12 Major Scales for Saxophone

Here are the 12 major scales written for saxophone.

One sheet has all 12 major scales one octave (12611) and the other has all 12 major scales full range (9887). Full range scales were originally written for beginner saxophonists that most likely would not have a high F# key. Therefore select scales top out at high E, E#, or F.

If you like these printouts or have an idea that you would like to share about additional free scale sheets, I invite you to leave a comment below.

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Further Reading

All-State Sight Reading Book

Saxophone Embouchure: 5 Tips for Beginners

Do You Want to Get Real Saxophone Lessons Online? Forget YouTube Videos. Get Skype.

A Jazz Improvisation Lesson for Saxophone Beginners

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6 thoughts on “12 Major Scales for Saxophone

    • Hi Timmy,

      I understand where you are coming from. There are plenty of ways to improve your ability to play the saxophone in different keys.

      Certainly, being able to play your 12 major scales will be a step in that direction. After that, begin playing each major scale through the 7 modes. At this point, you can begin interval study (3rds, 4ths, etc.) on each mode.

      While you are laying this foundation, you can also be playing out of a variety of etude books that have short music pieces in all 12 keys, major and relative minor. My favorite is Ferling’s 48 Famous Studies. I have a good number of other books on my resources page here:

      http://wiltonelder.com/music-resources

      Playing popular melodies or famous jazz heads in different keys will also open your ears and fingers up to playing in different keys too. Practice soloing on basic I-IV-V blues progressions in uncommon keys.

      This should hopefully get you going. Please let me know if you need any further guidance!

  1. I am having problems with 3rd and 4th interval… I lack jazz technique…find it diff undstd and playing different scales like pentatonic minor..etc

    • Technique transcends any genre such as jazz. Once you can confidently play your scales, 3rds, 4ths, etc. you should be able to apply that facility to any style of music.

      Learning 3rds and 4ths is no different than any other melodic pattern. I recommend slow practice with a metronome and then do some free practice (rubato) without the metronome. Practice singing the intervals as you learn to play them on your instrument.

      Pentatonic scales are all the same whether major or minor. The pitches in a C major pentatonic (C, D, E, G, A) and an A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G) are identical. The only thing that is different is the starting point. With C major, you begin on C. With A minor, you begin on A. Otherwise, the collection of notes is the same.

      There is a variety of applications for pentatonic scales. I would start with learning the scales (same approach as recommended above for 3rds and 4ths) and then move toward applying them to simple chord progressions like a 12-bar blues or a 2-chord modal progression found in songs like “So What” by Miles Davis and “Impressions” by John Coltrane.

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