Saxophone Tribe Introductions

Get to know the rest of Saxophone Tribe!saxophone_tribe_december_2013

Introduce yourself on this page! And send in a photo of yourself! (email me with a photo attached)

To do that, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your name/email and introduction in the comment space (you don’t need to list a website, but you can if you want).

introduction_comment

Probably better to use a first and last name or at least first name and last initial. (Sometimes have multiple people with the same first name here).

Say a little about yourself and what you want to do musically.

Feel free to say hello to some of the other members or check out their stories about playing saxophone.

Do you want to play in a band? Do you want to play jazz? Do you want to solo?

I’m Neal, I live in Monterey, California.  Have been playing saxophone for seventeen years.  Play in a salsa band.  Have played jazz, blues, reggae, salsa, and some other styles.  We have probably talked, feel free to contact me with any questions.

Leave a comment with your own introduction!

And after that, go to the first five steps!

https://saxophonetribe.com/how-to-use-saxophone-tribe/

You can read more introductions and see some responses by former members here.

{ 151 comments… read them below or add one }

KT June 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Hey there,
I’m new to your Tribe. I got an alto sax for myself on Christmas Eve. The holidays were a good time to buy but not to practice. I just want to play. I had a good book and a dependable music store, so I taught myself. That may not be the wisest approach. I hit a wall. I love blues, and ballads, and won’t every forget my week at a lighthouse across from the Newport Jazz Festival. I am anxious to polish up reading music and move on or work simultaneously on playing by ear. My tastes in music is eclectic…rock, blues, folk, jazz, country, and big ballads.

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KT July 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Forgot, that having taught myself, vocab for sax is deficient. I am also teaching myself piano, so I am counting on the SaxTribe to move me along in sax. You all sound experienced and on your way already.

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Neal July 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hey Kate,
I think you learn a lot of vocabulary from tunes and solos, and generally by ear. Figure out some things you want to learn and let me know if you need some help.

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John August 7, 2012 at 2:02 am

Hi, I’m John.I live in Jersey Channel Isles UK.I started as a kid on clarinet,but soon got hold of my Dad’s Martin Tenor,he played in dance bands, taught me to read music,so I can play a fair amount of stuff if I read it.

Didn’t play for about 40yrs picked it up again a couple of years ago. Most of my friends are pro musicians,and know I dabble. I’m 68 now & would love to be able to jam with them at least once before I pop my clogs mainly blues r&b,rock need to get improvising under my fingers. Cheers.

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Neal August 7, 2012 at 7:19 am

Hello John,
Welcome to Saxophone Tribe!

Glad you started to play again. Send a recording my way when you get a chance and let me know what sorts of blues, R&B, and rock you want to play.

Thanks

-Neal

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Gil Ross August 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi my name is Gil, living temporarily in Michigan and moving back home to California at the end of September, I play the Alto Sax, Im 63, played when I was in middle school, and taking it back up again, probably at the Intermeditae level as far as playing, but want to learn to improvise and play by ear and master all the different keys to play in, know about 5 scales by memory, love all types of music genres, my goal eventually is to play in a church contemporary worship band, also I would like to send in a recording of a simple song so they you can critique my ability and sound, I dont know how to go about that, thank you for your time, thanks Gil

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Gil Ross August 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hi Neal, yes I did try the Altissimo notes, but didnt have much luck, I must be doing something wrong, but I am going to try again today.

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Neal August 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hey Gil,
How far up the harmonic series can you play using the low Bb fingering?

Thanks

-Neal

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Gil Ross September 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hi, I’m 63, retired, soon to b moving back
Home to Northern California( Comcord) I play
The Alto Sax, played when I was real young
And taking it up again, looking forward to
Learning all I can. Thanks

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Asha October 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I am over 50 and learning to play the saxophone is on my Bucket List. I have been taking classes for 4 years, but not consistently. I work a full time job and sometimes and do not have the time to practice as I should to become good. I would like to play in front of a crowd and not get booed off the stage. (I have been booed off the stage) When I practice, I do long tones, scales, songs and the method books.

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Neal October 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hey Asha,
You’ll find that the consistency in practice and persistence will pay off. Even if it’s 15 minutes in a day. Sorry to hear about that situation with the crowd, it takes courage to get up there and for only playing that long with limited practice time it’s hard to develop certain things. But it can have a lot to do with what song you play.

Sometimes the crowd is just rough, they may not be into what you’re playing. In those situations, you want to be able to have a few things in your repertoire that you can bring out that might work better with the crowd. We played a wedding a couple of weeks ago and our original set list just wasn’t going to work, so we changed it quite a bit.

Other times people in the crowd might know a song really well, and in that case you don’t want to mess up a certain part, because they’ll know it. Entertaining and music have different nuances.

Performing can be hard, but it also can be fun. If you work at it, you’ll get to where the crowd enjoys what you play.

What method books are you working through?

Thanks

-Neal

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Daniel lee October 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Hi Neal, hi Tribe

I am really impressed with your site! I have been getting email from you for a few months now but now I have decided its time to sign up and make use of all these lessons! I have been learning for around six months now, I had a teacher back I the UK, but am now travelling New Zealand and so am pretty much trying to self teach…. That’s why I have joined Sax Tribe!

I really love the blues and jazz musicians… There are so many to name, so much great talent, but I’m also a fan of saxophonists like Wes Magoogan, Candy Dulfer and Eric Darius. David Bowies sax on ‘somebody up there like me’, was one of the many pieces of music that inspired me to take up the instrument.

Well I look forward to the lessons, and being a part of the sax tribe! Thanks for the opportunities!

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Neal October 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Welcome Dan, thanks. Sounds like you’re having a fun trip down there, what made you decide to go to NZ with an alto?

David Sanborn played that solo and it will take a bit of work to get there (including developing some altissimo). You can do it with some dedication.

Check out the steps I outline.

