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Saxophone Methods MUS 2635 Course Packet School of Music Ohio University

Matthew James, DMA Ohio University Saxophone Studio Website:

General Tendency of Saxophone Intonation at the Extremes of the Instrument's Range


Sharp Low Register High Register

General Tendency of Saxophone Intonation at Dynamic Extremes


Sharp Piano Forte

Enhancing Intonation: Strategies for High School & Middle School Saxophonists OMEA Presentation
Matthew James Professor of Saxophone/Jazz Studies 576 Music Bldg., Ohio University - Athens, OH 45701 Phone: (740)593-0957 email: I. II. Introduction Out of Tune Playing: Problems & Solutions A. Using incorrect embouchure/posture/breath support 1. Review formation of embouchure 2. What is good posture? 3. Using the airstream Changing jaw position in different registers 1. Subtone defined 2. Watch the mirror for jaw, embouchure, facial muscle movement Incorrect mouthpiece placement on saxophone neck 1. No single setting works for all setups Using an unsuitable mouthpiece or reed 1. Stock mouthpieces 2. Classical mouthpieces vs. jazz 3. Recommended mouthpieces 4. Hard reeds vs. soft 5. Recommended brands of reeds Instrument out of adjustment 1. Key height 2. Corks, felts and bumpers Player is unaware of the pitch tendencies of all notes and corrective measures for them 1. Create a personalized student tuning chart 2. Pitch tendencies for all notes on saxophone a. Playing and adjusting in extreme registers b. Flexibility exercises 3. Corrective fingerings & strategies


C. D.



G. H.

Music includes extreme dynamics &/or requires high endurance 1. Forte vs. piano pitch tendencies Hearing the pitch incorrectly 1. Anticipating problems before they occur 2. Solfege 3. Critical listening 4. Tuners 5. Computer programs a. Intonation Trainer b. Toon Up c. Tune It II 6. Importance of playing in chamber ensembles/saxophone quartet Using incorrect tuning procedure Vibrato too wide Not compensating for temperature changes

I. J. K. III.

Questions & Discussion

Components of the Saxophone Reed

Components of the Saxophone Mouthpiece

Additional Beginning Saxophone Materials: A Supplement to Larry Teal, Art of Saxophone Playing
Matthew James, Ohio University Saxophone Method/Etude Books Starter Studies Philip Sparke Now Go Home and Practice - Jim Probasco Progressive Saxophone Method Books 1 & 2 - Andrew Scott A Practical Approach to Playing the Saxophone - Steve Mauk Saxophone Method, Vols. 1 &2 - Euguene Rousseau Practical Hints on Playing the Saxophone - Eugene Rousseau The Alto Saxophone Student, vols. 1,2,3 - Willis Coggins/Fred Weber Playing the Saxophone - vols. 1,2,3 - Jean-Marie Londeix A New Tune a Day for Alto Saxophone, Vols. 1 & 2 - Ned Bennett Play Alto Sax Today! Levels 1,2 Hal Leonard Jazz Etudes Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Jazz Conception for Saxophone - Lennie Niehaus Reading Key Jazz Rhythms - Fred Lipsius Mintzer: 15 Easy Etudes Solo Collections Belwin Master Solos - easy solos The Orchestral Saxophonist - Ronkin/Frascotti Classic Festival Solos for Alto Saxophone(Belwin) - easy/intermediate - 2 vols. Concert & Contest Collection (Voxman/Rubank) - easy to advanced Master Solos Intermediate Level (Hal Leonard) - intermediate Program Solos (Larry Teal) - intermediate to advanced Rubank Book of Alto Saxophone Solos - easy to intermediate Solos for the Alto Saxophone Player (Larry Teal) - intermediate to advanced Band Methods Essential Elements - Tom Rhodes Standards of Excellence - Bruce Pearson Learning Unlimited - Art Jenson Accent on Achievement - John OReilly Best in Class - Bruce Pearson

