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10 Essential Ballads That Every Saxophonist Should Know

10 Essential Ballads That Every Saxophonist Should Know

How many times has it happened that you tell somebody that you play the saxophone, and the first thing that they say, with a glint in their eyes is, “Oh, I love the saxophone…” Now, I hate to say it, but they probably aren’t thinking of Bird’s burning solo on Donna Lee, Coltrane’s “sheets of […]

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A Simple, Yet Bold New Approach To Saxophone Ligatures

A Simple, Yet Bold New Approach To Saxophone Ligatures

While at the 2014 NAMM show, I ran into mouthpiece maker Ted Klum and professional saxophonist Eddie Rich, who were test playing different types of saxophones, reeds, and ligatures. While I was talking to both of them, I noticed that on all of their mouthpieces they were using a ligature that I had not seen […]

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Why Knowing All Of Your Scales Is Not The Same As Knowing All Of Your Keys

Why Knowing All Of Your Scales Is Not The Same As Knowing All Of Your Keys

When teaching, I’m often struck by how many students can play all their major scales but have little actual understanding of the keys that they play in and how their related key signatures are constructed. Having an understanding of key signatures will greatly improve your reading and general music literacy, which will set you loose […]

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Are Black Bamboo Reeds The Next Big Thing?

Are Black Bamboo Reeds The Next Big Thing?

I have reviewed Forestone’s filed and unfiled reeds, finding that each had its own sound characteristics. Recently, I was introduced to the Forestone Black Bamboo reed. I knew I needed to test-play this reed to find out how it differed from the filed and unfiled cuts. For those of you new to the brand, Forestone’s reeds […]

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One Of The Quickest Ways To Get You Flying Through All Twelve Keys

One Of The Quickest Ways To Get You Flying Through All Twelve Keys

  Professional classical musicians seem to be able to memorize impossibly complicated solo works, orchestral excerpts, and other pieces in a short amount of time and with remarkable recall and precision. Similarly, professional jazz musicians know hundreds of tunes and seem to be able to play back almost anything they hear – in any key […]

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Meet 9 Of The World’s Top Mouthpiece Magicians

Meet 9 Of The World's Top Mouthpiece Magicians

While I was recently searching for a new mouthpiece, I started reading more about refacing and how the right person could turn a good mouthpiece into a one-of-a-kind-mouthpiece. In this review, I will be profiling various mouthpiece makers/refacers whose mouthpieces I have tried – whether it be their own branded mouthpiece, or another branded mouthpiece […]

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How To Keep Your Solos Fresh Using Lower Neighbor Tones

How To Keep Your Solos Fresh Using Lower Neighbor Tones

One of the most basic and important truths of improvising is that no matter what note you play, you’re never more than a half-step away from the “right” note. Besides being a comforting thing to know, this truth might actually help you get out of a musical jam, and could also help you expand your […]

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Saxophone Highlights from NAMM 2014

Saxophone Highlights from NAMM 2014

Similar to last year’s NAMM show, the 2014 show was another year filled with some new products ranging from saxophones, mouthpieces, ligatures, reeds and much, much more. This NAMM show in particular, saxophone and reed manufacturer, Lupifaro invited me to join them at the booth and assist with the setup and tear down at a […]

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