Thanks

-Neal

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Daniel lee November 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

Hey Neal, hey hi tribe!

S I have been a member of tribe for a few weeks now and really getting on great with the exercises on here… My learning has come on greatly since signing up! But I do have a question for you and the guys…. What websites do you find most useful for buying sheet music? I am travelling and so would need to be able to download or have music emailed to me. Just wondering where everyone goes for variety/accuracy etc?

Thanks guys!

Dan

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Neal November 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Hey Dan,
Thanks, glad it’s helping.

For sheet music, I have used Sheet Music Plus sometimes, more to get books of music.

Musicnotes is another option that would have more digital music.

A lot more often, I’m learning music by ear these days.

What sorts of music are you looking for?

Thanks

-Neal

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Daniel lee November 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Thanks Neal! Ill check them out! I’m really just after a whole variety of music…. Usually if I am struggling with learning the song by ear or I want to check what I’m doing…. Everything from blues and jazz to rock tracks are on my list so ill have a look at the sites and post on here if I find any other useful ones!

Cheers!

Dan

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Gaspar Leyva November 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hi, my name is Gaspar Leyva, I am a General Contractor in the state of Florida and I just started to learn to play sax.

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Neal November 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hello Gaspar,
Welcome! How’ Sabor a Mi coming along? Great tune.
-Neal

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Hanis December 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Hi, an almost retired from Malaysia. Started on flute but found sax more easy to fit with bands. Began with alto but love tenor , more expressive and smokey. Hope to learn lots or at least find out why it’s so damn difficult 🙂

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Neal December 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Welcome Hanis! Check out the steps and especially the Lindeman, breaking down the movements will make things make a little more sense. Thanks

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Manuel Gonzalez December 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Hi all: My name is Manuel Gonzalez. I have being playing the sax for almost 15 years. I am enrolled in a Master Certificate in Theory, Harmony and Ear Training with Berklee College of Music.

However, I need to improve my technic as well as to start playing by ear. Also, need improvement with the phrasing part. I am very confident with all Major, Minors, Pentatonic and Blue sscales. I can write any scale starting in any notes.

Also, I can voice lead a chord progression with no problem. But when it is time to play without a written paper I can not play nothing. That’s why I am here, to work with everything that I need in order to start hearing music and be free of the written part.

My goal is to play at a professional level and I am willing to pay the price. I know is a lot of work and practice but here I am. My job takes a lot of time from me since I need to travel basically around the world. But my plan is bringing my sax with me and practice anywhere. I have a tenor and alto sax (Yamaha YTS62 and YAS62).

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Neal December 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Bienvenidos!

We’ll get you learning some songs without sheet music very shortly. Glad the tech. issues are sorted out.

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KT January 15, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Manuel,

Berkelee has some great success stories. Keep at it!

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Manuel Gonzalez January 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Thanks KT. I have a lot of information and will be my pleasure to share it with you and everybody here. Obviously, with Neal’s permission.

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KT March 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Manuel,
Neal is a great help…in all areas! I practice my YAS62II 1 to 2 hrs a day. Still, without Neal’s patience I would still be teaching myself. When I hit a wall, Neal tells me what to practice/work on to get over those walls.

Are you taking classes AT Berklee or online? A while back, I was going to get their cert in songwriting. Met Pat Pattison at a few conferences. It is very expensive! Decided to keep writing, but learn both sax and piano….so, I am trudging along with Neal’s patience and guidance.

I am hoping for snow tonight while I am back home in New England.

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Alan December 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I am Alan. I have learned playing alto sax by myself for six month. I learn to play sax because I love it’s sound. My goal is trying to be able to play with the local band

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Neal December 31, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Welcome Alan, what kind of music does that band play?

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fergus January 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

Hi Everybody my name is Fergus (Ireland) have been learning for the past 12-15 months on my Tenor, need to structure my practice routine as i keep jumping from one tune to another,
Really looking forward to this journey with Neal.
All the best to everyone on
their sax journey,

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Neal January 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Hey Fergus,
Welcome! Check out the steps I have outlined. Send me a recording of Black Orpheus or Tequila for the song you choose

Thanks

-Neal

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KT March 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Ferguson,
Have been to Doolin? I spent about a day and a half there on a bicycling tour inn to inn. Quite the place for a music lover, beach addict, and cyclist!

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Dan January 29, 2013 at 8:19 am

Hi everybody I’m Dan 54 years old. I played alto sax for around 3 years 25 years ago until one day no less than my teacher took my instrument for repair and never showed up again. I was so frustrated and every time i hear sax music I remember what happened. Time had passed so fast and I think it’s time to move on.

Two months ago I bought a flute just to return to a wind instrument, It was so difficult I gave up after 2 weeks, I rented a clarinet instead since I remember reed instrument is not as difficult as the flute. I was able to play the clarinet easily on the lower register but with much difficulty in the higher register.

Again after 2weeks I have to accept the truth that what I’m looking for is the sound of a tenor saxophone. I returned the clarinet and got a tenor sax instead. When I got the instrument in few minutes I was able to play the all notes from Bb to F# Now I can play few ballads. I’m so glad and excited to wake early every day to practice.

I need somebody to guide me back to play the instrument i always loved. I know it is you Neil. Thank you

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Neal January 31, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Welcome Dan!

Damn, sorry to hear about your sax a while back though.

I played clarinet for a while, took it with me last weekend on a trip actually, but then mostly do tenor. Though I play some alto.

What ballads can you play?

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Barb January 30, 2013 at 5:25 am

Hi! I am Barb from north central PA. I played alto sax in school. I have played very little over the past 35 years.

Now that I am retired, I would like to play in church and for the Town Band. I am looking forward to learning techniques in order to improve all areas of playing.

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Neal January 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Welcome Barb!

Let me know what questions you have.

