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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 www.scooby-sax.com. 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 RandyHunterJazz.com. 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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Fourteen Sax Shops You Should Visit Before You Die

Saxophone Shop

When you decide it’s time to upgrade your setup, it’s difficult to figure out what music store carries the equipment you need as well as the staff that can best find the horn that suits you. From my experience, searching for the right saxophone is not as easy as it sounds. To help those saxophonist […]

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Position Your Reed Right, Play Better

Position of Saxophone Reed

Just about any saxophone teacher, book, or website will tell you that when fastening your reed to the mouthpiece, the best way to do it is to position the tip of the reed so that it’s lined up as perfectly as possible with the tip of the mouthpiece. But sometimes it’s best to try some different […]

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Does Your Neck Strap Contain Hidden Power to Improve Your Sound?

Rico and Neotech Saxophone Neckstraps

Last week, as I was about to begin a practice session, I saw that I had a few brand new plain-and-simple neck straps that were sent to me by the kind folks at Rico. Burnt out on my old and sagging Neotech strap, I decided to give the Rico strap a try. First thing I […]

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