Sax lessons

I talk to so many people at gigs that come up and say, "Your band's really great - I'd really love to learn to play the sax". So I say "what's stopping you?"

The response is either 'not enough time', 'I do too much already', or 'dunno' really'. But whatever the excuse, ultimately, as already stated on the front page of this website, the answer is......You!

As with anything in life, if you really want to do something you'll end up finding the time, making the time, or becoming more efficient with other things to make it possible.

So what's my background?

I was brought up in a very musical household with my brother playing just about every brass instrument and my mother and father playing the piano and singing - all to a high standard.

During my school years I studied piano to grade 8, oboe to grade 6 and dabbled with the violin and guitar. More recently I've taken and passed grade 6 theory and also completed the Certificate in Teaching from the ABRSM - an excellent teaching course covering learning styles, teaching practices and the wider issues surrounding instrument teaching.

Whilst living in Hertfordshire, I spent several years playing with Funkify - the area's premier function covers band - playing at corporate events, weddings and parties all over the country. I also played with Faultline Jazz, a St. Albans-based African-influenced blues/jazz group in pubs, restaurants and at various events. I have also played with south-east-based function bands 'Big Soul' and 'Shake, Rattle & Soul'. Currently I play baritone, tenor and alto sax with the VCO Big Band in Crewe (though not at the same time!)

As for the sax, I started playing in my early thirties and am largely self-taught, benefiting greatly from the music teaching I had during my school years and the various bands I've played and gigged with. I teach all levels, from absolute beginners upwards - and from the age of nine upwards (I say the age of nine because this is about the time kids have grown enough to be able to hold and play an alto sax).

I have a dedicated music teaching room with the latest teaching and playing aids. The range of play-along CDs currently available is a vast and beneficial resource for music learning and this makes teaching and learning alike a pleasurable and fun experience. From film scores to chart hits, show tunes to jazz standards, there's a book for all tastes, all standards and all keys (specifically Eb and Bb for the saxophone family). Visit www.ackermanmusic.co.uk for a vast selection of music and play-alongs at reasonable prices. There's also some great computer software out there to play along to and help you along the road to improvising and understanding more about chord sounds, changes and symbols.

I believe music theory is paramount and this is also an area that I teach in the general course of lessons. And if you want to start on the route to the ABRSM graded exams (jazz or classical), I teach these also and have a 100% pass record.

I charge £10 for half an hour and £20 for one hour.

I try to make lessons interesting, informative, but above all, fun!

If you don't yet own a saxophone, most good woodwind shops offer saxes on rent/purchase/buyback schemes. The rent/purchase scheme works by renting a sax for around £25 per month (generally for up to six months) and then you buy that horn less the amount of rent you've already paid. The buyback schemes work by selling you a sax on day one, but guaranteeing a buyback price of typically 80% should you no longer want the horn after, say, six months. I have no connection to these companies but you could try www.sax.co.uk, www.saxhire.co.uk or www.dawkes.co.uk or www.thesaxshack.co.uk

If you know someone else who's always had a yearning to try the sax but never quite got round to doing anything about it, why not surprise them with a lesson as a gift? You won't even have to worry about a saxophone as I have a spare alto that can be used for a first 'try out'. Email me with your details and let's see if we can turn wishes into reality...You might find it's the best present you've ever given!

So if you live in Nantwich, Wistaston, Crewe or surrounding area and fancy having a go - please email me at webenquiries@bighorn.co.uk

Alternatively why not ring for a chat on


I look forward to hearing from you to start you on the road to all things sax!