Category Archives: Education

Saxophone (woodwinds) teaching and music education, transcriptions, recording and music production.

Saxophone Embouchure

Saxophone Embouchure - Joe AllardSaxophone Embouchure Concepts (Allard)

This is a YouTube collection of excellent videos explaining saxophone and clarinet embouchure as simple as possible (Joe Allard, Dave Liebman, Harvey Pittel, Jerry Bergonzi). For further reading check out these posts Joe Allard – Basic Principles & Pedagogy, Developin a Personal Saxophone Sound and Jerry Bergonzi Instructional Videos. If you have any question contact me and I will try to answer.





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Wilton Felder Saxophone Solo @ Soul Shadows

Wilton Felder tenor saxophone solo transcription on soulful Soul Shadows from The Crusaders  – Rhapsody and Blues classic album. The transcription is available at transcriptions page.

Review by Scott Yanow

The Crusaders’ follow-up to Street Life did not result in any additional hits (does anyone remember Bill Withers’ vocal on “Soul Shadows?”) and found the group’s R&Bish music sounding closer to a formula. Each of the three remaining original Crusaders (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano, alto and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper), who are joined by an expanded rhythm section, contribute at least one original piece but the group’s concept was starting to sound a bit tired.

Wilton Felder - Soul Shadows

Marcel Mule Interview

This is an interview with Marcel Mule, extract from Vandoren video, although I can’t find the buy link for a full video on  (If anybody finds it anywhere, just let me know and I’ll put it here). In this video Mr. Mule talks about his early career in Musique de la Garde Republicaine military orchestra and exposure to jazz and vibrato played on saxophone. There is an interesting observation about Maurice Ravel’s Bolero first performance, where he played a solo originally written for sopranino saxophone in F on Bb soprano saxophone under Ravel’s conducting.

Additionally there is an interview with Marcel Mule on Dorn Publishing site here done by David J. Gibson – pdf file with this interview, also check out the article Marcel Mule – His Life And The Saxophone, published in Saxophone Journal.

My Favourite Saxophone Mouthpiece Refacers

Saxophone Mouthpiece Refacers & Makers

My favourite saxophone mouthpiece refacers & makers: Sebastian Knox, Phil Engleman “Phil-Tone”, Brian Powell, Robert Scott.

  • Sebastian Knox

Sebastian Knox built his skills in Ted Klum’s mouthpiece workshop as his apprentice for several years. He is now back to his home town Toronto, Canada and offers woodwind services and mouthpiece designs. His fees are slightly higher but still reasonable and turnaround time is about a month after he receives the mouthpiece. He is easy to talk to and responds to all emails promptly, so you won’t be in radio silence for months after you send the mouthpiece (which can happen with some well-known refacers). He does not sign the mouthpiece for some reasons, although I think it would be nice, but he thinks that his work is recognizable and there’s no need to sign it. Sebastian Knox - Saxophone Mouthpiece Refacers

He worked on a Vandoren A45, a mouthpiece that already played well but it was quite rough and needed some cleaning. He reshaped the baffle a little bit, flattened the table and recreated facing and rails. The mouthpiece retained its original character, but it now plays bigger and easier from top to bottom and it is reed friendly. Also he refaced my Otto Link Florida (tenor) from 8* down to 8 and this mouthpiece now plays unbelievably smooth and balanced.

  • Phil Engleman “Phil-Tone”

Phil Engleman is easy to get in touch and he responds to the emails quickly. His fee is reasonable but when he works on a vintage (valuable) piece he will ask about 20% more on regular fee and his turnaround time is really short, about two weeks plus transit time so if you need the job to be done quickly, Phil is your man, he lives in Salem, Oregon. He signs the mouthpieces he worked on Phil-Tone with actual tip opening. Also if you want the piece to play darker or brighter just let him know and he will make it play how you want it. He developed his own line of handcrafted saxophone mouthpieces so check it out here.Phil-Tone - Saxophone Mouthpiece Refacers

He worked on a couple of my pieces (Vandoren, Otto Link Florida), and turned them all into excellent players. I sold most of them as I had to clean out my drawer. My Otto Link Florida 8* (No USA) for tenor he customized was all original when I bought it but was stuffy and unresponsive. Phil just flattened the table, cleaned the facing but tip opening remained original (.115) and now it plays in its full potential. He also corrected my Vandoren T75 Blue.

UPDATE! Phil moved to France, he resides in Pyrenees Orientales region. Continue reading

Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound by Dave Liebman

Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound by Dave LiebmanDeveloping a Personal Saxophone Sound by Dave Liebman is the book which changed my life regarding saxophone playing. I got this book in December 1996 and started reading thoroughly sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter. At that time I already had a degree in classical saxophone from the Zagreb Music Academy and played professionally for four years in the Croatian Army Wind Orchestra, Big Band and in some jazz combos and pop bands. My embouchure and approach were based on French school classical saxophone playing (heavily influenced by Claude Delangle) and when I played jazz I just tried to be more relaxed (now I see that really wasn’t possible). But I realized that this approach really did not work for me regarding sound and flexibility, and I constantly had a sore lower lip, so I couldn’t go on like this anymore and I had to change. Continue reading

Octave Key Mod for Yamaha 61 and 62 Saxophone

This is a simple tutorial (octave key modification) how to modify Yamaha 61/62 (it might work on other models 21, 25…)  alto or tenor saxophone octave key mechanism to work with Yamaha custom necks. I tested it with G1, G3 and V1 alto/tenor custom necks, but other Yamaha custom necks should work also. The problem is that the octave lever on these models is too short to reach custom neck octave key, so we need to extend it approximately 1 cm (0.394 in), depending on particular horn/neck combination. The modification Continue reading