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Donny Piela January 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi, My name is Donny Piela. I’ve been playing tenor sax on and off for 18 years. My setup is: Selmer Reference 36, Phil Barone custom neck, Phil Barone custom hard rubber 6* mouthpiece and Forestone synthetic reeds. I play in a big band and a jazz combo.

My fav sax players are: Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Paul Desmond, Phil Woods, James Moody, Michael Brecker, James Carter, Joshua Redman, Eric Alexander, Ravi Coltrane, Dexter Gordan, and, of course, Lester Young.

I’ve attended four Jamey Abersold jazz camps and two jazz camps at Webster University in St Louis. I hang out in the St Louis jazz scene and I have become friends with, and follow, many local jazz pros. I’m planning to turn pro within two years and look forward to Neal’s expert instruction taking me to that level.

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Neal January 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Welcome Donny!
Some great musicians in that list.

Sounded pretty good in the first recording I heard. Will definitely have some things to keep you moving forward.

-Neal

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KT March 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Donny,
Think I saw you on you tube playing with a vocalist. That was you, correct?

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Pete L February 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Took up tenor at 65. Go to weekly 1/2 hour lesson. 5 years on progress has slowed considerably as my practice time has slipped badly and lacks discipline. Need to get back on track and hoping Neal’s approach will help.
Biggest problem is that of the elderly learner-retention.

For example I learn a song and if i come back to it after a few weeks I can’t play it without stumbling somewhere. Or a scale i haven’t practiced for a while is gone!

So here goes on this new journey – wish me luck!

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Neal February 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Welcome Pete!
How much are you practicing these days?

Learner-retention….. that affects all of us I think. Sometimes you need to spend a bit longer on something to really get it. You might need to play a single measure 15 times.

For scales, do you know the 12 major scales (and what else)? I would get the 12 major scales in a very solid way early on. That will establish a harmonic foundation.

-Neal

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Pete L February 5, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Hi neal
I spent an hour yesterday trying to record my piece for you. The results were not good so i abandoned this and got on to the lindeman excercise. This is goingb to be very useful and showed me how” wild” my fingers are at present!

Am going to try to record a track in my iphone tomorrow.

Scales. I have about four major scales that i can play by sight reading and a couple that i can play by ear. Some pentatonics and four blues scales by ear.

But do keep getting lost in them.

Am trying to play a minimum of 30 mins a day since enrolling.

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Rachel W March 7, 2013 at 9:31 am

Hi everyone,
I am coming off a nine year hiatus from playing sax. Picked it up again last November and forgot HOW MUCH I LOVE PLAYING!

I started playing when I was in Grade 6 and played throughout my high school career along with band and honor band. We had an amazing ensemble and played yearly at festivals. I miss that! LOL
I then went on to University to study science but auditioned to play with the Music Programs chamber ensemble for two years. After that, I put the instrument away for 9 years until recently….I am playing now with the city band and LOVING IT!!

However, I am looking to improve my sound and abilities as I would like to be playing more and with a higher level.

My goal is to play the piece Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud. I almost have the second movement down (but doesnt sound pretty! LOL)
Working on third now! It is a beautiful sax piece!

I look forward to conversing with fellow sax players and learning some new things!

Thanks and Have a great day!

Rach

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Neal March 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Welcome Rachel,
Glad you picked it up again and are having fun with the city band.

What sort of science did you study?

I’ll check out your recording of Scaramouche.

Thanks

-Neal

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Rachel W March 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I have a Natural Science Biology undergrad and Bachelor of Education (Specializing in Aboriginal Education). So…..I am an Aboriginal Science Teacher!! LOL

🙂

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Jason W (Jay) March 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Hi,

My name is Jason W, or Jay, from Victoria Australia.

I have been playing the alto for around a year, but am not getting everything i can out of it.

I love Blues and Jazz (more jazz), and really enjoy sitting with a glass of single malt scotch and listening to Charlie the bird Parker… What a tragic end.

With a little luck and some great lessons i am sure i will be flying high with all of you soon.

Cheers,
Jay

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Neal March 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Welcome Jay!
Building a foundation on technique will allow you to play how you want to really play. Technique can hold us back a lot of times. Let me know what questions you have.

Thanks

-Neal

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Shane G March 10, 2013 at 1:13 am

Hi my name is Shane i live in Victoria Australia this is my last bucket wish in which i have time to study and play the saxophone being learning it and loving it for 7 months now looking forward to the hurdles ,frustration,in the journey we are about to go on with you neal cheers.

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Neal March 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Hello Shane,
Welcome! Hopefully not too much frustration, there will be some work. You’ll get to know about Lindeman.
-Neal

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Charles B April 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

I have been trying to play for the past 6 years. My time has been limited for practice so I have not progressed as I would like to have done. I am 67 years old and play alto. I played in high school and the first year of college in the ROTC band. Improving quality of play, playing by ear (I must be tone deaf), and improvising is where I want to go.

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Neal April 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Hey Charles,
Welcome! How many days of the week do you practice?

You’re almost definitely not tone deaf if you play music, it just takes practice.

-Neal

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Charles B April 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I practice from 1 to 3 days per week for 25-30 minutes

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Neal April 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Do you think you could shift towards practicing 15 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week? Or would that be difficult?

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Gil April 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm

KT, Im also having a problem with challenge 3, with just one note, I started out with 4 quarter notes then 2nd measure 2 half notes and 2 quarter notes, and then I hit a brick wall, I see what your saying Neal about articulation, phrasing, and the other things you put down, but Im struggling and Im sure this is simple???

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Neal April 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Hey Gil,
Sounds like you’re being very cerebral about this one. I would recommend a different approach.

Either play along with a recording, or imagine a rhythm section in the background.

-Neal

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Gil April 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm

OK, will try, thanks.

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James Farrelly April 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Hello, I am returning to saxophone after a 25 year gap in playing. Just purchased a second hand Tenor Sax. Slowly re-learning a few things, but definitely have a very long way to go. Looking forward to getting some structure into practice.

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Neal April 30, 2013 at 1:43 am

Hey James,
Welcome! Check out the steps I have laid out, let me know what questions you have.

-Neal

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Terry S. May 12, 2013 at 9:13 am

Hi
My name is Terry, I am completely new to the Sax.
Learning to play Sax has been a bucket list item of mine and since I am now 52′ it is time I started.
I have a new Alto Sax , which I have been fumbling around in the dark with for about 2 months. I am interested in learning to read and play the Sax and your website has been the most intriguing. As I am unable to commit to regularly scheduled lessons due to my travel, the best alternative appears to be Saxaphone Tribe.
I like all kinds of music, but find myself leaning towards Jazz.

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Neal May 12, 2013 at 10:40 am

Welcome Terry!
Glad you started to play, I think you’ll have fun with it.

What have you been playing in the first two months?

And who are some of your favorite jazz saxophonists?

-Neal

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Terry S. May 13, 2013 at 2:28 am

Hi Neal
Well I have been trying to play Ain’t No Sunshine.
I would like to learn to play set fire to the rain by Adele.
As far as Jazz sax players I like, I would have to say, John Coltrane, Gover Washington and of course Chalie Parker.
Terry

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Russell Moreira June 3, 2013 at 6:09 am

Hi I’m Russell, just like many of you out there, we have an interest in playing the saxophone. Be it a soprano, alto, tenor, or baritone. We want to play music. I have an alto and a tenor. Most of my family members are musically gifted. I would very much enjoy playing the saxophone with other family members and friends.
I first listened to soloist from youtube. One particular musician who caught my attention was Brian Landau. Very talented. Then I heard Vincent Ingala. He plays awesome jazz. I’m finding more artist as I move along in my long time passionate direction. I love to hear form others on which artist has inspired you to play the saxophone. I’ll start building up my collection sax plays. Have a great day to all!

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Neal June 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

Welcome Russell!

How would you define ‘talent’?

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Russell June 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm

An “action” (playing the saxophone) that is acceptable or appreciated by most people you know or who finds you enjoyable to be around and heard.

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Neal June 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

You can get there too, just takes some work and patience. I’ll check out Vincent Ingala, not familiar with him. I have spoken with Brian before though.

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Brooks Butler June 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Greetings,
I started lessons on the alto in 1949 as did another senior here older than me. It has been 56 years since I played. I bought used horns this month (some folks are impressed with their $300 Chinese horns). I can still read notes and brushed up on fingerings. My goals are modest as I only intend to play for myself. One of my concerns is that I have been a talk radio guy, mostly listening to Rush, Hannity and Levin. I don’t have music rolling around in my head like some claim. I am not at all sure that I can improvise or play by ear. We will give it a shot.

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Neal June 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Welcome Brooks,
Thanks for introducing yourself.

Follow the other steps I have outlined.

You can definitely play by ear and improvise if you would like to.

-Neal

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Casey July 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hey Neal,
I taught myself how to play alto saxophone at high school because the flute wasn’t loud enough 🙂
I got given a tenor saxophone for Christmas and am now practicing some licks and solos for a couple of covers bands to play in pubs (on alto first).
I’ve had lessons for flute but never for sax so I’m really keen to become confident enough to play strongly alongside the professionals.
Looking forward to the lessons!
Casey

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Neal July 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Welcome Casey!
You’ll find there are many similarities between the fingering systems for sax and flute. A few small differences. One being you don’t keep your right pinky down most of the time, only for a few notes. I play just a little flute, did more clarinet early – continued to play clarinet for some years as I also played saxophone.

Check out the steps and I’ll give you some feedback and ideas for things to work on.

Thanks

-Neal

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Larry July 8, 2013 at 8:41 am

Hi Played Clarinet when I was 10. Parents refused to buy me a Sax until I learned Clarinet. Quit Clarinet lessons but still own Clarinet…Bought a Sax in April. Caught on rather fast but my teacher is a guitar player!!! He has no patience… He’s frustrated. I’m at an impasse. I practice daily, getting better, have good sound, can read music, know all the notes and keys but I get bored practicing the same 12 major scales.Please help

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Neal July 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

Welcome Larry!
Learning a clarinet first can be a good idea. The band director at school had me do the same thing. Then I started saxophone later that first year.

Interesting that you’re learning from a guitar player.

What kind of music are you playing? And are you learning some music by ear as well?

Thanks

-Neal

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Larry July 9, 2013 at 9:52 am

I have books and practice scales. Typically I pick out a scale and practice it using sheet music. Once I get started (using music) I can play by ear. I like all kinds of music. Thus far I get pointers here and there. I don’t like my teacher; too impatient. I’m done with him. Decided I like it better on my own and with your help.

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Renuka July 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hello, my name is Renuka. I live in New York City.
I love to listen to saxophone instrumental music.
I have an alto sax and been playing just earlier this year.
I know nothing about reading music but I am passionate about the sax and I am willing to learn.

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Neal July 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Welcome Renuka!
Check out the steps, which include sending me a recording.

What sorts of things are you playing?

Thanks

-Neal

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Ernie Burton September 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Hi My name is Ernie Burton
Just started playing sax 9 mth ago, played clarinet years ago and can read music fairly well, have learned a few songs by ear, trying to get better to the point that I can play with other small Jazz and Blues bands.

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Hiram N. November 5, 2013 at 7:48 am

Hello to all, I have been playing the Alto for over 10 years on and off.
I was not able to afford the high cost of lessons and trained my self to study songs. I can play a few songs but realized that I missed the basics and that’s why I’m here. Looking forward to learning and enjoying this site.

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Neal November 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Welcome Hiram!

Will check out the recordings you sent me.

