Mastery, Groove, & Story on saxophone.
You’re here because you want to sound awesome when you solo on sax. You have played saxophone for a bit and taken some solos and heard solos that you love from great sax players.
It takes many years to master the saxophone.
But to master a small piece of music can take much less time.
Essentially, I’m teaching some music that you can master quickly and then sound great on. If you’re returning to the saxophone after years of not playing or have only played for a few years, you’ll be fine.
The first tune is Cantaloupe Island, by Herbie Hancock (who is a very cool jazz/funk/fusion musician who’s written some awesome music.
The song is only five notes. So you can learn the melody pretty quickly and then have plenty of time to master the finer details of playing a sweet solo over it.
You’ll also be able to take a piece of the melody and fit it into any solo you play since you’ll have it mastered.
Being able to quote a piece of one song while you’re improvising over another song is something great jazz musicians do a lot.
When you learn this song and are able to play a piece of it wherever you want, you’ll really sound like you know a thing or two about improvisation……
Sounding great isn’t just a matter of picking up the horn and blowing, obviously. It can be tough to get on stage and put yourself out there. And then if things don’t go well, it’s discouraging!
My name is Neal, you may know me already, have been playing sax for fourteen years and have been through some rough episodes getting to the point where I’m at now.
Sometimes your sax solo just doesn’t come out the way you intend….
Things in your head aren’t translating to the music. It may sound too mechanical, not ‘natural’ enough. You might be playing too much, not grooving, and not telling a story. And if something goes wrong, how do you recover?
I have learned a lot over the past years and thought about the music. Wish I knew the things I know now when I was starting.
Taught some of the stuff that I know in a class that has run a few times now.
But I would like to reach out to more people, so I asked my readers what they would like to learn about.
The foundation of this new saxophone improvisation class was built on the questions given to me by 42 sax players.
Your approach to teaching is fantastic, you make complex pieces look quite simple than expected. Finding time to practice is tough but your methods seems to encourage me a lot. Great teacher!!”
The class will center around two musical examples-
Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock and Work Song by Nat Adderley
Cantaloupe Island has a simple melody and chord changes. The melody has five notes and there are three different chords. Knowing the melody is fundamental to knowing how to solo over a song. You can always riff off of the melody or even play it directly. Since the melody is simple, you can learn it in all twelve keys without much trouble. I’ll walk you through the AABB form and talk about phrasing, dynamics, and the other elements of music. This song will go into your back pocket as a sax player.
Check out the first section of the lesson on Cantaloupe Island to see part of what is in the class.
Work Song is a fun song to play, Cannonball Adderley made it famous. The changes are a variation of a blues in F. You’ll learn a bass line that grooves and outlines the chords while you improvise over the changes. I learned this song by ear, so that’s how I will teach it to you.
These songs will be revisited throughout the class in 20 sections.
Each section will have in-depth info and how-to details accompanied by audio examples and assignments of exactly what you should work on.
“Hi Neal the class went well
I am still chewing on some of the stuff since I always need more time
Working my through
Good stuff and I like the choice of songs
Conversations with students on the fundamentals of improvisation.
If you’re thinking, “I don’t even know what a chord change is! ?”
That and many other questions will be answered here.
You Can Solo! How to relax and calm your anxieties and understanding how music is a language and the ways you can treat it like one.
Music as a Language.
Getting Started. Overcoming obstacles that you may face and learning about the best ways to learn improvisation.
How to Improvise – A Very Brief Outline. This is the big picture, the aerial few from thirty thousand feet if you will. Having an idea of what the overall process is will keep you grounded through the class.
Finding the Groove. Understanding the concept of groove, making the music feel good and getting into how simplicity and creativity will get you there.
Cantaloupe Island Part I
Cantaloupe Island Part II.
Challenges, What Not to Play, and Complexity. Issues come up and you want to know how to get past them when you’re soloing.
Intensity, Feeling in the Music, & “Active Ingredients”
There are a lot of things to think about while you take a solo, knowing a few things will make you more comfortable and let you get the feeling, intensity, and ideas you want to play in there.
The Secrets to Preparing for Your Solo
Progressing can be a tricky thing. Part of it has to do with how you practice and who you play with. Learn a little bit about soloing for auditions in this part too.