Matthew James Ohio University
Muscles Involved With Breathing: Intercostals are the muscles between the ribs that serve to expand and contract the lungs The diaphragm is an involuntary muscle. It forces air out when it relaxes; air moves from greater to lower pressure areas when the lung cavity expands. Your breathing should expand the lower chest/belly horizontally. Some problem signs and things to avoid: Rising the chest Sucking in the stomach muscles Stretching ones neck Tucking the chin down against the throat A slumping posture Filling only the upper chest Excess tension in the neck and shoulders Results of good breathing: Fuller tone Better pitch Easier long phrases Quicker deep breaths Exercises: 1. Breathe quickly through your nose as if water were pouring into you (think of a glass filling with water from the bottom up). The diaphragm pushes down and your stomach expands forward and sideways. There should be little movement in the chest and none at all in the shoulders. Hold your hands on either side of your stomach, with your thumbs under the ribs in back and the remaining fingers in front under the lower ribs. Feel the expansion of your hand as you try to push the fingers outwards. 2. Hold a sheet of paper against a smooth wall or window. Stand with your face about 9 inches away. Take a good breath and blast the paper with a thin, fast, strong jet of air. See how long before the paper drops! Try increasing the distance between you and the paper, or time yourself. 3. Get in a situation where you can really blast your saxophone let your horn ring and really crescendo. Find different environments in which to do this: a closet full of clothes, an open classroom, a recital hall, outdoors, etc. Avoid playing too much in flattering echoey rooms such as large classrooms, bathrooms, kitchens. A blanketed, dampened situation can really help in your efforts to produce a good tone. Outdoor practice can be very revealing.

4. Practice with a rag in the bell of your saxophone and play fortississimo. This inhibits the extreme low tones, but can assist with volume production. 5. Warm vs. cold air: your goal should be the production of a warm airstream when you play. To produce this, try fogging a mirror or window with some warm air. Feel the throat position when you do this. In contrast, try a cold airstream, which constricts the throat. 6. Conceptualize your tone projecting completely across the room when you blow. 7. Breathe in and out without changing the throat position, or try yawning to illustrate the open throat position. 8. To understand the muscles involved with breathing: pant like a dog and feel your stomach, shout hey very loud and feel your stomach, lie flat on the floor, breathe in and place a heavy book on the stomach, lie flat on the floor, breathe in and have a friend push hard on the abdomen. 9. As an exercise to illustrate how NOT to breathe, take in some air and expand only the upper chest and raise the shoulders. Then try a correct breath with the lower abdomen expanding. 10. Practice long tones from pianissimo to fortississimo and back on one breath. 11. Purchase an inspirator at a hospital supply store or pharmacy. This measures inhalation and exhalation by milliliters. Normal breathing according to Larry Teal: ---------------------------------------------------!-----------------------!-----------! INHALE EXHALE REST

Instrumental performance breathing according to Teal: ----------!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------!----! INHALE EXHALE REST See these additional sources: Teal, Larry. The Art of Saxophone Playing. Linklater, Kristin. Freeing the Natural Voice.

Selected Influential 19th and 20th-century Classical Saxophonists Claude Delangle France, teaches at Paris Conservatory (1989-present) Donald Sinta America, University of Michigan Frederic Hemke America, Northwestern University (semi-retired) Eugene Rousseau America, long career at Indiana University, now at Univ. Of Minnesota Jean-Marie Londeix - Bordeaux National Conservatory of Music, France Jean-Yves Formeau - National Conservatory at Cergy, France Arno Bornkamp Amsterdam Conservatory, Netherlands John Harle - England Inactive or deceased: Adolphe Sax Belgian instrument manufacturer, 1st to teach saxophone at Paris Conservatory, from 1857-1871 Sigurd Rascher German born, later settled in U.S. Taught at Royal Danish Conservatory, Manhattan School, Eastman Marcel Mule - Paris Conservatory, 1942-1968, father of classical saxophone Daniel Deffayet - Paris Conservatory, 1968-1989, after Mule Cecil Leeson American, 1st to perform Glazounov in America, taught at Northwestern and Ball State. Much important repertoire written for him. Larry Teal American, taught at University of Michigan, taught many excellent players, wrote Art of Saxophone Playing Rudy Wiedoeft American Vaudeville saxophonist in early 1900s