-Neal

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Henry November 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi Sax Tribe
My name is Henry, at present I’m living in Bristol, England. I have been learning to play my Tenor Saxophone now for about 16 mths.
I had been taking lessons but found them a little pricey, at £27 per hour so for 10 lesson becomes £270, I am 62 next birthday and work full time with a very demanding job which takes up a lot of energy and time.
My first Saxophone that I bought was a Trevor James Classic which I was told was a good Sax to start off with, it is quite easy to play, but last Summer I ventured into London and went to The Sax Shop in Soho, and saw them unwrapping the new Trevor James Custom Signature Raw sx, that sounds amazing but also quite a lot more expensive so I am enjoying playing both at the moment (but not at the same time), also obtained an Otto Link 6* mouth piece which sound really sick.
My father who lives in Australia still plays regularly his Double Bass, he is 86 and I have never played music together with him, so my intention is to learn a few Jazz Standards so that I can say I have Jammed with my dad when I return for a 6 weeks holiday in March 2014. The music I heard when I was growing up was a lot of Jazz, Blues, BeBop and those wonderful Ballads so the music is in my head I just want to be able to play some of them.
My playing has improved somewhat my neighbours have now started to open their windows and the Dogs have stopped Howling so I guess it must be improving.
My wife passed away 3 years ago and so I decided I needed to do something for me, I had wanted to do for a long time, it was either a Motorbike or learn to play Tenor Sax, well enough to play with other folk.
I look forward to your lessons and wanting to start ASAP
Thank You
Henry

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Neal November 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Welcome Henry,
Interesting story you’ve got!

Check out the next steps, including the Lindeman and sending me a recording. I’ll listen.

Thanks

-Neal

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Michele Pippen December 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Yeah Henry! Welcome to the Tribe.
Really look forward to your report after your visit to Australia with your dad next March. I’m Australian. I live in SE Asia. Play alto – or attempt it anyway. Don’t have a quality instrument – it’s ok – I manage. Welcome again!
Cheers, Michele

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Henry January 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Giday Michele
I was just wondering when i do go back home to Aus for a holiday, I was just wondering whats it like playing in hot humid conditions with reeds an stuff.
Here in UK the saxophone is always cold , damp and it takes a lot of huffs to get going and warmed up must be much worse in a lot colder climates, dont know how you guys in East Coast US are copeing with the cold I bet the Reed freeze up ha.
Henry

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Donny Piela December 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hi Neal, I’ve been playing the tenor sax since 2000, the year I retired. I played clarinet for six years and tenor sax for one year when I was young.

I’ve played in Big Swing Bands and Jazz combos both in CA and MO. I enjoy playing and soloing. I’ve attended four Jamie Aerbosold Jazz Camps in Louisville, KY and two Webster University Jazz Camps here in MO. I’ve taken jazz theory classes directly with Jerry Coker, Dan Haerle and David Baker. I’ve participated in numerous Master Classes with top professionals including Eric Alexander, Bob Mintzer, James Carter and James Moody. I’ve studied with Kent Cohea (Joe Henderson protege) and Greg Fishman.

I play a Selmer Paris Reference 36 horn with a 7* Ambika Theo Wanne metal mouthpiece. I also use a custom Phil Barone 6* hard rubber mouthpiece when the mood strikes me.

I subscribe to the Joe Allard method of embouchure development and Dave Liebman method of tone production. I have a good knowledge of jazz theory but my issue has been not applying myself and spending the time practicing my horn to achieve a level of playing ability commensurate with my knowledge of theory.

Recently, I’ve decided two things: Beginning in Jan 2014, I will make daily practicing a high priority in my life and, I will follow Neal’s instruction religiously. I really like Neal’s approach to saxophone instruction and I feel great things can be accomplished by learning from him.

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Neal December 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hey Donny,
Thanks for the back story.

The Jamey Abersold camp sounds like fun. If you’re interested in another class, you might check out the music and nature camp with Victor Wooten in Nashville.

Thanks for what you said about my methods, working on things like the Lindeman should really change how you play for the better. It definitely helped me a lot.

-Neal

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Claudio March 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I used to study sax when I was young. Now after 20 years without sax, I bought one again and I am very excited about that. I am from Argentina, and I am 48 years old.

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Neal March 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Welcome Claudio!
How’s it going with ‘Cry Me a River’?

There’s a piece of that melody that’s cool to put into solos as well.

-Neal

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Guy B April 6, 2014 at 10:32 am

Hi

My name is Guy, Ilive and work in Nottingham England
Am aged 56, never played any instrument, save arecorder @ junior school, until just under 3 years ago when I purchased an alto from a pawnbrokers, it wasn’t much better than me….
Now onto my 3rd alto and have learnt on alto. Bought a Tenor late last year and now trying to play both.

Love playing jazz r&b, usually over backing tracks. Very much want to kick on and become comfortable @ improvising. Am trying to move away from just relying on sheet music but playing by ear is hard,

Looking forward to improving with practice and age

Guy

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Neal April 24, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Hey Guy,
Welcome to Saxophone Tribe!

You’re making progress with the saxophone, keep it up.

How have you approached learning music by ear?

-Neal

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Michael SHORTLAND April 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Hello fellow Saxtribers. I have taken early retirement and now live part of the year in Thailand and part of the year in France. I tool up the alto a little over two years ago, and have most taught myself.

In France I have come across a wonderful player and teacher and so make as much use of him as possible. My dream is to be able to improvise to jazz tunes I like and to get a rich, melodic sound. Getz, Pepper, Webster, Desmond are those whose sounds I love.

I am also a great fan of fusion jazz, e.g. Henri Texier.

As a self-taught player, I have a bagful of questions and imagine that I have probably acquired many bad playing habits. I hope that Neal (and perhaps Saxtribers) will help. Thanks all, Mike

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Neal April 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Hey Mike,
Welcome to Saxophone Tribe!

Sounds like you live in some cool places. Let me know what questions you have.

