How to Play Careless Whisper on Alto Sax (Fingering Charts + Music Sheet)

Today we are going to learn how to play one of the most famous sax solo's; Careless Whisper by George Michael on alto sax.

In today's lesson, we are going to learn how to play on alto sax the most important saxophone riff of all time and perhaps one of the most famous sax solos ever — George Michael's Careless Whisper.

This song was really popular when it came out in the 80s, and then a few years ago there was a YouTube video that wen viral that featured this sax solo.

Let's dive right in.

How to Play Careless Whisper on Alto Sax (Fingering Charts + Music Sheet)

How to Play Careless Whisper on Alto Sax

The solo starts on a high C, which is your C with the octave key.

High C or D Fingering Chart

Then keeping our octave key on we're going to play a high B.

High B or C Fingering Chart

Followed by an octave key F sharp.

F or G Fingering Chart

F or G Alternate Fingering Chart

And then an octave key D.

D Fingering Chart

So, those four notes, all with the octave key i.e. C, B, F, and D, are what we need for now.

Here's how the first few notes look:

The second phrase starts with a high A (that's the A with the octave key):

A Fingering Chart

Then the G below that.

G Fingering Chart

Then the D below it.

D Fingering Chart

Then the B without the octave key.

B or C Fingering Chart

Here's how that looks:

Careless Whisper Sheet Music (Downloadable PDF)

Here's the entire music sheet for Careless Whisper for careless whisper. This will probably take time to get through and practice but you will not have the entire song note-by-note.

As for the rest of the fingering charts, I already covered all fingerings for the saxophone on this blog (including the most common alternate fingerings). Here are all major scales on the saxophone, here are all minor scales on the saxophone. That alone should cover all the fingerings you'll need.

The notes that are used on Careless Whisper are based on the concert F major scale, that's the D major scale on the alto (B Aeolian Scale i.e. B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B). So that's all you'll need.

Have a look at saxophone transposition if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

The Sheet Music

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I've played the alto and then the tenor saxophone for close to a decade now. I gig with several bands around the world for most months in a year. I created SqueakingSax to share with you some interesting tips and techniques I've picked up along the way.

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