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7 Tips to Keep Your Lower Lip Pain-Free

Lower Teeth Biting Lower Lip for Saxophone Players

Almost all of us know the feeling. It’s been a long practice or rehearsal session, and the inside of our lower lip is so sore that we can barely go on playing, thanks to our flesh-piercing lower teeth. (Ouch! Sounds painful when I put it that way, no?) This article was my response to an […]

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Review of the Theo Wanne “AMMA” Metal Mouthpiece

Theo Wanna AMMA tenor saxophone mouthpiece

I recently received a Theo Wanne “AMMA” model metal mouthpiece with a 7 * tip opening for my tenor saxophone. Over the years, I have heard from many saxophonists that Theo Wanne is one of the leading mouthpiece refacers in the world. This past January, I had the opportunity to visit his booth at the […]

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11 Tips for Making Your Saxophone Playing More Expressive and Soulful

Maceo Parker

The definition of the word, Soul as defined on the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments. When it comes to music, it’s been my experience that the sound of a human being singing tends to touch the average person’s heart more than any other sound. Because we all […]

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A Guide to Playing in a Big Band Saxophone Section

Big Band Saxophone Section Playing

This article is a guest post from Jeff Rzepiela, whose transcriptions of saxophone solos by the greats can be found at Playing in a big band’s sax section can be a thrilling experience. When the section is in synch, it can be like the Blue Angels flying in perfect formation. On the other hand, […]

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Practicing Voicing to Make Your Sound Bigger and More Focused

Saxophone Voicing

Voicing on the saxophone is an aspect of playing the instrument that many of us don’t really get into until we’re in the more advanced stages. Those exposed to this practice early on are among the lucky ones. Ummm…what do you mean by “voicing”? As far as I see it, voicing refers to the manipulation […]

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Write an Etude, Become a Better Improviser

Writing Etudes

This guest post is from Randy Hunter of There are a lot of steps on the road to becoming a top notch jazz improviser. You learn the technical aspects of playing your instrument, practice scales and patterns, study harmony and ear training; then you have to work at assembling your ideas in a creative and […]

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Saxophonist Steve Lehman Shows Us What it Takes to Be a True Original

Steve Lehman

As a saxophonist, performer, educator, and scholar, New York City’s Steve Lehman has travelled a truly original musical journey. Taking into consideration Lehman’s stints with barrier-busters such as Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Wessel, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium, one can see that Steve is anything […]

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Altissimo the Easy Way

David Sanborn

Ever notice that there’s something missing from your favorite Benny Carter, Bird, or Coleman Hawkins recordings? Well, yes, they are conspicuously missing a good melodica solo, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Things Ain’t What they Used to Be Though it’s not completely absent from their playing, these jazz pioneers used the altissimo register far less […]

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