Elise Hall influential American sponsor, amateur saxophonist who commissioned new works for saxophone, including Debussy Rapsodie. Orchestra Club of Boston. Saxophone at the Paris Conservatory
Teacher lineage at the most important saxophone teaching post in the world: Adolphe Sax taught at PC from 1857-1871 -Prior to the 1850s saxophone was taught in other places, such as the Geneva Conservatory. -In 1847 the Paris Conservatory took on the responsibility of training military musicians. -In 1858 the first final examination saxophone performances received good reviews in French newspapers. -In 1871 the saxophone class was suspended due to largely to Frances defeat by Germany and the need to do away with the luxury of the military bands. -In 1892 a commission suggested reinstating saxophone into the curriculum of the Paris Conservatory, but it didnt happen. Marcel Mule taught at PC from 1942-1968 -Joined the famous Garde Republicaine band in 1922, and 2 months later was sax soloist with them. -Established a saxophone 4tet in 1928, and the members added vibrato to their sounds by 1932. -Curtailed his career to teaching and quartet in 1960 -Arranged and transcribed more than 100 works for other instruments -Premiered in United States in 1958 with Boston Symphony Orch. -Many, if not most, of the standard pieces in the French repertoire are dedicated to Mule. Daniel Deffayet taught at PC from 1968-1989 -Studied at the Paris Conservatory during German occupation of France in 1942, and remained in Paris during the liberation of France. He subbed for Mule on performances (Paris Opera Comique, etc) and at the conservatory in classes. -Tester-advisor to Buffet-Crampon and Vandoren -Studied with Marcel Mule. Mule hand-picked Deffayet as his successor. -Won 1943 Premier prix. -Played saxophone for vonKarajan and Berlin Orchestra. My goal is to continue as well as I can the work started by Marcel Mule for the saxophone... -Deffayet was asked to include more avant-garde music at the PC I think that the taste right now, in the official circles, is going towards ugliness. When I hear avant-garde music I find it ugly.

Claude Delangle taught at PC from 1989 -Speaks fluent English. His wife is his accompanist. -Delangle was taught by Serge Bichon for 7 years at the Lyon Conservatory. Other teachers included Deffayet, some lessons with Mule, Londeix. -Won Premier Prix in 1977 -Delangle has written the Delangle Collection, which includes pieces for contemporary sax and new techniques. Vol 2 is what he calls easy listening pieces for sax. -Founded the Association for the Expansion of Saxophone in 1983, which promotes composition and performance. Course of study, solos de Concours -According to Frederick Hemke, the 1st foreign student of sax at the conservatory, foreigners could only observe classes. Mule arranged for Hemke to participate as a student. Hemke won the Premier Prix while at PC. -Jazz has never been seriously studied at the Paris or Lyon Conservatories. -Students who are accepted for study are already at a very good playing level. -The conservatory trains in the fields of composition, musicology, performance and dance. -They study analysis, history (optional). -The original conservatory was designed as a Jesuit college. But in September of 1990 an all-new 5 story building was completed for 1200 students, with 3 concert halls, recording studio.

Selected Influential Jazz Soprano & Alto Saxophonists

Matthew James, Ohio University
I. Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) A. New Orleans clarinetist who started using the soprano B. 1st person to use saxophone in jazz II. Frank Trumbauer (1901-56) A. B. C. D. E. F. C-melody player and band leader (also played alto later on) Earliest influence of the cool school (esp. L. Young) Recorded "Singin' the Blues" w/ Beiderbecke Light tone, graceful melodies and articulation Influenced by Wiedoft Played on Whiteman Orchestra

III. Jimmy Dorsey (1904-1957) A. Great technician on alto and clarinet B. Not an accomplished improviser - largely prepared solos C. Influenced by Wiedoft IV. Benny Carter (1907A. B. C. D. )

One of the three great alto players of 1930s Also plays trumpet, piano, and sings Great arranger - took over for Don Redman in Fletcher Henderson's Band Numerous performances in Europe

V. Willie Smith (1908-1967) A. Second of the 3 important early alto players B. Played w/ Ellington, Lunceford, James VI. Johnny Hodges (1906-1970) A. Last of the 3 important early alto players B. Studied w/ Bechet C. Influential lead alto player for Duke Ellington Orchestra VII. Charlie Parker (1920-1955) A. From Kansas City B. Jay McShann C. Influenced by Buster Smith, Lester Young

D. Invented Bebop with Gillespie, others E. Possibly the most influential saxophonist of all time VIII. Sonny Stitt (1924-1982) A. Parker clone - claimed to have developed bebop independently B. Clean, precise bebop lines IX. Lee Konitz (1927A. B. C. D. )

