This is a public version of the members-only Jazz Sax with Eric Marienthal, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Jazz Sax with Eric Marienthal.
Join Now

Basic Saxophone
Intermediate Saxophone
Advanced Saxophone
Exercise of the Week Archive
Lick of the Week Archive
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Jazz Sax Lessons: Play Along & Learn a Song: When the Saints Go Marching In

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Basic Saxophone

+Intermediate Saxophone

+Advanced Saxophone

+Exercise of the Week Archive

+Lick of the Week Archive

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Jazz Sax

This video lesson is available only to members of
Jazz Sax with Eric Marienthal.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Jazz Sax with Eric Marienthal. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Jazz Sax Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
So years ago it was actually around 1980,
if you don't mind me
dating myself to a point.
I played in a band in New Orleans,
I lived for a year there and
played with the great Al Hurt.
It was my first big gig after college.
And I'm from California, and
it was quite the adventurous move for
me to move from California to New Orleans.
It was, it was incredible,
it was fantastic.
And Al Hurt was quite the musical
genius actually, it was amazing.
And one of the iconic songs obviously was
his song When the Saints Come Marching In.
And so low and behold,
I've written it out for you here.
We're gonna learn to play it.
So, let's check it out.
So this one is in the concert key
of E flat, which means that for
us E flat people, we're playing in the key
of C, which has no sharps or flats.
And for
the B flat people you have one flat.
You're in the key of F and so
you just have that one B flat.
As indicated on your chart.
So, be aware of the pick ups in this song.
There are three beats, so
it's not a complete bar as you can see.
If music is written correctly,
whenever you have a pickup bar the first
actual full bar should begin with a double
bar as you can see it on the chart.
There's two lines, two bar lines there.
And that's a clear indicator that's
something is up prior to it.
So have a look.
If you don't look carefully you
might not think about the fact that
there is something up prior to that double
bar and you might start on beat one and
you realize that I'm a beat short,
and that'll be a problem.
So in this case, you have,
you were in 4/4 time and
the pickup notes that you have
there take up three beats.
There's three pickup notes.
And on a lot of the songs here
in this section, the time or
the feel, the groove, rhythm behind it,
whatever is sort of like happy birthday.
Like Auld Lang Syne.
The you know, those songs aren't
really the rhythm behind them
isn't exactly super important.
This song is a you know,
it's an iconic song.
It's played at a really iconic tempo.
So you wanna make sure that you're playing
the time of the music with conviction.
So check it out.
Here we go.
So in this case one,
if we have three pick up notes prior to
that first bar, giving you just
one beat is not gonna be enough.
So, not only would you count a full bar,
then the beat prior to those pick ups and
so there'll be five beats total.
So we would say I'll give you
five beat count off, okay.
And here we go.
A one, two, three, four, one.
me back.
>> [LAUGH]
>> Cool.
So you can feel the rhythm.
Now, obviously you've heard this song
played faster, we are just starting off.
So I want to make sure you can play
this song at a tempo that you're
comfortable with.
Again, it is much easier to play,
much better, and easier, definitely.
To play a song slowly enough so
that you can control it.
It's easy once you can control the song.
Meaning that you have control over the
notes, you know where all the notes are,
you know where all the basic things.
You know which notes to articulate,
you know what the rhythms are.
It makes it much easier to play a song at
a tempo that you control and
then speed it up.
But if you just it hit right away
you're gonna be frustrated, if you
hit right away at a tempo that you're used
to hearing which will be faster than that.
It is gonna be frustrating for
you because, you know,
you're gonna be working backwards.
You're gonna make a lot mistakes and
it's gonna become a big frustration.
So, be aware of that.
Also, you're used to a lot of
embellishment in this kinda song and
it's a jazz Dixie Land standard and
all kinds of different things going on.
But man, so like many other things,
like with inflections, like with vibrato,
like with articulation,
start off slow and in control.
That's why long tones are it.
Whenever anybody comes up to me and
asks me,
what's the most important
thing you practice.
I don't hesitate by saying long tones.
Long tones is that pure sound,
that first initial thing.
Because when you think about music,
every note,
there's a lot of long tones in this song.
And if I didn't practice and if you don't
practice your long tones, those notes
aren't going to sound, and invariably,
that's what is the most important thing.
We're making music.
It's not a visual art.
It's an oral art.
So we want to make sure that
everything we play sounds good.
And it's all about each
individual note sounding good.
So take your time with things, make
sure they sound good, make sure you have
control, and then take it from there, and
speed things up only when you're ready.
Let's play it one more time, shall we?
Here we go, give you five beats.
One, two, three, four, five.
Have fun.