-Neal

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Ron W. June 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Hello Saxophone tribe, I started playing alto sax as a hobby about 5 years ago. I have a dream to be proficient enough to play jazz in a small ensemble or community band. I’ve had a few career challenges the past 6 months so the sax has taken a back seat.

I hope to get back into a practice routine with the help of this group. One of my biggest challenges is to overcome my fear of playing in public.

I also tend to be too hard on myself because I want to be a better player. I’m glad to be connected with others who have a passion for learning and playing music.

I live and work in San Diego.

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Neal June 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Welcome Ron!

Check out the next steps that are outlined.

I think you’ll be able to play in a band like you’ve described before too long if you put in some practice.

-Neal

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Wagner Rodrigues August 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Hi guys. My name is Wagner and I’m brazillian. I love music and play saxophone. I’m here for learn more and be a good saxophone player. Excuse my english, because I’m studying. I hope learn more about the saxophone.

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Neal August 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Welcome Wagner!
Send me a recording and I’ll check it out. Go to this page next, https://saxophonetribe.com/how-to-use-saxophone-tribe/

-Neal

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Rich F September 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Hi Tribe,
I’m Richard, I currently live/work in the United Arab Emirates, originally from England.

I bought my first sax almost 2 years ago and started trying to learn to play, using tutorial books, as there isn’t any tutors locally. I was getting on fine then sort of lost interest for around 8 months, as it seemed to be getting nowhere fast and then regained My enthusiasm, and started playing/ practicing again.

All was going well until I managed to get a horrible squeeking, when playing,(which made your ears bleed!!) and couldn’t find the problem, tried everything to resolve the issue, nothing worked. Eventually I found a tech who resolved the issue. That was about 6weeks ago, since then I have been playing and practicing pretty much daily.

I hope joining Neal and the tribe will help me improve as a player and introduce me to new music styles.
I like Ballads and pop, but haven’t really heard that much Jazz or Blues.

Cheers
Rich

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Neal September 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Welcome Rich!
Good you got the horn issue fixed, I know those can be no fun.

What are some songs you like?

-Neal

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Rich F September 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

My music tastes are very varied, from classical to rock.
I am currently trying to play Tears in Heaven- Eric Clapton, Crazy – Patsy Cline and learning scales, too

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Neal September 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

How are those songs going?

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Rich F September 30, 2014 at 7:03 am

I’m getting there, slowly.
Which recording app would you recommend ?
I have recorded a tune but can’t get it off the iPod!

Cheers
Rich F

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Neal September 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Hey Rich,
Which app did you use? Voice memos? And can you email through your iPod?

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Rich F September 30, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hi Neal,

I used Sax Tracks, and I can email off the Ipod, I just cant capture/copy the file

Larry Mapow September 29, 2014 at 8:10 am

Greetings,
I live in New Jersey (USA) and I have just picked up the saxophone again after many years… I feel like I am starting from scratch… I have both an alto and tenor and plan to focus on the alto first.. For the past twenty years or so I have been playing mandolin and some guitar…

I am 64 years old… I want to play for my own enjoyment and for friends and family… My musical tastes are varied from classical to bluegrass to blues and jazz…

Looking forward to getting good help and guidance.. thanks

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Neal September 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Welcome Larry!
Sounds like you have played music for most of your life.

Looking forward to working with you.

-Neal

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Vincent Gaglio October 29, 2014 at 5:26 am

I am Very New to this site as well as to the Alto Saxophone. No musical background at all. I am older in life in my early 50’s. I want to play well and quickly. I would love to play in my Church band and for friends and family. Vinny

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Neal October 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Welcome Vinny!
Making it easy for yourself to practice everyday will help. Having reeds, music, horn, etc in an easy to access place.
-Neal

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Vincent Gaglio October 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Thank you. Vinny

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Vincent Gaglio October 30, 2014 at 12:52 am

I know I introduced myself yesterday, but I know that this is going to so help my playing. I will look to send a song this weekend. Thank you vinny

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Neal November 2, 2014 at 11:11 am

The process of recording going all right?

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matthew December 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

hi my name is matthew i am just learning saxophone but i am having lessons but not making a lot of progress not getting enough detail of where i am going wrong and need detailed criqtue

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Neal December 26, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Welcome Matthew!
Go ahead an follow the steps and I’ll listen to your recordings and get you some feedback.

Thanks

-Neal

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Vincent Gaglio May 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm

I have been playing for 9 months older in life at age 53, always loved the saxophone and love all types of music, never played any instrument, however, It is time to take my playing to a new level. Vinny

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Rosemary Matos-Idiarte August 14, 2015 at 11:37 am

Hi Vincent

I am 52 and I hope that I get to play solo in a Jamming session too. Wishing you the best. Keep in touch. Im moving up from Beginner playing.
Much Respect
Rosemary

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David Isaacs June 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Hi,
I’m a 63 years old male. I’ve been playing tenor sax for 13 months without much improvement. I’m looking forward to the structured approach to learning and the accountability to bring me to the place where I can sit in on some jam sessions and solo. My musical tasts are well rounded as I like jazz, rockand roll, blues, etc.
Dave

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Neal June 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Welcome Dave!
Let me know what questions you have. Will check out your recordings when you get them to me. Thanks
-Neal

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Rodney Hamler July 14, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Hello Neal
I started playing Saxophone in 1979. I was in the 7th grade. My saxophone was old, and about worn out, but at the time that was all that my family could afford. I said when i got older i was going to buy me a new one.

I played off and on, but I never learned all of the scales. I want to learn how to play jazz, Blues, and R&B music. I want to become a killer saxophone player.

I want to advance more at reading music as well. I can read some, but really want to learn by ear. I am looking foward to the lessons,and thank you for allowing me to become apart of the Saxophone tribe.

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Neal July 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Welcome Rodney!
Cool, I started playing when I was in 6th grade. Played on the school’s saxophones for a couple of years.