Cool school Studied w/Tristano Played w/Tristano, Miles, Kenton Long lines, counterpoint, played ahead and behind the harmony

X. Paul Desmond (1924-1977) A. Famous w/ Dave Brubeck B. Cool player - melodic XI. Cannonball Adderley (1928-1975) A. Bird and Benny Carter were influences B. Bebop oriented w/blues, soul elements XII. Art Pepper (1925-1982) A. Influenced by Bird, Young, Konitz, and Sims B. Cool player - Kenton, Chet Baker C. Drug addict, served prison time XIII. Jackie McLean (1931)

A. Influenced by Parker B. Hard-bop, Blue Note records in 1960s XIV. Phil Woods (1931)

A. Influenced by Parker and Carter B. Accomplished player, not necessarily innovative, except for his style C. Also a talented clarinetist XV. Marshall Royal (1912-1995) A. Pillar of Count Basie Orchestra - musical director

B. With Hodges, one of the most influential lead alto players of all time XVI. Ornette Coleman (1930A. B. C. D. )

R&B background and influenced by Bird Developed solos based on melodic and rhythmic content rather than harmonic Free jazz - loads of special effects (honks, squeaks, recording effects) Quartet w/Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell/Billy Higgins

XVII. Eric Dolphy (1928-1964) A. B. C. D. Bass clarinet, flute, and alto Goal was to make instruments sound like the voice Combined elements of bebop and free jazz -- incredibly angular Mingus, Ornette, and Coltrane

XVIII. Additional active alto players: A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. O. P. Q. R. S. T. U. Donald Harrison Kenny Garrett Antonio Hart Vincent Herring Dick Oatts Brad Leali Bud Shank David Sanborn Dave Koz Kenny G Gerald Albright Wessell Anderson Arthur Blythe Charles McPherson Gary Bartz Anthony Braxton Jerome Richardson Jamey Aebersold Bunky Green Lennie Niehaus

Selected Influential Jazz Tenor Saxophonists

Matthew James, Ohio University
I. Frank Trumbauer - see alto outline II. Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969)

A. 1st important tenor player B. Performed with Fletcher Henderson, then Mamie Smith C. Vertical improviser w/gruff sound D. 1st bebop session in 1944 w/Roach and Gillespie E. Influenced Webster, Byas, H. Evans, Chu Berry III. Lester Young (1909-1959) A. B. C. D. E. Influenced by Trumbauer Played w/Kansas City bands- King Oliver, Blue Devils, Count Basie Cool player Horizontal improviser w/lighter sound Unique personality, featuring a fascinating lexicon

IV. Ben Webster (1909-1973) A. B. C. D. Influenced by Hawkins and Hodges Played w/Moten, Henderson, Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington Ellington's 1st tenor soloist Great ballad player also Cottontail

V. Don Byas (1912-1972) A. Hawkin's harmony and Young's lyricism B. Replaced Young in Basie's band 1941 C. 1945 w/Slam Stewart -- I Got Rhythm VI. Dexter Gordon (1923-1990) A. Adapted Bird's bebop to tenor (the tenor bebopper) B. Huge tone of Hawkins w/ laid-back Young C. Played w/ loads of big bands including Hampton and Eckstine VII. Stan Getz (1927-1991) A. Influenced by Young - soft tone, cool player B. Kenton, Goodman, and Herman C. Bossa nova propagator VIII. Sonny Rollins (1930- ) A. Influenced by Hawkins, Bird, and Dexter B. Thematic Improvisation C. Played w/ everyone including Miles, Roach, Brown, Monk IX. John Coltrane (1926-1967)

A. B. C. D. E. F.

Influenced by Stitt, Monk, Bostic, Bird, Dexter R&B, Dizzy big band, Miles quintet '55, Monk 56-7 Miles 58 - sheets of sound "If I Were a Bell" and "Straight, No Chaser" Complex harmony ("Giant Steps" - 59) Modal ("Kind of Blue") Repopularized the soprano saxophone - Bechet, Middle eastern "My Favorite Things" G. 60s quartet - Tyner, Elvin, Garrison H. last years - free jazz w/ Alice Coltrane and Rasheed Ali I. Extremely influential saxophonist X. Joe Henderson (1937)

A. Influenced by JATP, R&B, Coltrane, Rollins B. Kenny Dorham and latin playing C. 60s Blue Note player XI. Wayne Shorter (1933A. B. C. D. E. )

Great writer - unconventional chord changes (not always functional) Miles 60s quintet w/Hancock, Williams, Carter Influenced by Coltrane Weather Report, 1971 Also a soprano player

XII. Michael Brecker A. Influenced by Coltrane, David Baker B. Pentatonic, motivic C. Horace Silver, Billy Cobham, Brecker Brothers, many others XIII. Additional important tenor players A. Earl Bostic B. Warne Marsh C. Paul Gonsalves D. Zoot Sims and Al Cohn E. Joshua Redman F. Joe Lovano G. Chris Potter H. Chu Berry I. Vido Musso J. Charlie Barnet K. Arnett Cobb L. Illinois Jacquet M. Bud Freeman

N. Gene Ammons O. Al Cohn P. James Moody Q. Zoot Sims R. Rashaan Roland Kirk S. Yusef Lateef T. Bob Berg U. David Liebman V. George Coleman W. Steve Grossman X. Branford Marsalis Y. David Murray Z. Jan Garbarek AA. Pharoah Sanders BB. Archie Shepp CC. Sam Rivers DD. Sam Butera EE. Jimmy Heath FF. Frank Foster

Selected Influential Jazz Baritone Saxophonists

Matthew James, Ohio University
I. Serge Challoff A. one of the Woody Herman Orchestras Four Brothers II. Gerry Mulligan A. great cool player and writer B. Gil Evans C. Thornhill III. Harry Carney A. With Duke Ellington his entire life, a huge sound IV. Pepper Adams A. West coast style V. Additional important baritone saxophonists: A. Cecil Payne B. Hamiet Bluiett C. Joe Temperley

Purchasing a Saxophone
Highlights from web site by Jason DuMars:
New vs. Used Saxophones Pros of buying a new saxophone: - ready to play - has no wear or tear - lacquer or plating is perfect and the pads are new - has the most modern mechanism available and utilizes all of the modern production techniques - offers support from the factory and/or the music store where you purchased it - holds its value fairly well for the first few months of ownership Cons of buying a new saxophone: - can be very expensive - there are less than a dozen true professional manufacturers out there - lack of consistency in quality of manufacture -with mass production, the artistic nature of producing a musical instrument is often lost Pros of buying a used saxophone: - most cost-effective option - materials and craftsmanship of older used horns is usually superb - more likely to be plated (instead of lacquered) and have much stiffer brass. - wide variety of sites on the Internet where literally hundreds of old saxophones are bought and sold daily. (E Bay, USA Horn) Cons of buying a used saxophone: - Knowing what it is worth and what kind of condition it is in - Many people will try to take advantage of you if you don't know what you are doing - Buying horns over the Internet poses another level of complexity since you are relying on a written description or electronic photographs - Most of the time, the horn has been sitting for a period of time (usually years) and will leak fairly badly - Sometimes the horn you are looking at has been stolen from someone Warning Signs for Stolen Saxophones Filed down or missing serial number A case that has a school's name painted on the outside Unrealistically low price for condition and model (especially Selmer!!) Strange behavior by the selling party Someone who is not a sax player selling a pro horn that looks recently played Someone who knows nothing about saxophones or the sax they have

Someone who will only show the sax outside their home or business Someone who is too anxious to sell the horn

Purchasing Checklist - Bring someone who knows how to play it and have them try it out - If you are a player yourself, it is easy to get caught in the moment and not try a horn out as thoroughly as possible - stay objective! - For players, when you go to try a horn always pack the following essential items: Mouthpieces (preferably jazz, classical, and medium models) Good reeds Cork grease (this is a MUST) Tuner Lots of different strength reeds Flashlight Common sense Disinfectant!

