Teach yourself Saxophone. This is how you learn saxophone on your own.

Teach yourself Saxophone – Yes, you can!

You can definitely learn saxophone on your own. The tricky part is usually to learn the fundamentals correctly and that's why I put together this article, so that you will be able to teach yourself saxophone on your own.

I've been a saxophone teacher for over 20 years now and the saxophone is truly an awesome instrument. I think it's great that you want to learn it too.

This is what you need to teach yourself Saxophone

  • A good Beginner Saxophone – I recommend the Alto Saxophone
  • Saxophone Reeds – The cane that vibrates as you blow air into the mouthpiece
  • A neck strap – This holds your saxophone in place

You also need to

  • Learn to finger the notes – Using a fingering chart (see below) makes that easy
  • Learn to play with the correct saxophone embouchure – position of the mouthpiece
  • Keep a good posture for a free air flow – taking deep breaths

Want to get started the easy way? Check out the Jumpstart Saxophone Course.

Get started teaching yourself saxophone

There are several things you need to consider before you try to teach yourself saxophone. I cover them here, so that you can get an overview of what you have to do to get started learning saxophone on your own.

The Instrument – You need a good beginner saxophone

First, you need to get your hands on a saxophone that works well for a beginner saxophone player. Basically there are four types of saxophones to choose from, but they do not all work well for beginners. In my experience as a saxophone teacher it is best if you get an Alto Saxophone as it is the easiest to play as a sax beginner. 

The Reed – that makes the sound in your sax

The Reed goes on the saxophone mouthpiece. It's can be made of Cane, Fibracell or Plastic. Make sure to pick the best saxophone reed for beginners, so that it will be easy to play. The Saxophone Reed is a must have as without it you will not get any sound from your sax at all.

It works like this:

  1. The reed goes on the bottom part of the mouthpiece where there's a flat surface and opening
  2. It should cover the entire opening just leaving a small gap on the tip of the mouthpiece open
  3. When you blow air into the mouthpiece the reed starts to vibrate and that's what makes your saxophone sound like a saxophone

The Embouchure – how to blow into the mouthpiece

This is the way you position the mouthpiece in your mouth. Before you get started working on your embouchure I recommend that you check to see that the mouthpiece is assembled with the saxophone neck, so that the reed is facing down.

Note from the saxophone teacher: I cannot even begin to count all the pictures I've seen online of people posing with saxophones that have the mouthpiece upside down. Obviously not real saxophone players and misleading for saxophone beginners who then think that the reed should be on top of the mouthpiece. That's wrong.

The saxophone mouthpiece needs be positioned on the neck with the reed facing down. Otherwise you will have a hard time playing anything on your saxophone.

When you place the mouthpiece in your mouth the reed should be resting on your bottom lip. Then, simply by sealing the gap around the mouthpiece you have a good base for the correct saxophone embouchure.

However, there is a a few things you need to look out for when it comes to the embouchure.

A common beginner mistake is to squeeze hard around the mouthpiece. Do not do that as it will both prohibit the saxophone tone and it will make your jaw hurt. A gentle squeeze at the most should be more than enough and this is why getting the right saxophone embouchure from the start is so important.

The Neck Strap to hold the saxophone

You need the neck strap to hold up the saxophone. It will also help you get the sax in the right position, so that you have the mouthpiece in line with your mouth. You should be able to stand up straight and have the mouthpiece on the same height as your mouth, so that it fits without bending down or having to stand in any other weird position.

Simply by adjusting the height and position of your saxophone with the neck strap will make all the difference and ensure that you have the best position for playing your saxophone.

The Saxophone Fingerings – learning the basics first

Start with the basics first. Learning the saxophone fingerings is a must if you want to play any songs on the sax.

I recommend that you use the free Saxophone Fingering Chart that show each note on your saxophone, no matter what type of saxophone you play.

It is possible to teach yourself saxophone, but it all comes down to learning the saxophone basics which I've laid out in the article so far.

The saxophone music – learning easy saxophone songs

When you've learned the saxophone fingerings can move on to playing songs on your saxophone. There are plenty of easy saxophone songs for beginners you can choose from. At the same time you will develop your skills and become a better sax player. The key is practice, practice and more practice.

Getting saxophone lessons online

If you are not able to find a local saxophone teacher there's the possibility to take sax lessons online with a saxophone teacher over Zoom.

However, if you're looking for more flexibility you can take a Saxophone beginner course online which has pre-recorded video lessons that you can access 24/7.

It all depends on what you are looking for and how playing the saxophone fits into your lifestyle.

FAQs about teaching yourself saxophone

Q: Is it possible to teach yourself saxophone?
A: Yes, it is possible to teach yourself saxophone with the help of online lessons and instructions. You may be thinking that Saxophone is hard to learn but I'd say it's the opposite as long as you focus on some core principals which I'll help you with here.

Conclusion of teaching yourself how to play sax

Well, now you know. It is possible to teach yourself Saxophone and the good news is that the saxophone is not hard to learn either. Simply by focusing on the fundamentals for the first few weeks you will start to develop a better sax tone. 

The key is to be consistent and practice your saxophone as often as you can. If you practice your sax for 20-30 min every day starting today you will make great progress faster. However, if you only have 10-15 minutes every other day that is better than nothing. 

You may want to consider setting up a practice routine for your saxophone, so that you can get the most out of your practice sessions.