Do You Have 10 Minutes to Practice?

If you answered yes to the title of this post, then you can succeed on the saxophone! But first, let’s talk about superhero powers.

Superhero Powers

As a fun “get to know you game” I’ve heard people ask, “If you could possess any superhero power, what would it be?”

Some answers include flying, being invisible, or even shooting lasers out of their eyes. My power would be a little different. I would possess the ability to create additional time in my day.

I know, not very cool for a superhero. And I can’t imagine the outfit would be a popular costume for kids at Halloween. But just think how this would change your life! You would definitely have time to do all you ever wanted to do.

A Super Challenge

Unfortunately, this superhero power isn’t available to the public yet so we need to use other methods that are almost as effective.

Whether you work full time, or go to school all day, finding time to practice can be a super challenge. To help with this issue we wrote a blog post titled Creating More Time to Practice. Simply getting started and then staying motivated is another big challenge. Let’s go ahead and fix this issue too!

Hidden Time

When people stop practicing, it’s not because they wanted to, it’s because they ran out of time…or at least they thought they did. I want you to understand that you have the time to learn the saxophone. If you have not begun, because of time commitment, then I am going to give you permission to do something- I now give you permission to practice the amount of time that fits in your schedule. This may only be 10 minutes- that’s OK- It still works!

The Elephant Approach

There’s a saying that goes something like this: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. In other words, if you have a big task in front of you, divide it into little tasks. Smaller tasks are much easier to accomplish. By doing the smaller tasks on a daily basis, we are able to accomplish the large task over time.

Relating an Elephant to a Saxophone

We are taking a large task and cutting it down to little pieces. We practice a little bit everyday and eventually we reach our goal. If someone was eating 2 bites of elephant per day, they would finish faster than someone eating 1 bite a day. The same goes for practicing, the person who practices 20 minutes a day will reach their goal in half the time. Note: they both reach their goal!

The Key

Simply stated- Be Consistent!

If you practice 2 hours, one day a week, you would total 2 hours of practicing that week. Practice 5-7 days a week, for 10 minutes per practice session, and you would total 50-70 minutes in the week. Here’s the kicker- You will be a better saxophone player at the end of the week with the shorter, consistent practice schedule.
Notice that consistent practicing needs about half the time to improve! Hmm, I guess in a way we are creating time. That’s the super power of consistency!

By the way, if you decide you can practice for 30 minutes a session, you will learn at an accelerated rate.


I can’t say it enough, so I will say it a few more times: consistency, consistency, consistency! You will not regret it one bit. Get started today and you will be 1 step closer to becoming the saxophone player you want to be! If you haven’t started yet, you can begin for free.

A Question

What motivates you to practice? Go ahead and answer in the comment section. I would love to hear your response. Additionally, if you liked this post, please share it with others by using the social media buttons below. I appreciate your help with getting the word out!

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Comments 9

  1. I am motivated when my practicing is goin on smoothly and get discourage when my read is bad,because i use more energy than required

    1. Post

      I completely understand! When the reed is giving us issues, it can be really frustrating. As you continue to practice, getting reeds to work for you will become easier too. Keep up the good work!

    1. Post

      No problem. This is something that can definitely be solved. I have 2 questions:

      1. Have you had a chance to go over the mouthpiece set up video in the free lessons?
      2. Are you aware of out free feedback feature? This will allow me to hear you play so I can make some suggestions tailored to your needs. Here is the link:

      Let me know how I can help and I will be happy to assist.


  2. You could motivate me to practice more often for a short time if you told me that I don’t have to clean out the sax every time I play it. Cleaning out by itself takes almost ten minutes, and I was reading that you have to dry out the sax every time.

    It is the biggest deterrent for me to touching my saxophone: to know that I have to clean it out if I play it. (And not if I don’t). So how important is it really? I play other brass instruments, trombone, trumpet, baritone horn, but I don’t clean and dry them out every time I play.

    1. Post

      Hi Rene,

      Thanks for your question. Here’s the answer: You don’t need to clean out your saxophone every time, especially if it keeps you from playing. The less you clean out your saxophone the faster “things” may wear out. On the other hand, I’ve had my saxophone for 18 years and I don’t clean out my horn every time. There wouldn’t be any long term damage that would be noticeable if you didn’t clean it out every time. However, it’s important to take it to a repair shop at least once a year to keep the instrument playing in top condition. Hope this gets you playing more often!

  3. I am having trouble with mouth ulcers, which makes me to stop playing saxophone for few days. Any tips to overcome this so that my consistency is maintained??

    1. Post

      Hi Aliff,

      I’m sorry to hear about that issue. Many times that can throw off our practice schedule, but even though I don’t know how to get rid of the issue, there is one thing you can do that may help: fold up a small piece of paper (note cards work the best) and place it over your bottom teeth. This does not eliminate the pain, but it can reduce it. Other material people use includes a mouth guard for the teeth (not too big though), or a common favorite: denture cushions. The denture cushions are less obtrusive and will last longer than the paper. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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