Flying with your musical instrument; Part 1-Be prepared

One of the biggest hassles and pain points for performing musicians is flying with your musical instrument. There have been many stories of instruments suffering severe damage or getting destroyed because the passenger had to either check them or load them as regular baggage. So what do you do if you are flying with your […]

How to play the saxophone softer

Play the saxophone softer – wouldn’t you want to play louder? The saxophone is one of the most expressive musical instruments. From the breathy subtone of the jazz greats to the screaming high note rock solo, saxophones can cover all types of dynamic requests and musical situations. Developing the ability to play the extreme soft […]

How to Feel Confident Performing Music; Achieving a music performance mindset

Back in high school, I was really confident performing music on stage, whether it was in school or in the community.  My attitude was, “I own this stage; no one can take it away from me.” But then, I hit a real low point in my life and my playing, and I experienced fears that […]

Making music practice fun; Finding good backing tracks

For musicians of all levels, playing with backing tracks can elevate a practice session from a feeling of “work” to a feeling of the “high” that comes from performing with others. Backing tracks essentially are the chord (and depending upon the style of music, rhythm section) accompaniment to a piece or tune. Let’s face it, […]

Klangbogen; a new tool from ReedGeek to improve your saxophone tone

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  One after one, every person that tried out this new tool (the Klangbogen) was getting an amazing boost in their tone – it was so big, it was blowing my hair off the top of my head! (And I have a lot of hair ?) When I met Mauro […]

How to balance saxophone reeds; My interview with Mauro DiGioia from ReedGeek

Many saxophone musicians complain about reeds that either don’t work, are unresponsive, or don’t last long enough. They are told to just practice more, but more practicing doesn’t work if the reed isn’t in tip-top shape. One of the ways to have really responsive reeds that last longer is to learn how to balance saxophone […]

Beginner Jazz Improvisation; How to use scales in your solos

In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, here are 3 videos to jumpstart your Beginner Jazz Improvisation skills. Beginner Jazz Improvisation; Where to begin In this video from a recent Facebook Live session, I answered a great question on beginner jazz improvisation if you have no experience soloing. Honestly, these tips are for everyone who wants to […]

Struggling with intonation on the clarinet? This new Rovner clarinet barrel will help improve your tone

As a Band Director, or even a private teacher, you often wonder why your beginner clarinetists have poor intonation. The standard solutions to fix the intonation problems are to firm up the embouchure and increase the reed strength. Some teachers recommend changing the clarinet barrel because they find the rental clarinet barrel is too long […]

How Ligatures Can Improve Your Saxophone Tone; my interview with George Reeder from Rovner Products

Many view the saxophone ligature (and clarinet ligature) as just something to keep the reed on the mouthpiece so it can vibrate to produce sound. As a result, you will often see beginner saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces with that standard metal ligature – you know, the one that is easily breakable and doesn’t always fit […]

Sore throat and chapped lips no more; Two new musicians’ products to solve those problems

Musicians have special concerns when dealing with their health. There are certain musicians’ products that are vital for optimal performance. I never leave home without these special musicians’ products. Why? Lip Eze You see, as a trumpet and saxophone player/teacher, I am always worried about getting chapped lips. Ever since I was 9, I would always […]

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