#49 Learn Wham's Last Christmas On Sax

beginner christmas Dec 22, 2019

In this free video lesson, for absolute beginners on ANY saxophone, you'll learn how to play the hit Christmas song "Last Christmas" by Wham. I've put together a great FREE backing track for you play along to, with full fingerings, note names and music for Eb and Bb saxes.

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, in the easy key of the video (up a semitone from the original) AND in the original key from the record. 

 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 Last Christmas on sax? (0:01)

  • yes, it's pretty easy to play Last Christmas on sax. Not as easy as Jingle Bells, but still quite manageable for beginners on sax
  • you can just play the Chorus section, or add the instrumental section as well as a bonus!


Can I play Last Christmas on any sax?

  • yes, I've included the Last Christmas notes for alto (or baritone) and tenor (or soprano)
  • the key (concert Eb) makes it easy for both transpositions [the original record is in D by the way]


 Can I get the saxophone sheet music for Last Christmas? (5:34)


What are the sax notes for Wham's "Last Christmas"?

 There are only 4 short phrases to learn for the chorus, and another 3 phrases for the instrumental hook (an * means second octave, so use the octave key)

  • phrase 1 for ALTO (0:31)    D*__D* G D* D* E* C
  • phrase 2 for ALTO (0:53)    A A D* D* E*  C__A B C B A__
  • phrase 3 for ALTO (1:22)    E*__D*__A E* F* E* D*__
  • phrase 4 for ALTO (1:47)    C B C C B  C  B  G__


  • phrase 1 for TENOR (0:31)    G*__G* F* C G* G* A* F*
  • phrase 2 for TENOR (0:53)    D* D* G* G* A*  F*__D* E* F* E* D*__
  • phrase 3 for TENOR (1:22)    A*__G*__D* A* Bb* A* G*__
  • phrase 4 for TENOR (1:47)    F* E* F* F* E*  F*  E*  C__


Now the notes for the instrumental section...

  • instrumental phrase 1 for ALTO (2:23)    G__G*__G__G A B C D*  C  A__
  • instrumental phrase 2 for ALTO (2:56)    G* E* C A F__
  • instrumental phrase 3 for ALTO (3:26)    A* F* D* B G__


  • instrumental phrase 1 for TENOR (2:23)    C__C*__C__C D* E* F* G*  F*  D*__
  • instrumental phrase 2 for TENOR (2:56)    C* A* F* D* Bb__
  • instrumental phrase 3 for TENOR (3:26)   D** Bb* G* E* C__


Is there a backing track for Last Christmas I can use? (5:50)

  • you can play along with my backing track here
  • I created my own backing track based on the original, but slightly pimped up!


So I hope you enjoy learning and performing Wham's "Last Christmas" and I'll see you next week. Jamie :-)


Video Time Stamps

0:00 - brief intro

0:31 - phrase 1 (slow with fingerings)

0:42 - phrase 1 (faster with note names)

0:53 - phrase 2 (slow with fingerings)

1:09 - phrase 2 (faster with note names)

1:21 - phrase 3 (slow with fingerings)

1:34 - phrase 3 (faster with note names)

1:46 - phrase 4 (slow with fingerings)

1:59 - phrase 4 (faster with note names)

2:23 - instrumental phrase 1 (slow with fingerings)

2:41 - instrumental phrase 1 (faster with note names)

2:56 - instrumental phrase 2 (slow with fingerings)

3:18 - instrumental phrase 2 (faster with note names)

3:26 - instrumental phrase 3 (slow with fingerings)

3:52 - instrumental phrase 3 (faster with note names)

4:02 - intro to my performance

4:10 - backing track with me playing

5:20 - now it's your turn


7:55 - sign off

8:33 - outro music and cards


Video Transcript

Welcome back to Get Your Sax Together, I'm going to teach you how to play “Last Christmas" by Wham. Let's get straight into it - there's four phrases to learn, with another bonus three if you want to cover the instrumental section. I've taken it up a semitone from the original key to make it easier for beginners on sax, however, if you go down into the description and click the link you'll get a free pdf with it all written out for tenor and alto, in this key AND the original key.

So let's get straight on with it. Here's the first phrase played slowly…

Now here's the first phrase played faster…

Okay here's the second phrase played nice and slowly for you…

And now that second phrase played more quickly…

Phrase three goes like this…

And here's that third phrase played a little bit faster…

And finally, phrase four goes like this…

And here's that last phrase, phrase four, played faster…

So those four phrases are going to give you the main instrumental section, the main melody, the chorus hook, however, if you want to take it to the next level and do the instrumental section there's three more phrases to learn. So here they are, here's the first phrase played slowly…

Now the first phrase of the instrumental, played faster…

Now here's the second phrase of the instrumental. For those of you that want to geek out a bit this goes straight down a major nine arpeggio. For alto it's F major nine, for tenor it's B-flat major nine. Here it is played slowly…

Now here's that second phrase of the instrumental played faster…

And now the final phrase three of the instrumental. Again, for those geeks amongst you, for alto this goes straight down a G9 arpeggio, so for tenor players that goes straight down a..em... let me work it out.. a C9 arpeggio. lol Okay here it is played slowly…

Now the final phrase of the instrumental phrase, played faster…

Okay, you've got all the notes now needed to play the whole thing, so here's me playing it. Hope you enjoy it, and then after this it's your turn!

Now it's over to you - you can play along. Have fun with this slice of Christmas cheese. Remember, there's a 4 bar introduction, two choruses and an instrumental and then another two choruses and an instrumental and you're finished.

If you want to see the written sheet music go down into the description, click the link you'll get all the music written out for alto AND tenor in this key, and as a special bonus you'll get it written out in the original key if you want to play along with the original record. So here comes the backing track hope you enjoy yourselves!

That's it for this week and that is the last Christmassy video this year. So I hope you've enjoyed the Christmasy stuff and the backing tracks and you've had fun playing along. If you're enjoying the channel please do subscribe, click the bell icon to be notified when I upload new videos, go and check out my Instagram feed, and once again, don't forget to go down into the description, click the link to get your free pdf with all the sheet music written out.

There'll be one more video for 2019 and that will round off my first year of YouTubing. I really hope you've enjoyed the content as much as I have enjoyed making it for you, so in the meantime, have a sax-tastic Christmas, keep practicing, and I'll see you next week!

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