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I am a saxophone teacher with more than 15 years of experience

I am based in Madrid and I teach saxophone classes online internationally. The classes are very didactic and adapt both to the level of the student and to their concerns and availability of time for study. They are oriented to the execution of the modern sax, especially jazz, covering the technique , reading and improvisation.

I also give courses and private classes in musical language, harmony and composition of modern music, face-to-face and online. 

You can ask me any questions you need, without obligation, through the contact form or by phone/whatsapp, both if you want to start from scratch or if you have been playing for a long time the sax or another instrument and you are interested in delving deeper into harmonic aspects of improvisation or composition.

Help material and advice for the student de  saxophone and the self-taught student

The first question that we should ask ourselves when deciding to play the saxophone is what types of saxes are there and which one should I start playing with, and to address these issues I am going to start by talking about the types of saxophones .

Most used saxophones:

In order, from lowest and largest to highest and smallest. Baritone, Tenor, Alto and Soprano.

With which sax do I begin to study?

My recommendation in most cases, exceptexceptions, is that you start with an alto sax, just as the tenor sax is among the two most versatile, being able to be played in practically all styles of music that admit a saxophone, it is smaller than the tenor sax and therefore lighter, and during the first study period vas a need less air than with the tenor sax.

Now I will comment on the exceptions that I was referring to above, if you are a child under 8 years of age or with a small frame, you should start with a curved soprano, smaller and lighter than the alto sax, also higher pitched anddifficult de tune. On the other hand, if you are an adult or you already have the developed physical build and you are in love with the tenor sax, you can start with it, but you have to know that to begin with you are adding something of difficulty, an instrument, larger, heavier and that will require a greater amount of air for the low notes.

What brand and model of saxophone do I buy to start studying saxophone?

This will depend on how much we can and want to spend on the instrument. Obviously the more expensive the better. Aspects to take into account: for the same money I can buy a used sax of higher quality than a new one, but it is very important that it is in good condition, otherwise we may have to spend a good sum of money later on in a luthier who can do it. fix it, so if you choose to look for used saxes, have someone who already plays the saxophone or the teacher with whom you are going to take classes help you, testing it before buying it. Another advantage of the used sax is that if you take care of it, it will not depreciate and when you want to sell it, whether it is to change for a higher-end one or because you have decided that the sax is not your thing, you will not lose money. What has been said, if you opt for a used sax, ask someone who knows the subject for help. A third option is to rent a sax, it is not usually very expensive, some stores discount the amount spent on the rental if you finally buy that sax and it helps you to know if you like it without spending a lot of money together.

If you decide to buy a new sax, these are three study saxes that may interest you, from cheapest to most expensive:

  • Thomann TAS 180 Alto-Saxophone. It's a bad sax but its price is €298 on the page. Is it good for you to start? Absolutely yes. You will have to buy the mouthpiece separately, since the one that comes with the sax is very bad, below you will see mouthpiece recommendations. If after one or two years you continue studying you will have to change your saxophone and when it comes to selling it, hopefully you will be able to recover half of its value. 

  • Jupiter JAS700Q Alto-saxophone. The price is around €870, it is as good as the Yamaha or sometimes more. You will also need to buy a mouthpiece. On the used market you will be able to sell it well but possibly not as well as the Yamaha.

  • Yamaha YAS-280 High-Saxophone. The price is around 900€, it is a very good study sax and especially if you want to sell it and you have it wellin care you may get 70% of its value. It comes with a Yamaha mouthpiece that you can use during the first months


Nozzle recommendation for beginners:

The issue of reeds and mouthpieces is something very personal and over time we will choose which set-up we will use depending on the sound we are looking for.

However, this does not happen when we start playing the saxophone for the first time and during the first time, where the most complicated thing will be looking for an even and pleasant sound_cc781905-5cde-319 4 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_y create an adequate embouchure without suffering so much because we run out of air or because our lower lip hurts.

The first thing to keep in mind is that generally when you buy a new sax, unless it is a Yamaha, a Selmer or some other high-end one, the mouthpiece it comes with is very bad and we will have to change it, we can play with it the first time days but sooner or later we will have to buy one. In this first mouthpiece that we will buy, we will look for an easy emission and closed or half closed, we can choose any of the following mouthpieces depending on how much we want to spend.

