Tim teaches musical instruments in schools and colleges. He also plays the trumpet in several bands and arranges and publishes music.
Solo Alto Saxophone Play-Alongs
Here you will find a collection of free play-alongs and backing tracks for solo alto saxophone. Each video plays the piano backing track along with the sheet music for the sax so you can follow and play along.
Playing with a backing track cannot only make your practise more fun, but it can also help keep you play in time and develop your ensemble skills. These saxophone solos would also make excellent concert items, and the sheet music is available if you wish to perform them.
I have arranged several saxophone solos with a wide variety of styles, including Christmas, Jazz, Folk, Ragtime and more!
Alto Saxophone Backing Tracks and Play-Alongs
1. "The Entertainer"
2. "Danny Boy"
3. "St James' Infirmary"
4. "O Holy Night"
5. "The Drunken Sailor"
6. "The Banana Boat Song"
Jamaican Work Song/Calyso
7. "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
8. "Yellow Bird"
9. "William Tell"
Russian Folk Song
11. "Scotland The Brave"
12. "La Cucaracha"
13. "Mango Walk"
15. "The Daisy Bell"
English Children's Song
16. "Scarborough Fair"
17. "Ten Green Bottles"
English Children's Song
18. "The Skye Boat Song"
19. "Amazing Grace in Blue"
1. "The Entertainer"—Scott Joplin
"The Entertainer" is Scott Joplin's most famous piano rag and was written in 1902. This well known tune was used on the 1970's film "The Sting". This arrangement has been adapted for solo sax and piano. The alto saxophone part has been written to an intermediate standard which is about grade 3.
2. "Danny Boy"—Irish Traditional
"Danny Boy" is a famous song written in 1910 by Fred Weatherly. It's lyrics was set to the traditional Irish tune "The Londonderry Air." It became popular during the First World War as the song depicts a soldier leaving for war. This arrangement has been written for solo alto saxophone and piano. The sax part has been written to an intermediate standard which is about grade 3.
3. "St James' Infirmary"
"St James' Infirmary" is a traditional New Orleans Funeral March. This arrangement starts with Chopin's Funeral March which then becomes the accompanying figure. The piece becomes more jazzy and intense as it progresses. This arrangement has been written for solo alto saxophone and piano. The sax part has been written to an intermediate standard which is about grade 3.
4. "O Holy Night"—Adolphe Adams
"O Holy Night" is a famous Christmas song written by Adolphe Adams in 1847. The song is based on the French poem "Minuit, Chrétiens" which reflects on the birth of Jesus. This arrangement has been written for solo alto saxophone and piano. The sax part has been written to an intermediate standard which is about grade 3.
5. "The Drunken Sailor" — Traditional Sea Shanty
"The Drunken Sailor" is a traditional sea shanty. Songs where often sang to help the sailors keep in time when doing jobs onboard. This work song is thought to have originated in the early 19th century but became a poplar song amongst non sailors early in the 20th century.
This easy to play sax solo is played twice with a counter melody of a hornpipe in the backing track.
6. "The Banana Boat Song" — Traditional Calypso
"The Banana Boat Song" is traditional Jamaican work song. This song, also known as "Day-O", was also covered by Harry Belafonte in 1956 and in 1979 Harry famously performed this song on the muppet show. This song has also featured in the 1988 film "Beetle Juice"
This sax solo is fairly easy to play and is about a grade 1 to 2 difficulty.
7. "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star —Traditional
"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" is a well known lullaby which is sung to the tune of the a traditional French song. A common misconception is that Mozart wrote "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". Although this is not true he did compose 12 variations on the theme.
This easy to play sax solo features a variation on 2nd verse.
8. "Yellow Bird" —Traditional Calypso
"Yellow Bird" is set to the Haitian lyrical poem "Chouccoune". This fun to play calypso song is about a lady who has "flown" away.
The sax solo is moderately easy to play.
9. "William Tell" — Rossini
This is the overture from Rossini's 39th opera, the "William Tell". This music is often associated with horse riding and was the theme for the "Lone Ranger".
This sax solo is moderately easy to play.
10. "Kalinka" — Russian Traditional
"Kalinka" is a famous Russian folk song that gradually gets faster. This song was famously used in the game Tetris and now it's now known as the "Tetris Theme". This sax solo is moderately easy to play.
11. "Scotland The Brave" — Scottish Traditional
Often played on bagpipes the patriotic song "Scotland the Brave" is an unofficial Scottish Anthem. Often played by military bands this song has featured on TV and Films.
This sax solo is moderately easy to play and features a counter melody in the accompaniment on the repeat.
12. "The Cucaracha"—Traditional
"The Cucaracha" is a traditional Spanish song about a Cockroach. This tune is very popular in Mexico and is often played by Mariachi bands. This sax solo is moderately easy to play.
13. "Mango Walk" —Traditional
"Mango Walk" is a traditional Jamaican song about fruit picking. A "Mango Walk" is an orchard and a number 11 is a variety of mango. This sax solo is in a calypso style is moderately easy to play.
14. "Greensleeves" — English Traditional
"Greensleeves" is a famous English traditional folk song which is thought to be credited to Henry VIII. Shakespeare refers to the tune Greensleeves twice in "The Merry Wives of Windsor". This sax solo is written in a dorian minor and is moderately easy to play.
15. "The Daisy Bell" —Traditional
"The Daisy Bell" is a popular British song written in 1892 by Harry Dacre. This Victorian song in triple time is also known as "Daisy Daisy". This sax solo is moderately easy to play.
16. "Scarborough Fair" — English Traditional
"Scarborough Fair" is a traditional English folk song which was famously covered by Simon and Garfunkel in the 1960's. The origins of the song can be traced back as early as 1670! This sax solo is moderately easy to play.
17. "Ten Green Bottles" —Traditional
"Ten Green Bottles" is a popular Children's song in the UK. This sax solo is moderately easy to play and features a variation on the 2nd verse.
18. "The Skye Boat Song" — Scottish Traditional
The 'Skye Boat Song" is a traditional Scottish folk tune from the 19th century. This arrangement for solo sax depicts the sea and is moderately easy to play.
19. "Amazing Grace in Blue" — Spiritual
This arrangement of the popular hymn has been "jazzed up" and gets progressively more bluesy as the song progresses. Written in a gospel style this sax solo is at a moderate difficulty.
I regularly write and arrange new music for saxophone and other instruments too, so please come back to check out what is new!
I would love to hear what sax solos you would like to play and would like me to arrange next. Please comment below and leave some great suggestions!