Here is an infographic for all you lovers of Selmer saxophones out there (Me included!). This timeline of the various Selmer saxophone models includes the date ranges of production for each model as well as the corresponding serial number ranges for each model.
Please consider this a work in progress! I referenced a few different sites for the dates etc. There are definitely some difference depending where you look so If you spot of any errors or omissions please let me know and I will happily do my best to correct them.
What model Selmer do you play? Let me know in the comments below.
Also, here are some links to some great websites that go into way more depth on the history of Selmer Paris and their different models.
Chris Potter, Melissa Aldana, Kamasi Washington — These are some of jazz’s best contemporary tenor saxophonists. What is something that they all share? They share the fact that their playing is rooted in the rich historical lineage of the tenor saxophonists that came before them. This article lists 5 essential solos from Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list and more than likely you will come up with 5 completely different solos which is amazing! I would love to hear what your top 5 saxophone solos are and what they mean to you! Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
1. Body and Soul – Coleman Hawkins
This is considered one of the most famous recordings of Body and Soul. Coleman Hawkins’ smooth flowing lines through the complex changes hint at a move away from the common cliches of the swing music at the time and hint at the bebop language that is come. Body and Soul as such, has become something of a tenor saxophone rite of passage to play.
32-bar rhythm changes are one of the essential song forms for every jazz musicians to learn. This solo is a great introduction to some stylistic concepts and jazz vocabulary for any player and can serve as a foundation for beginning to study the lineage of any of the amazing tenor players that follow Lester Young.
In 2019, Go! was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. For me Cheese Cake was the first full solo I ever transcribed back in high school. It was no easy feat back then and took me what felt like forever but I learned so much from that first solo and I highly recommend giving it a listen.
Sonny Rollins’ Solo on the tune St Thomas From from his album Saxophone Colossus is a master class in motivic development. After building through the beginning of the solo with a repeating rhythmic figure, he launches into some superbly tasty hard-bop lines.
Giant Steps is one of Coltrane’s most famous compositions and recordings. Considered by some to be the equivalent of jazz acrobatics it is another rite of passage for aspiring jazz musicians out there.
Here are all the major scales for saxophone. They are written out one octave ascending and descending. The whole range of the saxophone from ‘low-Bb’ to ‘high-F# (Gb)’ is covered. You can download the pdf file below.
For scales that have the same fingering but different names, i.e Gb major and F# major both versions are written.
**A note on practicing. All the scales should be memorized and played two octaves where possible.