Saxophone Tribe Statues

Statues for those in Saxophone Tribe who have accomplished certain things.  The first statue shouldn’t take too long to complete, just requires doing steps 1-5.  Some of you have done part of those steps, but not all of them!

Statue 1 Red (complete steps 1 – 5):
Statue 1 Orange (complete steps 6 – 10):
Statue 1 Yellow (complete steps 8 – 12):
Statue 1 Green (complete steps 13 – 15):

Davor, Trish, Larry








These steps aren’t the only things you should be practicing!  That really wouldn’t be all that fun.  But I would spend something like 10 minutes a day on them, more if possible.

Also play music!

Took photos of a few statues like this, statues you’ve almost undoubtedly never seen before.  They are from South America.

Once you finish the first four steps, you get to move on beyond them.  You also get privileges associated with each statue.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

KT October 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Yeah! I get to have a blast plaing sax and get a statue for that!

I confess, I often play songs/parts of songs not in the steps….I am in it for fun and to learn ’cause getting better will increase the fun!


Neal October 2, 2012 at 7:36 pm

haha, yes Kate, you’ve made a lot of progress and get a statue. It’s just part of what you should be practicing. You want to have fun too. But part of this is work and some things are difficult.


KT September 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Hey Neal,

Still not able to play. Broken elbow messed things up. Hoping for early Oct. That will be about 4 months since I last played. Should I go back a step/statue? I know Lindeman will be where I spend a lot if time first month back.


Neal September 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Hey Kate,
You can work on some previous things, sure. Lindeman is good at any stage really.

Hope you can play again soon!


Gil Ross October 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hi, Neal, just moving into our new place in
Concord, California, still unpacking, will be
able to play my horn in a few days, I am trying
to remember what the 4 steps were??? And if
I completed them all, have a good evening,


Neal October 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hey Gil,
Cool, they’re up in the top left in the navigation “>>Steps”

You did the first four, so I sent you on to the next steps. And you are on the list for the first statue. Will probably make the next statue a little bit harder to get!


Gil Ross October 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Thanks Neal, OK, thanks


Samuel Golden October 9, 2012 at 6:27 am

Hey Neal, Practice on finger to key control, also slowing down on lendmen scale to hear notes clearly.


Kate October 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Does anyone else have a problem with consistency? One day tone and fingering are good. Next day day, the tone is awful. I also find the fingering from c to c# is dreadful. In fact any note to c# is awkward.

Suggestions? I know the repeat and practice suggestion. I am wondering if anyone find practicing the notes in a certain order helps? That kind of approach.


Neal October 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Hey Kate,
Are you talking about with the same reed or different reeds?

And for that matter, what do you do with your reed once you’re done playing?

C# is one of the harder notes to play in a way that sounds good, harder than something like G.

What do you mean when you say the fingering from C to C# is dreadful?


Sam October 28, 2012 at 9:06 am


Done my four steps and thoroughly enjoyed as I felt I had made real progress. The fingering is now part of my warm-up routine.

Whats next?




Neal October 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

Hey Sam,
Just emailed you with the next steps. Good call on adding the Lindeman to your warmup.


KT November 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Neal, answers to questions above:
-same reed
– after playing I put the reed on a shamoi while I dry the sax, the I put the reed in it’s plastic sleeve
-fingering from c to c# is when I am practicing fingering after Lindeman warm ups ….suddenly havin no keys in play seems to either lead to flying fingers or too much pressure on one to maintain correct position of fingers and the sax itself which feels unstable on c#


Neal November 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hey Kate,
Sounds like you’re aware of what’s happening with C to C#, that’s good. C# isn’t one of the easiest notes to play.

About reeds, yes, they change…. that’s how it goes. I keep mine wet all the time (using alcohol (vodka) to disinfect them), but that means they don’t last as long.


KT November 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm


I am developing a tendency to practice slowly, but keep practicing until I play more legato…but sometimes I look at my visual graphic on those songs has little or gaps between graphic sections…a thinner line where I think you would have a space. Is that okay for asing I ave practiced a lot?


Larry December 9, 2012 at 11:50 am

It feels great to have accomplished something on my sax. I’m looking forward to the next lesson to see if I can meet the challenge.


KT January 2, 2013 at 12:24 am

Hey, Happy New Year SaxTribe! I just reached my first year on sax! So much more to learn. Having fun along the way!


Gil Ross January 9, 2013 at 1:18 am

Hi everyone, also Happy New Year to you all
Neal I know I have completed the first steps ,
I’m ready for the next steps, 5 thru 7.


Sandy January 9, 2013 at 7:54 am

Happy new year everyone from Scotland.
Just finished steps 1 to 4 and am now very aware of finger positioning and trying hard to play with minimum finger movement.


Neal January 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Thanks Sandy, to you too.


Manuel Gonzalez January 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Neal: I completed the first four steps and earned my first statue. Definitely, the Lindeman exercise will become part of my daily routine practice. I think this is for ever, since finger movement this way it’s a lot challenging but welcome because means improvements. Thanks for your advices.



Neal January 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Thanks Manuel, definitely will change how you play. The awareness of your fingers will also help with awareness of all the other nuances of the music and actually, your fingers affect everything else.


fergus January 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

This is fantastic really enjoying since i joined and, Neal your response to my e-mails is so fast its like your in the room with me no waiting around for days expecting an e-mail to tell me what to do next, i was a bit skeptical at first as to how this would work out trying to learn through the net, but I’m in for the long haul!! keep up the good work Neal.


Vijai Anand February 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

Hey Neal,

Trying to keep the practise based on the structure you suggested, feels like made better progress.

I think Lindeman helps to warm up a bit and feel the the sound and tone are getting better with long tones.

Still at times the tone go out of control in few transitions. Is this something to do with breathing? not doing the breath in the right place? or something to do with weak embouchure?.

I still struggle with play by ear. For example listening to Misty and tried playing it but not sure where to start etc. Is it something to do with because don’t have any fundamentals of playing scales and intervals?

What is the best way to work out on this?



Neal February 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hey Vijai,
That’s not a bad idea, I usually warm up with Lindeman too.

The tone could have to do with your breathing or your fingers. Sudden movements with the fingers affect the breathing. Also movements of the body can affect tone.

If you want to play something like Misty, just work on it a small piece at a time. It can be good to figure out the key too. One way to do that is play a scale while listening to the recording and see what fits. And remember that the key changes in many jazz tunes with more complicated chord changes.

You can also just try and figure out the first note and go from there. Let me know if you get stuck.

Maybe try posting on the ‘taking action’ area. Might help you figure out how to move forward.


Michele Pippen August 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Yeah! First Statue! xoxo xoxo to you Neal. Thanks I’m heading for the next steps now!


Michele Pippen September 1, 2013 at 3:13 am

St James Infirmary – I may have missed something/reference to it for the alto notation – for Alto, do we have to transcribe the sheet music that’s on pdf from the tenor to Alto?


Neal September 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

No, just play it as written.

The word you’re looking for is ‘transpose’, but don’t do that, play the notes as they are.

You’ll play it in a different key than it would be to play as written for tenor. That’s all right though. If someone was playing an alto and someone was playing a tenor, you wouldn’t both read the same music since it would sound strange, but to hear it in different keys is fine.

Your fingers will move in the same ways for both horns this way.


Michele Pippen September 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Thanks, yep, worked it out to just play as written – yes, I meant ‘transpose’ – oops.


Gil September 24, 2013 at 11:28 am

just want to say to Kate, hoping your feeling better


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