Learn saxophone with Sax School

David started to learn saxophone over 25 years ago. “I’ve made as much progress in the last 2 years, with Sax School, as I did in the previous 22 years!” he says. We loved David’s playing of “In a Sentimental Mood” for our May Practice Challenge – so we made him our Student of the Week!

I’ve made as much progress in the last 2 years, with Sax School, as I did in the previous 22 years!

Saxophone Journey

Like many players, David has dipped in and out since he first picked up the sax. “I had a break of about 8 years when I didn’t play at all,” he explains. “I’ve had loads of different teachers too – some really great pro musicians – but somehow it didn’t work for me. I wanted to learn saxophone, but the lessons were expensive, and I wasn’t making progress.”

David played in couple of bands in his local area, but lost his confidence after experiencing every sax player’s nightmare. “We were mid-gig, and the rest of the band started a song in the wrong key!” he remembers. “I desperately tried to work out what key it was before my section of the song came around, but I didn’t manage it. The others didn’t seem to think it was a big deal but it really knocked me.”

Finding Sax School

Since joining Sax School 2 years ago, David has found a new energy in his playing. “Sax School has given me a new lease of life with my sax,” he says. “Nigel’s approach is so personable and supportive and he breaks it down so everyone can understand it. I’ve recommended Sax School to loads of people who want to learn saxophone!”

David particularly enjoys the variety of lessons in Sax School. “It’s really important to be able to choose songs that are achievable and that stretch you.” With enjoyment comes motivation too – “I practice for at least an hour every day. I love it and I really have to tear myself away. Sometimes I only stop when my embouchure gives out!”

Sax School has given me a new lease of life with my sax.

Saxophone Sound

It can often be the little things that make all the difference to your saxophone sound. “Nigel explains how to do play all those embellishments – like vibrato, bends, and growls – that make you sound great!” says David. “Nigel’s advice to record yourself was another breakthrough for me – it helped me to see what I needed to do to get the sound I wanted.”

When he came to learn “In a Sentimental Mood,” David went to unusual lengths to learn the solo section. “I wanted to play it the same way as Nigel, but I really struggled to transcribe it,” he says. “I got halfway through, then I lost patience – I just wanted to play it. So I sent what I had done so far, and the recording, to a guy in Russia on Fiverr, and he transcribed it for me! “

Gear

David admits to being a bit of a gear addict early in his sax journey. “I had a soprano, alto and tenor, “he explains, “but I found it distracting, swapping between them. So I sold the soprano and the alto to focus on the tenor.” He’s now settled on a set-up that works for him. “I play a Selmer Super Action 80 Series ii black tenor, with a Theo Wanne Gaia mouthpiece and Legere synthetic reed,” he explains. “I chose the mouthpiece and reeds from Nigel’s reviews of them, and they work for me.”

Learning Goals

David has a couple of clear goals for his saxophone learning. “I want to become really proficient with playing in different keys so I need to learn my scales. I’m also building up a play-list of songs which I’ve learned from Sax School. I might even play a gig with them, using a backing track.”

We love seeing David enjoying the saxophone and making such great progress. Congratulations to him on being our Student of the Week!

Want to learn saxophone like David?

Get started with Sax School membership today and see how our Student Pathways, Mini Courses and huge lesson library will help you make massive progress on your sax. Get Started Here

Nigel McGill

After 25 years touring, performing all over the world, I setup Sax School to share what I have learned. Today thousands of players in more than 70 countries use the huge library of online saxophone lessons in Sax School. Find out how it can help you too! www.mcgillmusic.com