The saxophone is a very popular instrument, because it is so versatile and allows the player to really express themselves. I enjoy teaching students of all levels from complete beginners to advanced. There are so many things to explore in the world of the saxophone, and with my student-centred approach we can tailor your learning to suit your schedule, preferences and ambitions.
Some of my students have very clear goals, such as wanting to joining a band, learn how to read music, get proficient at jazz improvisation or learn their favourite tune. Others might just be curious about playing the saxophone and want to give it a go. Whatever you want to do, I can support you and make it an uplifting and positive experience!
Getting a nice sound One of the most important things is to learn to develop a great sound on the instrument. This makes practising and playing more fun! I will teach you about breathing from the diaphragm to keep a steady flow of air through the instrument. Playing long notes is the only way to develop a warm, rich tone over time. We will do this as a warm up at the beginning of every lesson.
Learning music by ear Lots of people who are attracted to playing the saxophone want to learn how to play their favourite tune, or play a solo they have heard. We can do that! Learning music aurally is an important skill. By using a software app, we can slow down and loop sections of any piece of music you want to learn and so you can quickly start playing it yourself.
Music theory We will look at basic elements of music theory:
- Major scales
- The circle of fifths
- Modes of the major scale
- Diminished scales
- Pentatonic scales
- Functional harmony
- Learning the relationship between chords and scales
Reading This is a great skill to have, and we will spend a portion of the lesson learning to read music you like, be it a classical, folk, rock or jazz piece. We can also learn to read chord symbols for improvisation.
Improvisation This for me is the most enjoyable part of playing saxophone. I love improvising! We will explore:
- Free improvisation
- Soloing on one chord using a scale
- Incorporating patterns and phrases into a solo
- Improvising over chord changes using chord tones, scales and phrases
We ensure quality. If your class doesn't reach your expectations, we'll give your money back.
This is a Flexitime class, which means the teacher can run this class around your schedule.
Time & Location
Select a date and location you want and your teacher will get back to you to confirm their availability.
About your host, Dee Byrne
Dee Byrne is a saxophonist, composer and improviser based in London. Since graduating from Trinity Laban in 2011, she has become an active figure in the UK creative scene and beyond, involved in various original jazz and improvising ensembles including Favourite Animals, Deemer, Word of Moth and Beats & Pieces. Her own quintet ENTROPI released its second album ‘Moment Frozen’ in September 2017 on Whirlwind Recordings to critical acclaim (‘Intense, muscular jazz voyage.’ ★★★★ The Guardian). Moment Frozen is available to purchase on the Whirlwind Recordings Bandcamp page. The album recording was supported by a PRSF Women Make Music grant in 2016. The quintet recently completed a successful ten-date UK tour in Autumn 2017. Highlights included an album launch at the prestigious Kings Place in London and performances at EFG London Jazz Festival (Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho) and Cambridge Jazz Festival. Dee was featured in the ‘Taking Off’ section in the December/January 2018 edition of Jazzwise magazine.
I recommend that you bring your own saxophone to the lesson. If you don't own a saxophone and want to try it out once, I have a spare mouthpiece and reeds so you can play try mine. There are some very good hire purchase deals where you can pay a monthly rental fee for the sax with an option to buy if you like it. I highly recommend this! I will bring all other teaching materials to the lesson. If there is a particular teaching book we decide to work with in the future, you might want to buy that so you have your own copy.
Flexible cancellation policy
Any class can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.