The Download Centre
I've listed here a selection of scale scores (dots or music) which you can download and print out to help you on your way.
Start by getting familiar with the major scales and then move on to the others...
|All 12 major scales|
| Modes of C||Modes of C#||Modes of D|
|Modes of Eb||Modes of E||Modes of F|
|Modes of F#||Modes of G||Modes of Ab|
|Modes of A||Modes of Bb||Modes of B|
|Blues scales||Diminished scales||Whole tone scales|
I've also put some backing tracks on this site as downloads for you to play along with, but before we get to these we need to mention the fact that the saxophone is a transposing instrument. The standard tuning across an orchestra is know as 'Concert pitch'. This is due to most instruments (oboes, violins, violas, flutes, pianos, cellos, etc, etc) having the same tuning. The saxophone does not tune to concert pitch (for reasons explained elsewhere on this site) so you'll need to pick the key of your backings to match the key you're playing on your saxophone. For example, if you want to play your G scale on an alto, you'll need the concert Bb track to play along to. Here's the key converter or transposition table...
|Concert key||Alto sax key||Tenor sax key|
|C sharp (D flat)||B flat (A sharp)||E flat (D sharp)|
|E flat (D sharp)||C||F|
|E||C sharp|| F sharp|
|F sharp||E flat (D sharp)||A flat (G sharp)|
|A flat (G sharp)||F||B flat (A sharp)|
|B flat (A sharp)||G||C|
|B||A flat (G sharp)||C sharp (D flat)|
And as for the other members of the saxophone family, the alto (Eb) is the same key as the sopranino, the baritone and contra-bass while the tenor (Bb) is the same key as the soprano and bass.
Once you've got the dots printed out to learn and play, and you've worked out which concert key you're playing in, you may like something to play along with, so here's a selection of blues-style MP3 tracks for you to play your scales and arpeggios over. It makes learning scales just a bit more bearable, gets you into the habit of playing with 'a band', helps you play to a beat/rhythm, and above all, is a bit of fun! Just find a computer or stereo that plays MP3 files and off you go...
Here are the MP3 backing tracks: