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Dissecting Your Scales To Build Your Technique

Dissecting Your Scales To Build Your Technique

Learn your scales. Learn your scales. Learn your scales… We hear it over and over while we’re learning to play music, but often we don’t hear enough about what we can do with those scales once we’ve learned them. When we really learn scales, they can unlock many musical doors for us, and to build […]

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Test Driving The Penella Saxophone

Test Driving The Penella Saxophone

I first heard about Penella saxophones by reading a few comments about them on SaxOnTheWeb.net. After I finished reading the comments, I wanted to find out more information and ended up going to their Facebook page to do some more research. On the Facebook page, I was able to find a few videos of musicians […]

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This Is Probably The Most Useful Scale In Jazz Improvisation

This Is Probably The Most Useful Scale In Jazz Improvisation

Scales are the “raw material” of melody, whether improvised or composed. It’s not likely that you’ll study jazz improvisation to any serious degree without spending a lot of time learning, exploring and creating melodies with scalar material (as well as understanding how these scales relate to harmony). In modern jazz improvisation, many different scale colors […]

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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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