Mouthpieces for alto sax: (very important each type of sax, baritone, alto, tenor and soprano use a different mouthpiece and we must clarify what type of sax it is for when we go to buy it)

  • Selmer S80 C nozzle* or S80 C**

  • Selmer S90 180 nozzle ó S90 190

  • Vandoren A28 mouthpiece

  • Yamaha 4C (if we want to spend less money)


















Recommendation of reeds or reeds for beginners:

Now it's time to talk about the reeds or reeds. As with the mouthpieces, for each type of sax (baritone, tenor, alto and soprano) we will have to use a specific reed, therefore when buying we must clarify that they are for alto sax.

In the market we can find wooden reeds, which are the ones of a lifetime and that is why the saxophone enters the family of woodwind instruments, and plastic reeds, the latter have the advantage that with a minimum of be careful, they do not break or wear out for a long time, however I do not recommend them and even less to study.

Another aspect that we should know about the reeds is that, like its companion, the mouthpiece, depending on the reed we use we will achieve one type of sound or another, over time we will choose which reed to use depending on the mouthpiece, the sound we want. achieve and the comfort to play. But in this initial moment we will look for comfort and ease for the emission of sound.

The reeds are named by brand (manufacturer), model (the sound varies fundamentally between dark and bright) and numbering (indicates the hardness of the reed, the higher the number is, the greater hardness, some models instead of numbers indicate the hardness with letters, S = soft, M = medium, medium, H = hard).

At first, until you find the rod that is comfortable for you, buy 1 or 2 rods, never a whole box, and keep trying. You can start with one of the ones that I put on the list and if you feel that they are soft, increase the number, the hardness.

The recommended rods for beginners are:

  • Traditional Vandoren reeds No. 1 and 1/2 ó No. 2

  • La voz soft or medium soft reeds

  • Vandoren jazz reeds  Nº2

  • Rods Rico Royal Nº2

Tabla Transpositora: Piano/ Guitarra - Saxo Tenor/ Soprano - Saxo Alto/ Barítono

Transposer Chart (Concert Tones=Sax Tones)

The saxophone is a transposing instrument, therefore if I play a DO on the piano and I play a DO on the tenor sax different notes will sound and if I play a DO on the alto sax a third, different note will sound to the previous ones. That is why we say that the soprano and tenor saxes are in Bb (concert Bb = C on the sax) and alto and baritone saxes are in Eb (concert Eb = C on the sax).

Below I share a comparative table with the 12 tones, where the equivalent notes for each instrument appear: Guitar / Piano, Tenor / Soprano Sax, Alto / Baritone Sax.

Hoja Pentagramada para imprimir

printable pentagram sheet

Blank sheet to print.

click to download

Escalas Mayores y Menores

Major and minor scales por circle of 5ths and 4ths:

Major Scales

Major Scales in the 12 keys, from tonic to tonic.

By circle of 4ths, with flats

click to download

For circle of 5ths, with sharps

click to download

minor scales

Minor scales in the 12 keys. Minor natural or wind. Harmonic Minor. Melodic minor. Doric Minor

By circle of 4ths, with flats

escalas be bop

click to download

For circle of 5ths, with sharps

click to download

Patterns (patterns) for the realization of major scales:

(The same patterns are used with minor scales)

Two patterns and different types of articulation to study, I recommend doing them with a metronome, in all 12 tones and choosing a type of articulation to do throughout the exercise. 

click to download

Escalas Be Bop

Be Bop Scales

In all keys starting on notes of the chord

Play with swing joint

Preview, scales with flats      _cc781905-5c de-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_         _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3 b-136bad5cf58d_   _cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_       _cc7 81905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_   _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5 cf58d_   _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_       _cc7 81905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_   _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5 cf58d_   _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_

Click to download      _cc781905-5cde-31 94-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_   _cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_     _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58 d_

Preview, scales with sharps

click to download

Vídeos de Clases

class 01

How to assemble the saxophone and mouthpiece.

First steps to learn to emit the sound

class 02

Learning the first notes

Complementary material (score)

click to download

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