The dimensions of music all work together in a saxophone solo. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you move forward.
Cantaloupe Island Part III – Chords and Improvising.
“Your lessons and advice have been extremely helpful in helping me build my confidence and improve my solos. This weekend I actually got up on stage in front of a hundred people and jammed with musicians I just met that evening.”
Keeping Track Harmonically
It’s easy to get lost in a tune! But a little knowledge will help you recognize patterns and related chords in the changes.
Your own style
Developing your own sound and style takes some time. Learn about ‘licks’ and how to play ideas without attempting to just clone another sax player.
Your Ear & Harmony
Saxophone Technique in Context
Technique can seem very “Left Brain” and mechanical, but it lets you play the stuff you hear in your head. Learn some ways technique that will effectively help your playing.
Work Song Part I
Work Song Recorded Example
How To Be Sure Your Solo Will Sound Good
Sometimes your solos are hit or miss, knowing a few things will make them more consistently good and make musicians you respect like what you play.
Listening, Experimentation, and Confidence
Listening is the most important element of music. It teaches you so much and combined with experimentation makes you take a better solo.
Rising Above Mediocrity
A player like Sonny Rollins can play for days, learn how to make what you play count and how to play over multiple choruses without it getting boring.
Putting it all together
How to Outline Work Song
How to Solo Over Work Song
The class is to help saxophonists get started with improvisation. It can seem like a challenge, but believe me when I say it is also the most important musical step you can take!
There is a lot of information on the web about how to get started playing your first notes and complex music theory but not many of these sources provide a clear and concise step by step guide so you play a great solo quickly!
How Is the Class Delivered?
You’ll get five short lessons emailed to you each week.
As I have played saxophone, I have taken private sax lessons, attended week-long (sometimes two weeks) music classes and camps, gone to classes at university, played in groups and learned music in some other ways.
The week long, intensive classes are a lot of fun and you learn some things.
But in terms of getting better at music and really working on ideas, I feel like it works better to get a simple lesson, have some space to practice it and figure it out for yourself, and then be able to talk to the instructor and play around with it after spending time on it.
You’ll be able to go through the lessons at your own pace.
What People Are Saying:
|“All, the way to explain it’s very nice”
-Guillermo”The emphasis more on feel than the small technicalities such as playing wrong notes”
“I like the approach of it underlining that you must practice and become comfortable”
“Good practical tips.”
“Short steps and it’s ok to play a wrong note if the grove is there.”
“It is good motivation. I get really bored playing the same songs from sheet music.”
“I like the way the site looks and is laid out. I like your enthusiasm for the sax.”
“It was all good man, good inspiring words for all levels.”
“The confidence instilled in players as you read the straight forward tips.”
“Relax, that is a good mindset, but stage fright is difficult to overcome.”
“A good outline followed up with tips.”
On the previous saxophone improvisation class:
“Mentioned to you before but doesn’t help singing your praises– really like these bite sized lesson plans. Well organized. I can go back and back to pick up all the diverse elements of playing a sax which remind me how to eat the elephant piecemeal.”
What Does It Cost To Join My Saxophone Improvisation Class?
Saxophone lessons cost $60, $75, $100 and more.
You’ll often get a few good ideas each lesson when you go to a private teacher.
Here you’ll get lessons each week and access to me to check out how you’re doing and get suggestions on your sound.
Week 0: $10
Week 1: $15
Week 2: $15
Week 3: $15
Week 4: $15
The entire class, weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, 4:
Trying to reach more people and keep it affordable, but sign up now since the price will go up.
Keep in mind that YOUR results will be determined by YOUR efforts…
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
If for whatever reason, the class isn’t right for you, let me know and you’ll be refunded the class fee. No worries whatsoever.
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You can pay $1 now and then two payments of $27
Or you can make one payment of $47.
Who Should NOT Sign Up & Who SHOULD Sign Up?
The ideal student is someone who knows the basics on saxophone and has moved into improvisation. They know that there is work involved and hurdles to be jumped.
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Get Your Saxophone Groove On
P.S. If you are too late and we are currently closed then clicking the checkout button will lead you to a “waiting list” page instead of the payment page.
P.P.S. Imagine yourself in three weeks, ripping out that solo all thanks to the Sax Station’s Saxophone Improvisation Mastery Class.