These days I actually play an old Buescher sax. The older horns can get a great tone sometimes.

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Rodney Hamler August 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Hi Neal, Hi tribe, i am a new member of the tribe. I live in GA. I listen to rock, blues, Jazz, and country. I am working on st. James infirmary. I am learning the scales, and i need to get improvising under my fingers. My goal is to learn how to play by ear.

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Rosemary Matos-Idiarte August 14, 2015 at 11:31 am

Hello Everyone

Nice to be a member this Tribe. I am from Florida. Looking forward to have a great time learning the skills needed to play my Sax the right way. My preferences are Jazz and Latin Style of music but I am also open to all others. I recently been DX with a Terminal Illness and playing my Sax takes me on a Journey. Proud to be part of this tribe and sharing what I will learn wish me the best and keep in touch.

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Rosemary Matos-Idiarte August 19, 2015 at 11:25 am

Hi Rodney

I see that you and I are new to the Tribe. Looking to see your posts and progress wishing you the best

Rosemary

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Philip M September 18, 2015 at 1:12 am

Hi – I have been playing saxophone for about ten years, but with a heavy travel schedule have not been consistent in my practice, and primarily have played by note reading. I have alto and tenor saxes, but given my travels just bought a 1920 Beuscher soprano sax so that I can try to play daily, even on the road. I like ballads and jazz, and want to be fluent in my playing, and to do so by ear with a bit of a repertoire of songs …

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Neal September 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Welcome Phillip,
You’re coming along with Nature Boy. A single note can change the feeling of a song though.

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Calvin. C November 4, 2016 at 11:42 am

Hey all my name is Calvin. I have been playing the alto sax for a bout 5 years started late in life on learning music I love gospel and jazz music. Come from a very musical family my brother plays the trombone and my sister and little brother play the drums.

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Neal November 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Welcome Calvin, that’s cool that you have some other musicians in your family! Made me think of the Wootens.

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Larry V November 8, 2016 at 6:41 pm

Hello, I started playing tenor sax 6-7 years ago in my late 50’s. Took lessons for a year and then practiced steadily on my own since then. I joined a swing band about 6 months ago, my first experience playing with other musicians. I definitely jumped into the deep end of the pool. Lots of new music to learn, much of it unfamiliar to me and mostly harmony instead of melody. I’ve been putting in a lot more practice time since joining the band and have been a bit frustrated with my slow rate of learning.

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Neal November 8, 2016 at 6:59 pm

Welcome Larry!
Are you playing the Tenor 2 book with the swing band? I have played in a few groups like that.

What things are you having trouble with specifically? Which songs?

Thanks

-Neal

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Y. Rideaux November 9, 2016 at 10:47 pm

Hello, Neal and Saxophone Tribe

I have been playing alto saxophone for several years, but I still struggle with time andn theory; because I started playing late in age. Working and trying to learn saxophone is not an easy task;however, if I did not give up so I can read basic notations, sound is ok, timing loss, imrovising can use more direction. I would like to play for various public events and private parties.

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Neal November 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Welcome Yvonne!
What are some songs you are learning?

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Y. Rideaux November 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Hi, Neal sorry for the late respsonse. I’m Learning my way around and taken in with all of your information on your website and I must say it’s very informative. However, I’m not learning any songs now. I’m just trying to get a grip on playing skills and I would love to learn a song or two.

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Neal November 13, 2016 at 8:04 pm

Pick a song from the Maiden Voyage book, Summertime could be fine. Getting comfortable with the process of learning songs will help you learn them moving forward. And it’s good to start with songs that are not too complicated.

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Wilkens E December 3, 2016 at 8:33 am

Hello, I am Wilkens, originally from Port-Au-Prince Haiti, but currently reside in Georgia. I’ve been playing alto sax for about fifteen years on and off, but been taking it serious a few years ago.

I’ve played classical when I was in high school, and was introduce to jazz later on. I listen to all types of music. Although I like traditional jazz, but I am more into smooth jazz, Latin, and Gospel. One of the things that I want to improve on is my saxophone language, what most people would refer to as licks.

I currently play in a band at church, and trying to get a 5-6 piece band together for private events. You know it’s serious when a man is willing to spend money on something. So, I truly hope this group will help me achieving my goal.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to hit me up.

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Neal December 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Welcome Wilkens!
Looking forward to hearing you play and working on some things with you.

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Arron Humber January 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Hi Ladies and Gents my name is Arron. I Live in the Midlands in the UK. I have just brought a tenor saxophone, Have never picked one up until two weeks ago, I have always wanted to learn the saxophone but never seemed to get around to it until now, love smooth jazz its the main reason i want to learn also to use it as an escape from a hectic life.
don’t have any plans to join a band just solely for my escape.

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Neal January 17, 2017 at 11:56 pm

Hello Arron,
And welcome!

What saxophone players do you listen to in smooth jazz? And what are some songs you want to play?

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Jean Ely January 31, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Hi, I don’t have a permanent home since I’m in the services. For now, I’m in Georgia.

I always love the sax and finally last month I made the decision to really learn to play the tenor. I have the full support of my wife. I have been practicing from a book for beginner.

I tried to find a sax teacher in my area to no avail and stumbled to Neal over the internet. I am very excited and enthusiastic to start the lessons.

My goal right now is to learn to play the horn and eventually move on to smooth jazz.

Thanks for allowing me to be part of such a fantastic group of sax enthusiasts. Please help me achieve my life long goal. God Bless You All,

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Neal January 31, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Welcome Jean,
What are some smooth jazz songs you would like to play?

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trevor rowlatt July 28, 2017 at 8:51 am

Hi I have just started to learn to paly a Alto sax, i have been playing for about 6 months. I have always want to learn to play the sax and have got round to it a the age of 54 as i never seened to be able to find the time before better late than never. I would like to be able to play blues and soul, just for my own pleasure for now, but who knows where it may lead.

