#46 Learn Jingle Bells On Saxophone

beginner christmas Dec 01, 2019

In this free video lesson, for absolute beginners on ANY saxophone, you'll learn how to play the classic Christmas song, Jingle Bells. You can find my Complete Beginner's Series here for all beginner lessons, plus the full Christmas Sax Playlist here.
There's also a FREE PDF with the sheet music written out for alto AND tenor sax.
Here are the Q&A topics covered in this lesson, with video time stamps (min:sec). Clicking on the time stamp will take you straight to that portion of the video on youtube (in a separate tab). Full Time stamps for the video and a complete transcript are at the bottom of the blog.
Is it easy to play Jingle Bells on sax? (0:09)
  • yes, it's super simple to play Jingle Bells on sax! It's the easiest song I could think of in fact
  • however, to keep it easy for complete beginners on sax this tutorial only covers the main chorus section, not the "dashing through the snow" bit
Can I play Jingle Bells on any sax?
  • yes, it's easy to play on tenor or alto sax
  • I've chosen the key of concert F major so that both alto and tenor transpose into easy keys
What are the notes for Jingle Bells on sax?
There are 3 different phrases to learn...(an * means second octave)
  • phrase 1 (0:24) ALTO B B B B B B B D* G A B
  • phrase 2 (0:59) ALTO C C C C C B B B B A A B A D*
  • phrase 3 is the same as phrase 1
  • final phrase (1:32) ALTO C C C C C B B B D* D* C A G
  • phrase 1 (0:24) TENOR E* E* E* E* E* E* E* G* C* D* E*
  • phrase 2 (0:59) TENOR F* F* F* F* F* E* E* E* E* D* D* E* D* G*
  • phrase 3 is the same as phrase 1
  • final phrase (1:32) TENOR F* F* F* F* F* E* E* E* G* G* F* D* C
click here to hear the whole thing performed by me
Can I play it a bit funkier? (3:15)
  • for sure! Once you've learned all the notes you should funk it up a bit
  • you can add your own rhythms and inflections and even add some new notes if you want!
Is there a backing track I can play Jingle Bells with? (3:34)
  • you can play along with my Jingle Bells backing track here
  • I've created the backing track myself in a swingin' Count Basie style
  • just because your part is simple, doesn't mean you have to have a simple childish backing track. This one will make you sound great!
So I hope you enjoy playing Jingle Bells and I'll see you next week for a beautiful bossa nova version of Little Donkey. Jamie :-)
Video Time Stamps

0:00 - teaser performance

0:09 - brief intro

0:24 - phrase 1 (slow with fingerings)

0:44 - phrase 1 (faster with note names)

0:58 - phrase 2 (slow with fingerings)

1:16 - phrase 2 (faster with note names)

1:32 - phrase 3 (slow with fingerings)

1:59 - phrase 3 (faster with note names)

2:18 - putting it all together

2:22 - backing track with me playing

3:15 - now it's your turn - funk it up


4:31 - sign off

5:00 - outro music and cards

Video Transcript
Okay - Jingle Bells - super simple. There's only three different phrases to learn. We're not gonna play the verse section of jingle bells, the "dashing through the snow” bit, we're just gonna go straight in with the chorus.

There's only five notes to learn so here we go. Here is phrase 1, played nice and slowly for you…

Now here's that first phrase, played faster…

Now phrase 2, played slowly…

Now that second phrase, played a little bit quicker…

The third phrase of the song is identical to the first phrase, so the actual third phrase I'm going to teach you is the fourth phrase that happens. And this is the final phrase played slowly…

As you can tell it's quite similar to the second phrase. Here is that final phrase played at full speed…

That's great - you've learned all the notes and this is what it sounds like with the backing track...So just before I hand over to you to play it yourself I'll just say this - once you have mastered the notes you can really funk up the rhythms a bit. Add your own inflections, make it your own once you've got the basic melody. So here's the backing track. You can play along by yourself. Remember there's four bars introduction before you come in…

So I hope you enjoyed this week's video learning how to play Jingle Bells with the funked up Count Basie style swinging hard backing track. If you're enjoying the channel please do subscribe, ring the bell to be notified when I upload new stuff, check out my Instagram and in the next few weeks we're going to get some more fantastic Christmas songs that you can play as a beginner saxophonist with wicked backing tracks. So I hope you enjoy this festive season and I'll see you next week!

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