-Try to examine the horn as closely as possible. If it is a used horn, spend at least 10 minutes just examining the body for damage. - Test every note against a tuner, and play loud and soft. Also, try a chromatic scale slowly from the lowest to the highest notes so you can check for leaking pads. An advanced "trick" is to play the overtones of Bb, B, C and D and compare them to their fingered counterparts. There will be timbral differences, but on a great horn, there will not be a change in the intonation. Student models -Choices abound for you, but so do pitfalls. -There are a lot of differences in the quality and manufacturing of saxophones. -The most significant differences between student and professional horns are in the mechanics and materials. Student models generally use more rigorous materials, such as nickel-silver rods, stronger bell braces, side-rod configurations, and heavy-duty lacquer. -The trade offs are in sound, feel and appearance. Student horns are usually devoid of decorative engraving and subtle artistic touches. The mechanics of the horn are usually "stiffer," making it harder to press the keys down. New brands - Recently (within the last ten years), there has been a great influx of central-Asian made instruments on the American market. These horns look and sometimes feel like professional models, but are actually student models. How do you know? Sometimes you can't. Just be careful of brands that are made anywhere but the USA, France, Germany, and Japan. If the horn has no country of manufacture, be very wary. Also, these inferior horns are usually lacquered all over the body and rods, just like a professional model (recall that American, Japanese and German student models generally use silver rods with a gold-lacquered body). This is to try and make you think it is a professional model, even though it is not.

-A common trap is for parents to blindly go to the music store and take any offered given to them for any price. This scenario is very common in rent-to-own situations. Be sure that you evaluate the purchase price of the horn as a whole (including the interest) and compare it to your other options. -For the price of a new student model at the music store, you might be able to buy two good vintage horns. - The student models I see in the paper and Internet most frequently are the King 613 and Cleveland, the Bundy, and the Vito. These three are fairly common, and each horn, if in good condition, is a good horn to start on. The Bundy and Vito both have key structures which are similar to prefessional horns (although because of this, they tend to have key problems after being played by less than careful students) and have a solid reputation as good instruments. -Stay away from: Belmonte, Antigua Winds, Jupiter, El Dorado, Olds Parisian, Conns after the M was dropped from the serial number, Grassi, Conservarte, and just about any Chinese-manufactured horn. Professional models - Professional saxophones can run up to $4000 for soprano, $6000 for alto and tenor, and up to $7,000 for baritone. - Yamaha, Selmer, Keilworth, Yanigasawa Vintage models - Selmer, Conn, King, Martin, Buescher General Condition - If you open the case and detect a foul odor and find green deposits all over the horn, chances are this horn isn't the one for you. -If the owner says "this horn belonged to...", be skeptical, unless the owner has positive proof. Questions to ask the owner of that vintage horn... 1. Is the horn in good playing condition? 2. Does the horn play reasonably well in tune in all of the registers? 3. Does the horn still have its original, factory finish? 4. What percentage of the finish is still intact? 5. When was the last complete service and repad? 6. What is the exact serial number? 7. What is the model name or number? 8. How long have you had the saxophone? 9. Who owned it before you? 10. Do you know any specific information such as manufacture date? If so, where did you get this info? 11. Do you play it regularly, or has it been sitting for an extended period of time? 12. Has the horn ever been seriously damaged? 13. Has the horn ever had dents removed? 14. Does the horn currently have dents?

15. Why are you selling this horn? 16. How did you determine the value of the horn* The Body - If the horn is dented or damaged, pads may not seat correctly or unusual tonal anomalies can occur. -The body should be smooth and round. There should not be flat spots or raised, bumpy spots. Some small dents, called ping dents, are fine. These usually occur on the bow and are a result of careless players whacking the horn on a chair or other items. Small (less than 5mm across) dents will not affect the sound of the horn, but excessive dents should be figured into the price. - Look for spots where there are vertical lines of distortion in the lacquer. These are caused by the technique used to remove dents from a saxophone. A repair person puts a metal ball on the end of a metal rod, then slides the saxophone onto the rod. The sax is then pushed gently down onto the ball and rocked back and forth. This pushes the dent back up, but also distorts the lacquer where the dent is. The lines are a result of the rocking motion used to pull the dent. On horns that are plated, this will be harder to see. Just look for any abnormal distortion in the finish. Chances are if it looks strange, the horn may have taken a hit at sometime. It's just like looking for Bondo on a used car. - Another facet of the body is the soldering. Solder is used to hold all the parts onto a saxophone. You should never really see solder unless the horn has been damaged and repaired at some time. If you see lots of solder globs on the horn, consider it a warning sign. - On some horns, especially those manufactured by Martin, the tone holes are soldered on instead of drawn from the metal of the body. This can be a real challenge for repair techs, because when the horn is heated up, sometimes the solder comes loose and the tone holes actually fall off the horn. This can be a repair nightmare and can cause a great deal of expense. When looking around the tone holes, be sure and look for solder. It might not hurt to ask if the tone holes are drawn or soldered. - Ask if the tone holes have been filed. This process involves physically filing down the metal on the tone hole. Although this may seem like a good idea to some repair persons, in my opinion it is not. This process leads to the degredation of integrity of the tone hole metal and can eventually make a tone hole unusable. The worst danger is that the repair person will take off too much metal in the process. Once the metal is gone, you can't go back. When you look at the tone holes, make sure there are no pads actually touching the body of the horn, especially on the palm keys. The pads should always rest on top of the tone hole, and never touch the main body of the instrument! The Finish -The finish of the saxophone is the subject of a great debate. Does the finish actually affect the tonal characteristics of the horn? In my experience, the type of finish does affect the timbral characteristics, although not in an extreme way. -The metal that the horn is made of seems to make a much greater difference than the finish used.

