5 best saxophone books for beginners

We present you 5 best books that will help new players on starting their saxophone journey. Do you want to learn how to play saxophone? Any of this books is a great place to start!

Essential Elements 2000

Eb Alto Saxophone, Book 1 Paperback – June 1, 1999
by Hal Leonard Corp. (Creator)

Essential Elements offers starting students sound education and interesting music. This book contains both uniquely composed exercises and well-known songs, designed and prepared for easy following, as well as exercises to familiarize each student with the uniqueness of their own saxophone. It gives a lot of materials to improve your playing skill for both mentors and learners. Book also includes an online music learning resource that you can access anytime on any device.
Some of the features:  Improved Learning System, music theory, saxophone history, daily warm-ups, cross- curriculum & creativity, 12 complete band compositions, rhythm studies book, start-up video (Learn the basics) and play-along tracks for all exercises.

Great book for a beginner, it covers all the basics you need to learn before trying more advanced techniques and exercises.

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Absolute Beginners: Alto Saxophone: The Complete Picture Guide to Playing Alto Sax

December 31, 1999
by Steve Tayton (Editor), George Taylor (Photographer)

This great book makes learning saxophone smoother than ever before, it’s intended for absolute beginners that have no previous experience with musical instruments. It gives you step by step tutorials on setting up, playing and maintaining your horn, as well as basics of music theory.
CD contains professionally recorded exercises and play-along tracks, great for developing a feel for sound and rhythm, as well as hearing notes and how different song are supposed to sound which can be very helpful for new players. On top of that, this book contains finger position pictures and finger charts for every exercise you will go through.

This book is perfect for you if you have no previous music or musical instrument experience.

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Universal Method for Saxophone

– August 12, 2013 by Paul DeVille (Author)

This book is commonly known as “The Saxophone Bible”, and it really contains everything you need to know about saxophone and music theory, from how to play your first note to studying advanced techniques and that’s why it’s used by numerous teachers around the world.
In this 320 pages long book you can find useful information about every element of the saxophone, sound creation, tuning, breathing control, scales and much more. Paul DeVille really covered every possible aspect of saxophone, saxophone playing and music theory in general.

Since only first 30 pages are intended for complete beginners, we recommend this book for starting saxophone players with at least some previous experience in music.

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(Rubank Educational Library) Paperback – October 1, 1990

This book is great old classic written by legendary N.W.Hovey. Timeless and to this day one of best and most researched method for learning saxophone techniques. If you compare it to Essential Elements, this book is more suitable for private lessons, meaning playing with the teacher, and not so much if you are starting on your own. It teaches you basic principals and gives a good framework for a student player. It has nice gradual progression, it starts with simple exercises then slowly advances to more difficult ones, expanding your range and technique.

One of the best exercise books ever made, we highly recommend this one for private learning lessons with your mentor.

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The Art of Saxophone Playing

– November 1, 1994 by Larry Teal (Author)

This book is universally known as the main source of information for saxophone musicians.
Similarly to Universal Method for Saxophone, “The art of saxophone playing” covers every aspect, from buying guides and first notes to professional techniques and exercises in a very comprehensive way. There are many gems of information hidden in this classic book, some of them might surprise even more advanced players.

This book is such a classic that we recommend it as a “must” for every saxophone musician.

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