The presentation is basically non-scripted, which tends to give it the more relaxed character of an actual lesson, while still being well organized. The material is clear and concise with plenty of visuals and demonstrations. If there are negatives it might be that it is a bit long - the one problem of not being more tightly scripted - and some of the intended nuances in sound demonstrations are lost in television playback. The body of the video deals with developing a quality, personal saxophone sound. The concepts are those that Liebman and many of the other great saxophonists of the past two generations learned while studying with Joe Allard, to whom the video is dedicated. Sections are included on 1 identifying and developing correct breathing habits for optimum tone production and expression, 2 the use of the larynx to properly "voice" the saxophone and develop an even sound throughout the instrument, 3 concepts for developing a good embouchure, and 4 the placement of the tongue for optimum use of air and proper articulation.

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Ben is a great saxophonist and educator in Pennsylvania. I first heard of Ben many years ago when I stumbled upon a youtube clip of him trading fours with Chris Potter.

That, in of itself is very impressive………. Since that time, Ben has been very busy creating his website www. Ben has also recently finished this new book on approaching the saxophone sound. My book shelf is full of books on every subject related to the saxophone.

I studied through the Top Tones for Saxophone book by Sigurd Rascher and studied with some great teachers through the years. I say all this just to set the stage. I was basically feeling like this book might be good, but………… I know most of what there is to know about the saxophone. I assumed the subject matter would be all of the same material I already knew.

I was very surprised when I discovered some material and exercises that I was not familiar with. I was also very impressed with the thoroughness and foundation that Ben lays out in this book. One of the things about this book that is very unique, is that it comes with 34 sound clips. There have been books before on the subject of saxophone sound.

I remember being a young student and reading through all of the books above. I would really try to understand the concepts being written about but what was missing was the aural ingredient. All I could do is to try to implement the words on the page and hope that I was doing it right. With the inclusion of these sound clips, Ben Britton has provided a new and great service to the saxophone community.

Now we can not only read about these foundational concepts and teachings but also hear them being executed. What exactly is in the book? The best way I can think to describe it is to say that the book is very foundational and practical. It starts with concepts like correct breathing and support.

It moves on from there to address embouchure approach, control, air stream focus, vocal tract control and other subjects. Ben does a great job of giving exercises for many of the subjects discussed. In these days, where any student can go online and read different thoughts and advice on saxophone playing it is very important to have a resource that gives you the core elements of saxophone playing. Many of us have read online about the mouthpiece exercise where you blow the mouthpiece alone and practice bending the pitch down.

The next demonstration I found very interesting. Ben talks about the importance of air stream focus and tongue position. The correct method is focused, alive, in-tune and powerful. They know what they are shooting for and what the end result should be. Ben writes further sections and exercises on long tones, low notes, air support, playing soft, overtones, altissimo, articulation and some final tips on daily practice and warm-ups.

I had never heard of this exercise. Ben writes that the exercise will increase your stamina and air support. I tried it for a minute or two and it was hard!!!! I felt winded, out of breath and dizzy. The book goes on with many more exercises on all these subjects.

The advice is solid and true. I found my self reading and nodding my head much of the time in agreement. I would highly recommend this book to any student of the saxophone with this caveat……. Many of the exercises and foundational principles in this book can be read and listened to in a few minutes but the real work of mastering these principals can and will take years.

This book is not a magic bullet. What this book is, is a road map. Ben Britton teaches you the foundations of good saxophone playing, gives you great exercises to practice and then demonstrates them for you.

Some of these concept seem deceptively simple but to master them will take focused and diligent practice. The sound clips are there to not only demonstrate but also to motivate and give you a goal or target. The goal of this book is for you to create and have an absolutely rich, gorgeous and beautiful saxophone sound that will excite you and your listeners every time you play the saxophone.

For me that is a goal and dream worth having and working towards. This book is the road map you need to get there. Thanks Ben for providing this great and valuable resource to the saxophone community! He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic. Speak Your Mind.


Dave Liebman

Vogar Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound introduction to book David Liebman Similar to the way we use our voice when singing or in ordinary speech to express ourselves, one must recognize saxiphone isolate those parts of the body involved in the process. I especially liked chapter 7. There is one main artistic premise underlying this book. This degeloping is the result of several decades of experience as a saxophonist and teacher.



Much of the information reflects my experiences from studying with the master, Mr. Joseph Allard. As is the case with any great teacher, they should inspire you to do further research and hopefully develop original concepts of your own. Obviously visual demonstrations of principles and exercises are helpful.


Liebman, David - Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound

Ben is a great saxophonist and educator in Pennsylvania. I first heard of Ben many years ago when I stumbled upon a youtube clip of him trading fours with Chris Potter. That, in of itself is very impressive………. Since that time, Ben has been very busy creating his website www.

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