Funk Style
Staccato dots can also be applied to eighth notes. Play them very short.
43
True Blues Track 65
Cut-Time Funk Style
44
Lesson 15
The Dotted Quarter Note
(or Dotted Crotchet)
Adding a dot after a quarter note increases its length to one and half beats.
quarter note
(or crotchet)
1 beat
half note
(or minim)
2 beats
dotted half note
(or dotted minim)
3 beats
dotted quarter note
(or dotted crotchet)
1½ beats
Dotted Quarter Note Exercise 1 Track 66
Dotted Quarter Note Exercise 2 Track 67
Dotted Quarter Note Exercise 3 Track 68
2 2 3 4 2 2 3 4
4 rest 4 rest
2 4 2 2 4
Dotted Quarter Note Exercise 4 Track 69
2 3 2 3
45
Cornpicking Track 72
Chet Atkins Style
Dotted Ballad Track 71
Country Ballad Style
Rock Riff 1 Track 70
Don’t confuse a dot after a note with a
dot above or below it.
Lengthening dots
1½ beats each
Staccato dots
1 beat each
46
Most of You Track 74
Breezin’ Style
Cuban Nights Track 73
Merengue Style
47
Sonata Theme K331 Track 75 Wolfgang Mozart
Classical Style
Wolfgang Mozart lived in Austria for most of his life, which was tragically short. (1756-
1791) He composed more than 600 pieces of music. This theme is an extract from one
of his many piano sonatas.
48
1
2
3
2
1
3
Lesson 16
The Note D
4th line
D Exercise 1 Track 76
D Exercise 3 Track 78
D Exercise 2 Track 77
D is written on the fourth line of
the staff.
This is your first note with the
octave key.
Keep your thumb on the thumb
rest as it moves on and off the
octave key.
Octave Key
49
D Exercise 4 Track 79
D Exercise 5 Track 80
D Exercise 6 Track 81
D Exercise 7 Track 82
50
The Carnival of Venice Track 83
Italian Waltz Style
Five beats introduction.
O Susanna Track 84
Folk Style
Three beats introduction.
51
For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow Track 86
Old Style Waltz
Above bar 24 is the instruction D. C. al Fine (pronounced “fee-nay”). This is
an abbreviation of Da Capo al Fine, which means that you play the song again from
the start until you reach the word Fine (bar 16).
Five beats introduction.
Rock Riff 2 Track 85
Heavy Rock Style
52
Last Minute Blues Track 87
Count Basie Style
Tip
You may notice that your bottom teeth are gouging a groove on the inside
of your lower lip. This is not a good sign and means that you are folding your
lip over your teeth like a flap of skin between your teeth and the mouthpiece. Try
to shape your lower lip more like a cushion. Think of an O shape as you place
your mouth around the mouthpiece.
53
Glossary
accidental - a sign indicating a note from outside a particular key. E.g., the natural
sign in bar 4 of Cuban Nights on page 46, or the flat sign in bar 1 of Staccato Blues
on page 42.
arpeggio - the notes of a chord played one at a time.
chord - a group of two or more different notes played together.
dissonant - clashing, not harmonious.
D. S. al Coda - go back to the sign , play again as far as the Coda sign

,
then jump to the second Coda sign, and play to the end.
embouchure - the position of the lips and mouth when playing a brass or wind
instrument.
key - a pitch that forms the tonal centre of a piece of music.
harmonize - to combine notes to produce a pleasant sounding blend.
lick - a short musical phrase.
measure - same as bar.
octave - the interval between two notes where
the frequency of one is either half or double that
of the other. E.g., the two A notes on the staff
at right are one octave apart. Notes that are one
octave apart usually have the same letter name.
phrase - a group of notes that form the musical equivalent of a sentence.
vibrato - a throbbing in the sound of a note. On the saxophone this is achieved by
tightening and loosening the pressure on the reed from the jaw.
register - a range of notes on a particular instrument.
riff - a short musical phrase, usually repeated or varied several times within a
song.
sustain - to hold a note or chord for its full value.
syncopation - emphasis given to a normally unaccented beat.
transpose - to change music from one pitch or key to another.
54
Fingering
B C C
#
or D
b
F
#
or G
b
G
G
#
or A
b
A
A
#
or B
b
B C
C
#
or D
b
D
55
Index
D D
#
or E
b
E
F
A
#
or B
b
D
#

or E
b
E F
F
#
or
G
b
1st finger
holds both
keys
56
Transposing Table
The table below shows you which note you must play to sound the same as another
instrument, such as a guitar or piano, or another saxophone.
For example, if you are playing an A on the alto sax, the guitar’s note will be C,
and the tenor’s note will be D.
If you play A on a tenor sax, the guitar should play G, and the alto must play E.
Alto &
Baritone
Saxophones
Concert
Instruments
E.g. Guitar,
piano
Tenor &
Soprano
Saxophones
D
#

or E
b
A
A
#

or B
b
C
D
C
#

or D
b
F
#

or G
b
G
#

or A
b
B
E
F
G
D
#

or E
b
A
A
#

or B
b
C
D
C
#

or D
b
F
#

or G
b
G
#

or A
b
B
E
F
G A
A
#

or B
b
C
C
#

or D
b
B
D
#

or E
b
D
F
#

or G
b
G
#

or A
b
E
F
G