-The one difference in the way the finish affects the horn is in the case of relacquering. This is not because a new layer of lacquer has been added, but because the old layer of lacquer must first be stripped off the horn through a buffing process which can remove precious metal from the body and tone holes. - Finish also significantly affects the value of a horn. If a horn is gold plated, it is worth more than a horn that is silver plated. If a horn is silver plated, it is worth more than one that is lacquered. If a horn has its original finish, it is worth more than one that doesn't. As a buyer, you need to determine if the horn you are looking at is what the person selling it says it is. I have been told many, many times that a horn was gold plated when it was actually lacquer. If I didn't know what gold plating looked like, I could have easily been fooled. Clues of a relacquered saxophone: The engraving is "fuzzy" looking, or worn unevenly compared to the rest of the horn The serial number is unreadable Decorative dots or lines are faded (especially on Selmers) Overly bright appearance on an older horn Uneven or mixed-color finish Rods and Pads - Basically, you need to make sure that the rods are not overly pliable and do not move back and forth. Good rods will be strong with almost no play side-to-side between the supporting posts. Also, there should never be rust by the screws or ends of the rods. Rust in these spots means that the rod is water-damaged and will eventually need to be replaced if possible. Sometimes it is not possible to replace a rod -- it depends on the model. This can be the end of an otherwise perfect sax. - Pads are simple enough. They should be soft, with no rips or tears, and should cover the hole completely. Also, pads should have some type of resonator on them, either plastic or metal. - Pads without resonators can lead to a "stuffy" or muffled sound and should be avoided at all cost. Some repair technicians use these non-resonator type pads because they are cheaper than the other type. Certain horns, such as early Bueschers, use pads which require metal snap-on resonators that hold the pad in the key cup. The neck -The neck is a very sensitive part of the horn. Neck damage can be an elusive and troublesome problem. -The neck should be completely smooth with no dents. The neck should not have any kinks in the metal. A common and sad misfortune to befall necks is the "pull-down syndrome." This comes from inserting the neck into the horn, then putting the mouthpiece on afterwards. Sometimes a careless player will pull down on the neck while it is inserted in the horn and cause it to bend down and split the metal. This is the kiss of death for a neck. Sometimes this damage can be repaired, but usually it cannot. - The neck should be the correct one for that horn. If there is a serial number on the neck, make sure it matches the serial number of the body.

- Also, the neck should usually have the same color of finish (there are some exceptions, such as the King Super 20 which has a silver neck) and should have matching identifying marks. If it is a Buescher Aristocrat, and there is a big "S" on the octave key on the neck, then you have the wrong neck. Where to purchase a saxophone Newspaper - single best place to look for local, cheap, used horns - horns sold through the paper are usually student models Music Store - usually the friendliest place to buy a sax - you can normally try the horn out -music stores can also be dangerous for buyers that are uninformed. Music stores sometimes take advantage of the fact that they are businesses and fleece the unsuspecting or uninformed. First-time buyers can wind up paying a lot more than a horn is worth, especially in rent-to-own situations. Music stores are sometimes just as ignorant about saxophones as the uninformed buyer. This can either be good or bad, depending on if they charge more or less for their instruments. The more you know, the better equipped you are to do business with a music store. Pawn Shops -pawn shops are notorious for stolen and over-priced horns Internet Mail Order

