When you are beyond the basics and you want to become a better saxophone player, how can Sax School help you? We caught up with Sax School member and Accelerator student Beverley Johansson to find out.
Beverley, who lives in Sweden, started playing saxophone in January 2000. “I managed to get to England to buy my saxophone just before lockdown started,” explains Beverley.
At home during lockdown in Sweden, Beverley found lots of time to practice her new saxophone, using the lessons in Sax School. “I had a basic knowledge of music from learning piano as a child,” says Beverley, “and I got inspired by the great players in the Sax School Community.”
Beverley made great progress on her saxophone in just 18 months. “I practiced a lot,” Beverley admits, “I’m obsessive by nature, so I wanted to be a better saxophone player.”
A better saxophone player
Her love of music played a big part in Beverley’s saxophone success. “I get inspired by music,” she says, “I hear a song and I want to play it. I don’t think about IF I can play it. I make it work – I might have to slow it down, or simplify it. I stretch myself with the music I love.”
And Beverley can find everything she needs to become a better saxophone player, inside Sax School. “There’s such a wealth of lessons in there, “ she says, “for every interest and every level. Plus there’s workouts and exercises to improve your technique, and guest masterclasses to inspire you.”
Beverley also gets inspired by our Sax School Community. “Everyone is so generous,” she says, “and I’ve learned so much from collaborating online with other Sax School members, making videos together.”
For Beverley, creating videos to share in our Community is an important part of the learning process. “Recording a video helps to put a song to bed, so I can move forward to a new project,” she explains, “and I love the creative process too.”
As well as being a member of Sax School, Beverley joined our Accelerator Programme in March 2021. Accelerator is exclusively for Sax School Members, and gives you one to one, personalised support from one of our expert, professional saxophone tutors, to help you become a better saxophone player, fast.
“I wanted to see how the concept would work, and I was a little sceptical at first!” says Beverley. Paired with tutor Fred Vigdor, Beverley has used the Accelerator to perfect her performance on the songs she loves to play on saxophone. She sends videos of her playing to Fred, who provides specific video feedback.
“Fred pushes me beyond a level I would normally be satisfied with myself,” says Beverley. “He gives me note-by-note, detailed feedback, with exercises and tips to help me improve.”
Over the last few months, Beverley has been working on her transcribing skills, learning a new song by ear rather than using sheet music. “Fred has encouraged me to work on my rhythm skills, to get the exact rhythm from the original – so when I’m playing along, you can’t hear the difference,” explains Beverley.
She is also working on the Clarence Clemons solo from ‘Born to Run’.
“It’s very fast, so it’s going to be a longer term project,” says Beverley, “Fred has given me rhythm exercises to work on, so I can get the solo exactly right.”
As well as sharing her great videos, Beverley is working towards playing her saxophone live. “I’m working on a set list for a jam session at the end of July,” says Beverley, “and Fred is helping me with learning sax riffs for those songs..” As always, Beverley plans to share a video. “Even if it doesn’t go perfectly, and I get too nervous, I’ll post a video in the community – because we get inspired by failures too!” she says.
Online or Face to Face?
If you want to become a better saxophone player, and you’re trying to decide whether to choose a local teacher or an online solution such as Accelerator, Beverley has this advice.
“Can you find a local teacher who inspires you? Why settle for local and mediocre, when you can get someone really inspiring, online.”
Plus, Accelerator is a great value option. “In Sweden, a face to face lesson is around £50 per hour, so compared to a weekly lesson, Accelerator is great value for money,” says Beverley.
For Beverley, Accelerator is the perfect choice. “Remote learning is not second best to face-to-face – it’s far superior!” she says. “I can rewatch the tutor videos, and I don’t need to wait a week for more feedback from my tutor. It’s a fantastic way of learning.”
Want to know more about how Sax School and Accelerator can help you to become a better saxophone player?
Find out more about Sax School Membership and our Accelerator Programme here.