So, really how long to learn Saxophone? I’m decided I’m playing Sax in the band. I’m already good at Maths and Athletics, So this is going to be simple!
Well, getting a few notes out of a saxophone is relatively easy, but becoming a skilled, versatile player takes years of practice and hard work. You should keep this in mind as you learn to play the saxophone.
You’re not going to become John Coltrane over night.
If you expect to be playing difficult pieces or crafting intricate jazz solos within the first few months of playing, you will likely be disappointed. As with any instrument, playing the saxophone is a lifelong endeavor, with only the most dedicated and talented players reaching success.
Even these individuals must continue to practice every day in order to maintain their craft and improve their skills further. A simple tip is to pick a great course like this one and dedicate yourself to completing it. Following from start to finish, do not allow yourself to give in. Finish the course, then decide whether you’ve improved, and then decide whether the course is any good! The more you practice, the faster you will learn.
To Master the Sax
I think this is really an ambiguous goal, as there is not really a clear way to define ‘mastering an art’. You may however come close to this if you devote enough time to the practice. We’ll discuss more about the practice of How to play a saxophone step by step in future articles, but for know understanding the process of learning is the focus. Like with anything in life, there are those with more natural talent than others. But the people who create the best result are not always the most talented, but often the ones who have diligently followed the same path day after day.
Learning to Play the Sax.
Although the saxophone is simple enough to learn, It’s not an easy thing to do well, because that process takes time and effort, just like any learning process. They say, that to master something, anything, you must spend about 10,000 hours at it. You can read more about this theory in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success
What?! 10,000 hours. That’s a life time! Well actually no, it’s not. More like, an hour a day for nearly 30 years. (fine, let’s remove school holidays) Yes, playing an instrument or a sport are 2 prime examples that are physically easy to see the hours involved in practicing. A lot of intellectual pursuits would follow too like any complex math, engineering, or even medicine. Auto mechanics fits too if you’re expecting the mechanic to be very good. Coming up with a number of 10,000 hours seems somewhat arbitrary, but it’s probably a decent ballpark figure. The point here is that, it may be more or less, but 10,000 hours is a workable, manageable goal that you can chip away at. So if you’re looking for a precise answer for how long to learn saxophone. There may be some benefit in keeping a timesheet, marking off how much practice you do. Remember that one intention of completing the practice is to build a habit from regularly picking up your horn. Day after day, if you continue, the benefits will come.
If we look at Sonny Rollins, he started playing music at age 11 and moved to Saxophone very soon after. By age twenty he had at least 8 solid years of practice under his belt. Let’s say that looking back he was twice as devoted as the other Sax player in the school band. If he continued to practice for no more than 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, and had a few weeks off each year, then by age 20 he may have been getting close to 5000 hours. I’m sure he was pretty good by this point – well he was jamming with the Pro’s like Charlie Parker by then. Still, another 10 years with plenty more practice and he was reaching really guru status.
Does Practice really make perfect?
The Sonny Rollins example is an extension of the phrase, ‘Practice makes perfect’. But in fact it requires quality practice to get any where near perfect, and even then, there is no real perfect that you should be aiming for. It’s all in the definition. The problem with that too involves the quality of practice/training involved in those hours. A violin player who has practiced things he/she could not previously play for 20 hours will outperform another player who has practiced the same songs over and over again for 200 hours. The same can easily be said for athletics. Cross training and down time aside, a solid hour of practice will no doubt reap more benefit than 2 weeks of training with minimal effort or input. Simply put, experience doesn’t equal skill level, but you can’t become skilled without the hours of practice. So, the quality of the practice is crucial, thus if you want to cut down the hours, then it is worth first learning what to learn, before undertaking the learning. The other point is that anyone who puts in the right practice can be a good sax player.