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Neal July 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

Welcome Trevor!

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Gary White August 22, 2017 at 11:03 am

Hi Folks,
I have been playing my soprano sax for about 8 months. I had a motorcycle accident in May 2017 which derailed my instruction for about 3 months although I did practice daily for short periods of time.
I really enjoy the instrument and am into smooth jazz. My favorite artist is Kenny G but I also like Coltrane and Grover Washington.
My interests in joining the group is to perfect my technique, embrochure, tone and theory knowledge.
My personal information is as follows: 67 years old, married, one son and 3 granddaughters. I am retired.
I know this will be a great experience under Neal’s tutelage.
Best Regards,
Gary

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Neal August 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Welcome Gary,
What songs do you like from Coltrane and Grover Washington?

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Gary White August 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Hey Neal,

I like Georgia on My Mind and Ain’t No Sunshine by Washington, Jr. I like Coltrane’s It’s Easy to Remember and Too Young to go Steady.

Gary

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Davor M. October 31, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Hello to all,

My name is Davor, I am from Croatia but atm I am living and working in Qatar.
For the last two months I am trying to play Tenor, it is a bit hard cause I don’t have any background in music and I am 3o but that is the beauty in it.

Cheers to all.

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Neal October 31, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Welcome Davor!
What have you been playing lately?

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Davor M. November 3, 2017 at 5:36 am

I was trying to play, “Godfather’s theme” and “Ain’t no sunshine”.

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Trish M January 22, 2018 at 4:34 am

Hello all

My name is Trish, I’m from Ireland and I played the Alto for about 3 years. This was about 20 years ago as a second instrument when doing a music degree. I also bought a Soprano because I fell in love with the sound. But due to really chronic lack of confidence I left all my music playing behind and sold the Alto.

I now want to make up for lost time, and a few months ago I took out my Soprano and fell back in love with it. It’s a curved Soprano. I have been playing along with CDs, everything from rock to jazz and Irish folk music, but I need some structure to improve.

I love Paul Desmond, Jan Garbarek, Grover Washington Jr, Pat Coil and many others!

Looking forward to this journey!

Trish

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Neal January 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Welcome Trish!
I think as you develop more skill, it should help you become more confident. That’s good you’re playing along with recordings. Would like to know about some folk songs you’re playing.

Will be able to help you with technique, especially using the Lindeman Method.

-Neal

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Larry Webb February 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Hello, Folks,
I am a 70 year old retired engineer in Texas that got an alto sax for Christmas. I have been practising for about a month.
My music experience is limited to playing cornet back in the 6th grade. But, I still can read music pretty well.
Mainly I have worked on improving my tone, since I want to play slow ballads, movie themes, etc from the 50s and 60s. I really like the Kenny G sound when he plays the alto. My practice has been without much structure up to now. Hoping Neal will provide that.
Eventually, I would like to play with a few other old farts in coffee shops.

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Neal February 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Welcome Larry!,
I haven’t heard Kenny G play alto much, can look for that. Should be able to help you and give you some guidance. Let me know some of the other songs you would like to play.
-Neal

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Borja Lamadrid February 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Hello !!
I’m from Barcelona (Spain), now 46 years old and working in my own textile fabrics company. I used to play alto sax for a few years, then I stopped and now that my 4 kids are getting young I have some time to play again. My level is poor and and always was unsatisfied with the quality of the sound. Anyway my passion for the jazz has pushed me again and here I am.
I like Chet Baker (trumpet), Lee Konitz, Art Pepper and of course Coltrane, C. Adderley, C. Parker and a long etc.. And I love classic standards.

Nice meeting you all.

Cheers

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Neal February 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Bienvenidos!
What are some songs you are playing lately? You mentioned Pink Panther. Some others as well?

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Anouk Radix July 19, 2018 at 10:10 am

Hi everyone, My name is Anouk Radix and I am from the Netherlands. I have been blind since birth but playing music by ear in my youth (piano and saxophone for a few years although i was not all tha tmotivated then). Now in my early thirties I decided to take up the saxophone again. I have had lessons for a year now (half an hour every two weeks). It was a struggle in the beginning but I think i found the right way now. Besides these lessons I also wanted to learn more so decided to do some stuff online as well to improve quicker and try to push mysel fmore. From the first I really loved the souns of my saxophone the selmer sa80 mk ii and now with a new mouthpiece (selmer concept) vandoren v21 reeds strenght 2.5 and a vandoren harnass I am really excited that this is the sound that i want.
The combination is easy to play but i have to give it a fair bit of air support because otherwise there will be air hiss and really soft notes (doing the excersise from foundations) sounds really hissy. I am a bi troubled by that because the sound is really what i want otherwise. So I hope there is something that I can dow ith my playing to get rid of this.
Greetings, Anouk,

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Neal July 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Welcome Anouk,
I think as you develop your lip you will have more control. Some mouthpiece/reed combinations are just difficult to play very softly though. It’s possible that you should try a softer reed if you really want to play softer.

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Shereen S. November 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Hello everyone. My name is Shereen and I am from Virginia and currently living in Dallas. My desire is to play the saxophone whether it’s with a band or solo. I have always loved this instrument so 2 yrs ago I decided to purchase my own and take lessons. The lessons, which are once weekly, have been going slow but I have made progress in time. I work full time so some days I don’t have the energy to attend my class, therefore I have to practice alone at home. I am looking forward to improving what I’ve learned, and also feel confident enough to play in the presence of a live audience. As of now, I have told fingers so learning how to play with my fingers on/close to the keys is going to be challenging but im looking forward to learning EVERYTHING!

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Neal November 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Welcome Shereen!
Being aware of your fingers and developing control can really change your playing.

Check out what’s posted here and send me a recording when you can and I’ll listen.

-Neal

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Neal September 30, 2014 at 9:43 pm

If you can record and email from that app, try that. Otherwise, maybe use a different app.

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