BEGINNING ALTO SAXOPHONE
RORY L. DAVIS, CINCO RANCH JR. HIGH
SELECTING YOUR SAXOPHONISTS
INSTRUMENT PARTS AND ASSEMBLY
COMMON PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
TBA Convention/Clinic 2002
I. SELECTING YOUR SAXOPHONISTS
Saxophonists come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but there are some characteristics common to most successful
saxophonists. Many band directors refrain from putting their “ringers” on saxophone, preferring to place them on other
“more desirable” instruments. Saxophone is a distinct and useful voice in the literature played by most concert bands
and demands intelligent, motivated and flexible individuals. Students who show good leadership potential, self-discipline,
and sense of expression, tend to develop into good performers. When selecting these students always remain conscious
of the size, needs and goals of your program. Take a few minutes to interview prospective students to get a feel for their
reasons for choosing saxophone. As with any instrument, not all players will be superstars, but almost any student can
experience a degree of success with the proper guidance and attitude.
A. Possible Interview questions for beginning saxophonist.
1. Why did you choose band?
2. Why did you select the saxophone? (Be wary of the “It seems cool” answer)
3. Do you know what the saxophone sounds like?
4. Have you ever played a musical instrument or sung in a choir?
B. Use the 5% to 10% rule. 5% to 10% of your entire beginner class generally keeps the saxophone section healthy but
not too large. In some cases this number may be larger as it relates to the needs of your total band program due to attrition
II. PHYSICAL CONSIDERATION
1. LIPS – While lip size is not a major concern, students with full lips or very thin lips will need to
make slight adjustments. Less