Saxophone/Lesson 1.2

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Students should already be familiar with the material in Lesson 1.1.

The Note C[edit]

To play the note C press down the middle finger only on the left hand. This is like playing an A but without the index finger.

A C looks like this on the stave:

Gclef C2 1-4.png

Practice playing a long tone C for a whole breath of air.

Minims and Minim Rests[edit]

In Lesson 1.1 we learnt that crotchets are notes that go for one musical beat. Minims (American: half notes) are twice as long; they go for two beats.

They look like this:

Figure rythmique blanche hampe bas.svg

Or like this:

Half note with upwards stem.svg

A minim rest is two beats of silence. It looks like this:

Rests on stave 05 Minim.svg

This is the same as writing two crotchet rests.

Breath Marks[edit]

The last musical symbol in this lesson is the breath mark. It tells you where to take a breath in a piece of music. It looks like an apostrophe written above the stave:


Remember to always take deep breaths that fill up your lungs when playing saxophone. The section of music in between two breath marks is called a phrase.

Not all pieces have the breath marks written in, sometimes the composer leaves it to the performer's discretion. Breath marks are also rarely written over rests as it is assumed that the performer will breathe there if necessary.

Where a breath mark is written where there is no rest, it may be necessary to end the previous note a tiny bit early to have time to breathe before beginning the next phrase.

Repertoire for this Lesson[edit]

Piece 1.2.1[edit]


Piece 1.2.2[edit]


Piece 1.2.3[edit]

Piece 1.2.3.JPG

Next Lesson