There is an abundance of high quality free tutorials from pro saxophone tutors on YouTube, covering a wide range of musical topics for all abilities. As an educational resource, it can be extrememly valuable for learners and teachers alike. Here are a selection of our favourite YouTube channels for saxophonists.
The Saxophone Academy
Dr. Wally Wallace strikes a perfect balance between education and entertainment. As a tutor, his playful sense of humour and Dad jokes will keep you smiling but he has a real talent for explaining musical ideas in a way which is both concise and easy to understand. There are many helpful videos on his YouTube channel about improving saxophone sound and technique but the videos about jazz improvisation are particularly excellent, especially for beginners. These tutorials are often in a call and response format which means you can actually play your saxophone and interact as if you were in a face-to-face music lesson. There are plenty of free bitesize lessons to explore on the YouTube channel but there is much more content available on the website when you join the Saxophone Academy.
Jay Metcalf is a true saxophone enthusiast and his output is impressive. It appears there’s no part of the saxophone world he has left unturned; from instrument technique, jazz improvisation, music theory, interviews, and product reviews. I first came across the BetterSax channel with the ‘Pentatonic Foundation’ video series, which seems such an obvious and useful topic for aspiring saxophonists to learn but there was very little structured content available at the time. There is also a podcast and awebsite where you can buy high quality jazz playalong tracks (live band recordings). On the BetterSax website, you can buy one of the many individual courses featuring a range of topics from various tutors, or you can subscribe to the ‘Studio’ to focus on jazz improvisation.
Get Your Sax Together
A relatively new face on the YouTube scene and fellow Brit, Jamie Anderson has an infectious enthusiasm and commitment to the saxophone which has seen his channel become extrememly popular. Whilst the ‘Get Your Sax Together’ channel covers a wide range of saxophone topics, there are some very inspiring videos which teach iconic sax solos, from both pop and jazz idioms. With clear direction and a natural teaching style, video lessons are approachable for beginners and pros alike, and the accompanying worksheets are usually free to download. On the website, you can subscribe to the ‘Inner Circle’, an exclusive online community which offers regular guidance and feedback – you can even book a one-to-one lesson with the man himself!
Sax School Online
Nigel McGill’s ‘Sax School Online’ established itself as one of the first online saxophone communities. With a friendly and non-intimidating teaching style, his videos are particularly helpful for beginners and learners. The YouTube channel offers advice on saxophone technique, fixing common problems, how to play your favourite saxophone solos, and much more. Sheet music is often referenced in the the video lessons and free to download. On the website, there’s quite a lot of free content to help beginners get started but a paid membership unlocks a ton of content and additional features – sadly you can’t buy individual courses.
Jeff Schneider Music
A lesser known YouTube channel, Jeff Schneider shares some valuable insights for intermediate players and those pursuing jazz improvisation. He also digs into music and chord theory, with an emphasis on RnB and Neo-soul styles, as well as more traditional bebop harmony. Saxophone techniques are usually demonstrated with simple exercises to help learners progress quicker. The website offers some affordable improvisation and theory packages, which include creative worksheets and fun backing tracks. I highly recommend signing up to the newsletter for some ‘truth nuggets’ where Schneider often shares short and entertaining anecdotes, ideas, and advice to motivate and inspire learners.
Leo P and Grace Kelly are two exceptionally talented saxophonists and some of the most recognisable performers on the internet, often collaborating with other musical YouTube channels or performing as their popular saxophone duo, ‘2 Saxy’.
They share a variety of video content on their 2 Saxy YouTube channel, from their infamous busking walks (with transcriptions), performances of popular songs, to educational advice for aspiring saxophonists. However, the paid content on their ‘Saxy School‘ website is where the real value is, offering shorter themed courses and a comprehensive masterclass. Their videos have a super slick production, ideas are clearly communicated, and as a learner you are given opportunities to play along with them and jam. Saxy School offers access to real-world advice and insights from two of the internet’s most distinctive and prolific performers, covering unique topics such as stage performance, how to jam and play by ear, or how to play dance music.
These are just a handful of the popular saxophone YouTube Channels out there.
What’s your favourite saxophone channel to watch on YouTube? Let us know in the comments below!