Playing saxophone in a band is a big part of what motivates Janet, our October School Legend.
In fact, Janet was inspired to start playing saxophone when she heard a community swing band. She went along to a concert at her local music centre where her daughter played. “I thought ‘they sound fantastic! Wouldn’t it be great to play with something like that?'”
Janet has played piano since she was a child and played viola at school, so music wasn’t new to her. So, to begin with, she tried to teach herself clarinet, but a double-joined thumb made managing some of the keys difficult. Then she turned to the saxophone.
“I got a great deal on a saxophone with UK Sax Hire and I’ve never looked back!” she says.
Janet started playing at the music centre with her daughter, then joined a local Sax Choir. More recently she has joined Calderdale Big Band.
“This really felt like a step up,” says Janet. It’s all adults and everyone wants to make it as good as they can. The pressure’s really on not to play that off-beat at the wrong time!”
For Janet this experience of playing saxophone in a band has really helped her to develop as a player. “You’ve got to listen to others and play in time, it’s not like playing on your own where the odd mistake doesn’t matter.”
Janet has missed ensemble playing during lock-down, but that hasn’t stopped her making music with other musicians. Through our Sax School Community, Janet has worked on some amazing collaborations, playing saxophone in a band made up of players from across the world.
Janet created the arrangement for Oblivion herself. “I downloaded some music and a piano backing from YouTube. Then I got a string quartet version off MuseScore and looked at the viola part, and made that into the tenor line.”
Playing saxophone in a band through a virtual collaboration like this is great fun. You create something you can share with other people, and it’s also a really good way of recording where you are with your playing. They are also really inspiring to other Sax School members in our community.
Learning with Sax School
For Janet, our Facebook Community is a big part of being a member of Sax School. “It’s fantastic,” she says, “I try to give constructive comments to other members and I hope I use my playing to put into practice what I’m saying.”
Even though she is an experienced sax player, Janet still gets lots of benefits from the lessons in Sax School. “when you’re self taught you pick up lots of bad habits. So going back and looking at some of the more basic lessons, you can concentrate on the tuning, or tone.”
Whatever your level of experience, Janet recommends Sax School. “Pick out what’s relevant to you – there’s something there for everybody,” she says.
Janet’s top tips for new Sax School learners
- Take it at your own pace. Don’t compare yourself with others.
- Just enjoy it, have fun and don’t stress yourself out if things aren’t going right.
- Take your time, and eventually the penny will drop and you’ll sound fantastic!
Thank you Janet for the inspiration you give to us all in the Sax School Community. Keep making your videos – we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!