Saxophone Methods

Here is a list of saxophone methods and books I recommend for study. These are for intermediate to advanced middle-school to high-school aged saxophone students.

Methods and Etudes

Rubank Intermediate Method
Preliminary studies. Introduction to basic saxophone technique.

Rubank Advanced Method, volumes 1 and 2.
These books are great introductory studies for basic technique.

The Technique of the Saxophone by Joe Viola, volume 1, Scale Studies
Comprehensive scale and preliminary chord studies.

The Technique of the Saxophone by Joe Viola, volume 2, Chord Studies
a more in-depth look at chords, especially as they are used in jazz.

The Technique of the Saxophone by Joe Viola, volume 3, Rhythm Studies
Preliminary sight-reading exercises that build upon the material in volumes 1 and 2.

Salviani – Iasilli. Exercises in All the Practical Keys for Saxophone
Medium to advanced technique development in all keys up through 4 flats and 4 sharps.

48 Famous Studies for Oboe or Saxophone by W. Ferling
Easy to moderately difficult etudes for study of technique and musical phrasing.

Beginning Studies in the Altissimo Register by Rosemary Lang
Easy exercises to get you started playing in the altissimo register.

Saxophone High Tones by Eugene Rousseau
A systematic approach to altissimo range.

Top Tones for the Saxophone by Sigurd M. Rascher
Exercises covering four octaves.

30 Grand Exercises or Etudes after Soussman (in 2 volumes) by Marcel Mule
Etudes and exercises for an advanced student (Advanced High School/College level)

Les Gammes – Jean-Marie Londeix
Exercises in scales, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths, and octaves in all 12 keys.

Easy to Intermediate Solo Repertoire

Concert and Contest Collection edited by Hymie Voxman
Easy to medium solos with piano accompaniment. The piano part is in a separate book, so be sure to buy both.

Rubank book of Alto (or Tenor) Sax Solos with Piano Accompaniment
A nice collection of easy to medium solos. The piano part is in a separate book, so be sure to buy both.

Adagio and Allegro by G.F. Handel
There are several transcriptions of this work, originally for violin. I like the Eugene Rousseau version best. This is available for both alto and tenor.

15 two-part inventions by J.S. Bach. adapted by Larry Teal
A book of Bach duets for 2 saxes, either Alto/Tenor or Alto/Alto.

Sonata for Alto Sax and Piano by Henri Eccles
This was originally for cello, and was arranged for Alto by Sigurd M. Rascher. It’s really fun to play.

Chanson et Passepied by Jeanine Reuff, for Alto sax and Piano
This is a beautiful melody followed by an up-tempo section that develops the melody further.

Three Romances by Robert Schumann adapted by Fred Hemke
Easy to medium level solo of 3 movements.

Jazz Studies

Jazz Conception for Saxophone by Lennie Niehaus
There are 3 volumes of this work. I recommend starting with the Intermediate volume, and then going to the Advanced volume.

Jazz Conception Duets by Lennie Niehaus
A nice collection of easy to medium jazz duets for two saxes (Alto/Alto or Tenor/Tenor).

Easy Jazz Conception for Alto Saxophone (EASY JAZZ CONCEPTION) by Jim Snidero
Has a book and a CD to listen/play along.

Jazz Conception for Alto or Baritone Sax by Jim Snidero
Has a book and CD to listen/play along.

15 Easy Jazz, Blues & Funk Etudes: Eb or Bb Instrument, Book & CD (Instrumental Series) by Bob Mintzer
Easy to intermediate etudes to develop a funk and blues vocabulary. There are separate volumes for Eb or Bb instruments.

Advanced Rhythms by Joe Allard
These are a little more advanced than the Joe Viola rhythm etudes mentioned above, but not too hard that you won’t be able to master them with practice!

Technique Development in Fourths for Jazz Improvisation by Ramon Ricker
Good exercises in 4ths, which is a departure from the typical tertiary based exercises in most everything else.

Pentatonic Scales for Jazz Improvisation by Ramon Ricker
Good exercises on Pentatonic Scales.

Creative Reading Studies for Saxophone by Joe Viola
When you think you’re a good sight reader, buy this book and get ready to find out the truth! Seriously, this book is fantastic, and will take your reading skills to the next level.

Jamey Aebersold Play-Along Sets
Want to learn how to improvise? Go buy some of these. There are now over 100 volumes. Start with Volume 2 – Nothing But The Blues, then pick up Volume 16, Turnarounds, Cycles, and II/V7s. Next, try Volume 25, 17 All Time Standards. From there you can take your pick. The volumes with standard tunes are great. The specific composer/player volumes are good, but tend to be more advanced.

Creative Beginnings by Scott Reeves
Good introductory material for beginning to intermediate improvisers.

Creative Improvisation by Scott Reeves
Advanced concepts for improvisation.

Charlie Parker Omnibook
a compendium of transcribed solos of the Bebop Alto great.