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...
The 12 major scales are the foundations or 'building blocks' that make up all western music.
You may have heard the term 'modes' of a scale. Quite simply, if you start a scale on any note other than the first note, and play up the same note to an octave above, you're playing a 'mode' of a scale.
For example if you play all the notes of C major, but start and finish on a D, you're playing the second mode of C. You'll hear how the sound of the scale changes from 'happy' to 'sad'. This is a minor scale and is called a dorian D. Here's the full list of modes:
|First - Ionian (major)||Second - Dorian (minor)||Third - Phrygian||Fourth - Lydian|
|Fifth - Mixolydian||Sixth - Aeolian (minor)||Seventh - Locrian|
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)|
|Concert C minor||Concert C# minor||Concert D minor|
|Concert Eb minor||Concert E minor||Concert F minor|
|Concert F# minor||Concert G minor||Concert Ab minor|
|Concert A minor||Concert Bb minor||Concert B minor|