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17. The Sax & the Steamroller

Haven’t you ever secretly dreamed of a steamroller riding over a saxophone? And about how it was going to look like after that ‘make over’? I did, and I had told a few of my students about this. Some time later one came along with an old alto sax that looked good but was really […]

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16. Keep the pressure on

Don’t let your air pressure (breath support) drop between notes! Keep the pressure on, just like when talking. This way, you connect the notes together nicely, and they become a real sentence. Of course, you stop blowing when you put a comma or for breathing. If you have to play short notes in a row,

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13. An important TIP about TIPS

What should you do with all those tips that often contradict each other? Every saxophonist, sax teacher, repairman, seller, etc. has its own package of ideas, knowledge, and preferences with regard to: saxophones (brand, type, series, year, paint, serial numbers, material), reeds (thickness, brand, plastic/bamboo, cleaning, processing), reed clamps, pads, wipers, cases, straps, standards, posture,

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11. The b-syndrome

The note b is very often been skipped on the saxophone when improvising, strange but true. While improvising with students, I repeatedly noticed that they hardly use the b. I’ve come to call this the b-syndrome. And I found the following explanation for that: our fingers don’t like it, especially when playing down, and also

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10. The concert key

What does it mean when we say: ‘The concert key of this piece is Ab?’ It means that the piece is composed in Ab for the C-instruments. It’s not so easy to explain, but I’ll try.  In most orchestras we have mainly C-, Bb- and Eb-instruments.C-instruments: piano, violins, flute, guitar, bass, guitar, keyboard.When you play

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