How To Improvise On Saxophone?

If you want to be a successful saxophonist what quality is necessary for you?

Saxophonists become great when they can compose anything in an instant.

So you have a saxophone, and you only can tune what you read or learn. Then you can't be an excellent saxophonist.

imrovision on saxophone

From here you come to understand that for being good at playing you need to an expert at improvisation. But how?

When you have a proper guideline, only then you can be good at something. To develop improvisation, you have to have an accurate guidance.

Then you are exactly in the right place! Why? Because we are here to help you on this.

For your convenience, here we are presenting you a clear guide on how to improvise on saxophone. So, stay with us.

​​Improvis​i​on ​On ​Saxophone​

Here are some steps of improvisation on saxophone. Follow the steps.

# Step 1:

As you have a saxophone, you know the basic of playing it. So now learn major, minor, dominant 7th and also Pentatonic scales and arpeggios.


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There are 12 keys on this instrument. Learn to play all of these in 12 keys.

You need to comfortable with all the keys though at first, it can seem too boring.

Building blocks are very much essential. For that, you can follow the experts.

# Step 2:

In your first step, you have become comfortable using all 12 keys. Now prepare yourself for learning of fitting of the scales and arpeggios into the 12 bars.

Blues are the most general and simple sets; it is essential in the very beginning of improvisation.

Blues can be improvised easily by only using the blue scale, but you also need to create other sounds. The experiment is the better way.

Then start learning jazz. You can buy books or the Aebersold books.

When you are learning a tune, first start playing the scales and also recording, then play arpeggios.

It helps to memorize the changes, and you can compose music.

# Step 3:

From previous two phases you come to know about keys and how to make different sounds, also have chord changes into your memory.

These help to compose on the spot. Improvisation is about to create tune instantly, for beginners it is intimidating.

Get an idea from your favorite players.

On the other hand, you can transcribe a lick and learn it. When you are starting to do this, you are one step closer to find your sound.

# Step 4:

Put all the scales, chord changes, and vocabulary together.

It can happen that when you are playing eighth notes, sixteen notes or triplets, you aren't playing well.

saxophone expertise

Work on this like when playing eighth notes with a metronome, gradually speed up and then play faster.

Use this to spice up you composing.

# Step 5:

When you are composing, don't need to use notes in every bit. It is like a conversation with the listeners in Jazz.

So give them some time to catch your idea, and give a chance to respond.

According to their response, you can instantly make tunes.

It's not about only composing and performing but communicating.

# Step ​6:

Finally, using different rhythms, repeating motifs, just feel the music. Enjoying and feeling give life to the music.

Tips & Warnings

  • ​Starting with blues scale is better for the beginners.
  • ​Without memorizing changes, you can hardly create music. So it is important to learn this as soon as possible.
  • ​The ability to play faster cannot make you a better composer; I just can enhance your solo. So first try to learn properly.
  • ​Overusing blues scale should be avoided.
  • ​It can take the time to learn, so don't get discouraged. Focus on the gigs.
  • ​Learn to play chromatically and alternative fingering.
  • ​Getting lost in the music is necessary because when you can feel the music, you can do better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can you learn harder notes?

Ans: Push much air through the instrument. Or you can start playing from higher scale to lower range. 

For example, high C to low C. if this is not helping you then just try to play the low note.

Q. What is the difference between alto and tenor sax?

Ans: A tenor saxophone is bigger and has the lower pitch whereas an alto is smaller and has the higher pitch. 

Tenors have deep sounds, but alto has light brassy sound.

Q. ​How to play long stops unstop?

Ans: It needs more and more practice. Otherwise, you cannot gain the ability.

​Final Words

Nowadays it has become so easy to learn about something, and in the music field, it is too available.

If you follow every step of this article strictly, then you don't need to go outside for learning improvise on sax. 

Just take a book and follow the steps.

We can assure you that you will be the beneficiary. So let’s improve your composing capability!

 Happy Music!

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