Demystifying the High Register: Fundamental Practice Regimen for Beginning Altissimo Practice (improving tone and intonation at the same time!) Matthew James Ohio University
In every practice session, there should be a little section called GO FOR IT!!! -Lee Konitz Exercises to develop muscle memory: 1. 2. 3. Whistle, and feel your throat and tongue positions. How is pitch changed? Mouthpiece limbo!! Play your mouthpiece only, to produce various pitches. How is pitch changed? How low can you go?? Palm key and Front F limbo!! Practice pitch bends using palm key fingerings, and/or Front F, then descend by ! steps. How low can you go?? See Sinta pp. 810 Octave exercise: Play with the octave key but produce notes one octave lower. See Sinta pp. 11-17 Octave exercise 2: Play without the octave key but produce notes one octave higher. See Sinta pp. 33-35 Practice bridging the registers using scalar passages that incorporate front E and F See Sinta pp. 50-58 Open the high F key with paper, then finger up from low without the octave key, and ascend. See Rousseau p 15. Practice the overtone series off of low tones two ways: work up from fundamental, OR work down from standard fingering to the fundamental (example: play bis Bb, then match the pitch but finger low Bb, then produce low Bb. What happens with the oral cavity? Then repeat this technique on all chromatic notes up to F) Hint: Consider having another saxophonist produce the overtones in the room with you. Having this audible model in the room with you dramatically improves your success rate (sympathetic vibration??). See overtone exercises in altissimo guides by Sinta, Rousseau, and Rascher (see below).

4. 5. 6. 7. 8.


Its time to try altissimo!! Attempt some of the fingerings from altissimo guides found below. The Rossi shows the most common altissimo fingerings. If having trouble with lowest altissimo notes (G, G#, A), try higher notes (D, C#, C) and work down from there. Hint: hum or imagine the notes you are striving for, by first playing the note an octave lower Hint: if not having success with your classical setup, consider using a jazz mouthpiece Hint: use air attacks, rather than tongue, when first attempting altissimo notes Hint: when you successfully play an altissimo note for the first time, play as long a tone as possible to memorize muscle position

--softer reeds play flatter in highest register, also dont allow highest partials to come out --experiment with taking in more mouthpiece when you play, or with changing the amount of embouchure pressure The most respected altissimo guides include: Rousseau, Eugene. Saxophone High Tones 2nd edition. Shell Lake: Etoile Music, Inc., 1978. Rossi, Jamal. Altissimo Repertoire Studies. Ithaca, NY. Available at Sinta, Donald J. and Denise C. Dabney. Voicing: An Approach to the Saxophone's Third Register. Laurel: Sintafest Music Company, 1992. Additional altissimo guides to be familiar with: Rascher, Sigurd. Top Tones for the Saxophone. NY: Carl Fischer, Inc., 1977. (**the fingering guide in Top Tones doesnt always apply to newer instruments**) Teal, Larry. The Art of Saxophone Playing. Princeton: Summy-Birchard Music, 1963. BEWARE of websites and older altissimo fingering guides, which likely used older instruments as the foundation for fingerings.
Some selected solo and small chamber works that employ altissimo: Benson: Aeolian Song Maslanka: Song Book (with marimba) Creston: Sonata Daneels: Suite (unaccompanied) Debussy: Rapsodie (Etoile Music edition) Glazounov: Concerto Maslanka: Sonata Phillips: Night Vision Phillips: Sonic Landscapes (sop) Schuller: Concerto Tower: Wings (unaccompanied) von Koch: Concerto

Morosco: Blue Caprice (unaccompanied) Lennon: Distances Within Me Muczynski: Sonata Feld: Elegie (soprano) Noda: Mai (unaccompanied) Rorem: Picnic on the Marne Austin: Tarogato! (w/ CD) Harbison: San Antonio Hartley: Duo Ibert: Concertino da Camera Phillips: mnage trois (alto, tenor and piano) Smith: Fantasia Albright: Sonata Austin: BluesAx Bassett: Music for Alto Saxophone and Piano, Duo Concertante Bevelander: Synthecisms No. 3 (w/ CD) Bolcom: Lilith Dahl: Concerto Denisov: Sonata Desenclos: Prelude, Cadence et Finale