“Saxophone – Everything Sax Players Should Know” offers advice on everything from equipment (reeds, mouthpieces, necks, ligatures, etc.) to technique (embouchure, breathing, vibrato), how to practice, and even describes the anatomy of the saxophone and its function. The book also provides saxophone basics such as scales, blues, basic improvisation, suggested listening, and saxophone fingerings.


“Saxophone – Everything Sax Players Should Know” was very cleverly designed in a Student to Teacher form, allowing notes and other important things to be added into the book by the student or the teacher to become an excellent and very personal resource to its owner.

The Suggested Listening I personally felt was the best section of “Saxophone – Everything Sax Players Should Know”. It illustrated everything I’ve heard a thousand times – to steal ideas from everyone. It explained the importance of emulating what others do and making it your own. He also recommends a few artists, but leaves it mostly up to the listener to determine their tastes so they don’t get burnt out on any one style or person. He also lists non sax players which shows that you can learn from people who don’t play your instrument – which I feel is something often overlooked; and specifically by young musicians.

The jazz section is very well introduced as opposed to more traditional (aka stiff) beginning jazz books. Aaron Santee provides in detail the significance and function of scales and sounds by describing the moods and effects they create in music.

All in all, I feel that “Saxophone – Everything Sax Players Should Know” is best targeted to the beginning adult saxophonist. Because of the layout of this book, a more mature player with a teacher would find more use than a young player. Also, because “Saxophone – Everything Sax Players Should Know” points out things that beginners often overlook, it would be a great book for beginning teachers of where to start and what to teach their students.

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.