Welcome to Learn Your Notes

Playing a musical instrument has always been an item on my bucket list. The Alto Saxophone was the one I chose. Now What?

I set out to find someone who could give me lessons. After a short search, I located someone locally that gave lessons and worked out a time to meet.

I bought a couple beginner books and began to learn some of the basics. It did not take me but just a few lessons until I discovered something quite interesting. The key to learning an instrument was actually quite simple if you knew four basic things.
The fingering position on an instrument in order to play a particular note.
The range of notes normally played on the instrument.
Recognizing the notes as they appear on the musical staff.
Being able to move from one note to another quickly enough to actually make music

Of course there is breathing, counting and just a general knowledge of music, but without knowing those four things, there really isn’t much of a chance for playing.

So as I attended lessons, I began to play some notes on the various major scales, which seemed to be a very slow process, but I plodded along. Generally I was playing an octave of a particular key, for example a middle C to a high C. Playing a few notes in each of the Major Scales seemed very difficult and not very organized Although I was learning some notes, I was really struggling when it came to actually playing a song, because I was jumping around too much.

The other struggle was trying to remember the fingering positions for the notes. Most all of the books had a page in the middle of the book or at the end, so you had to flip back and forth between the lesson, which really slowed down the practice.

What I wanted was a book that provided a fingering chart, displayed the notes on the staff and even gave the name of the notes all on the same page, furthermore I wanted to know all the notes for a particular major key that could be played on the saxophone and I wanted it located all in one place, and I just couldn’t find it.

So I set out to create exactly what I wanted in a book.

Hence, -Learn Your Notes- was born. A book that contained the 15 major keys broken up in lessons so that you could pick a key and go learn it. You could stick with one Major Key, and learn all the notes with plenty of practice. Once you had a good mastery of all the notes in that key, you could pick up any simple songbook for that key and begin to actually make music, which was after all, my goal.

After learning one key, I could move to the next lesson and learn the next key in exactly the same way. With some help of some musical software, I could transpose songs into the keys I have learned and play those as well.

This seemed to be a much more logical way of learning to play an instrument and has increased my speed of learning tremendously. I also want to use this same methodology and put it to use for other instruments.

It is my hope that you can use this book and learn to play much more quickly. Currently the full book can be purchased on CreateSpace.com which is an Amazon company and can also be purchase on Amazon.com directly.

I have also created some smaller versions which allow you to pick a few keys you might want to learn instead of diving into everything all at once. If you only want to play an instrument in one or two keys, I would go for the shorter version. However, if you intend to make sure you can play in any key, I would just get them all in one package to save money.

Arrangement of the books:

Learn Your Notes – Saxophone

This is the full version. It contains all 15 Major keys (Key of C Major with no flats and sharps, and the other 14 Keys beginning with 1 flat or 1 sharp and progressing up to 7 flats or 7 sharps)

These following books are a subset of the full version so students can begin with less up front expense and just learn some individual major keys. Each book contains the Key of C Major and 1 Flat Key and 1 Sharp Key. Notice the workbook numbers correspond to the number of flats and sharps covered in the book.

  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 1
    • (Key of C Major and F, G (1 flat, 1 sharp))
  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 2
    • (Key of C Major and Bb, D (2 flats, 2 sharps))
  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 3
    • (Key of C Major and Eb, A (3 flats, 3 sharps))
  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 4
    • (Key of C Major and Ab,E (4 flats, 4 sharps))
  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 5
    • (Key of C Major and Db, B (5 flats, 5 sharps))
  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 6
    • (Key of C Major and Gb, F# (6 flats, 6 sharps))
  • Learn your Notes – Saxophone Workbook # 7
    • (Key of C major and Cb, C# (7 flats, 7 sharps))

It is my hope that you will enjoy learning to play as much as I have and this method will get you to the point of actually playing music much quicker.

Scott Vaden