Dave Ford on sax


James Ford: private lessons in Newburgh, Fife


There are woodwind instruments…there are brass instruments…. & then there’s the Sax.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a hybrid between a woodwind & a brass instrument: it’s made from the same alloy as proper brass instrument like a trumpet but it has a reed. The French guy who invented got rather a hard time from the purists...well from everybody really. The Saxophone produces a sound closest to the human voice of any instrument although it has close competition perhaps in this from the cello.

& there are 4 to choose from! From fruity Barritone honks to cheeky Soprano squeaks, you have it all. What’s more, if you can play one, with a wee bit of embouchure adjustment, you can play the lot! The fingering is exactly the same.


It's best if you come with an idea of the sort of music you'd like to be able to play. Please bring along a CD or MP3...mini-disc or whatever of the music you want to play, play along with, or just enjoy most.

These lessons are paperless & our focus & inspiration for your goals will come directly from the music you bring with you. As a saxophonist in particular, you will benefit greatly by being able to play what you hear. Being stuck to the dots of sheet music will keep you from listening properly & freeing yourself mentally. Your goal should be to play a tune instinctively as if you were singing it.

James will take complete beginners - but prefers those with a little experience.

James playing with the Herculean Ceilidh Band 1996

Dave Playing Tenor in the Herculean Ceilidh Band: Sax Lessons, Newburgh, Fife
close up soprano sax from below: Sax Tuition, Newburgh, Fife

If you're completely new to the sax, please do have a blow before you come - however dreadful it may sound!! Getting used to having a vibrating reed in your mouth is half the battle & you will progress much faster if you have some experience, however small.

  Put the mouthpiece (or crook) by the bedside & blow into it for a few seconds before you go to bed - & after you wake in the morning. Try playing softly & with control - & loudly... Tenor sax crook / mouthpiece: Sax  teacher, Newburgh, Fife & Perth
  'Buy youself a soft reed. Rated from 1 to around 5, a '1&1/2' or '2' rated reed will mean you can make a noise without busting a gut. Most advanced players prefer a harder reed, but don't be intimidated into playing one harder than you feel happy with. I still play with a '2'! (& don't care who knows it....)'  
Close up soprano sax:  Learn Soprano Sax by ear with Dave   James:
Buying his first Alto in 1990, James took around 4 weeks to ‘convert’ from the clarinet. A year on he joined his first 'world music' band ‘Tusitala’ based in Portabello, Edinburgh. He also joined the brass section of The Groove Tunnel in this year.
Dave playing with Edinburgh band Corra 2009
Clarinet or Sax?
Which sax to choose?
Listen to James on Sax playing his own compositions: MP3-10 MP3-4, MP3-5, MP3-9 & from short film
'Thelma a Textile Journey' James plays all instruments.
MP3/film page

It was around 1998 that James bought his Soprano sax & soon after his Tenor. Since these 2 fulfil a broad range of playing styles & pitch ranges, he rarely plays the Alto these

days. James currently plays Soprano & Tenor in Floozie Soo

Dave J Ford At the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles October 2005 Eyes closed holding Soprano Saxophone.
James At the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles October 2005 with FloozieSoo

Weavers Hall, Bank Close, Newburgh, Fife
KY14 6EG

email: james

mobile: 07970 744986
landline:01337 842434

Dave J Ford peering through  ice sculpture