We were excited to find Jools Holland has his own music tuition app for Saxophone. In fact, this iPad app is one of a series put out by Music Makers and the Hootenany musical maestro. Holland cheerfully introduces the tuition videos for bass guitar, keyboards, saxophone and drums, each of which are presented by respected musicians in their field. See Apple iPad 2 review.
Here, we get a 92-minute-long beginners’ introduction from Pete Thomas, a British saxophonist with rock and pop credentials. He carefully outlines how to assemble your sax, blow and breathe properly and how to produce your first notes. The video is stored on the iPad, rather than being a link to a YouTube video, so you can launch it whenever you like. The gentle start and thorough explanations gave an absolute sax beginner the confidence to start playing in a way that a book and accompanying CD hadn’t done to date. Visit Group test: what's the best tablet PC?
If you’ve already got basic notes and technique under your belt, it probably won’t seem worth spending £9.99 on this app. However, Thomas goes on to outline composition and ligato note combination techniques that quickly get you playing what sounds good rather than repeating endless exercises. It makes a good alternative to more formal music tuition, and includes advice on habits and posture.
Learning a new instrument takes time. This is a great introductory video that gets new sax players up and running quickly while encouraging exploration as you learn at your own pace. Recommended.