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Module 47

LESSON 1: Idiomatic Front F Lick

During a Skype lesson, one of my students was having trouble using his front F key on the saxophone. He couldn’t get comfortable with it. I created this lick to show him how I often access the key.

I refer to this as an “idiomatic” lick because it lays so well on the horn. This is not the only way to use the key, but it’s a good introduction to get comfortable with the unique hand position required for front F.

Includes PDF practice notes.

LESSON 2: Major Seventh Chord Inversions

In this video lesson, I play the major seventh chords in all inversions with what I call the “top margin” of my “C” on tenor, with all notes descending: C B G E (Cmaj7), C Ab G Eb (Abmaj7), C A F E (Fmaj7), and C Ab F Db (Dbmaj7).

Playing the inversions in this manner really highlights the interval structures of the chords and improves the accuracy of the ear. This is a great practice approach for ear training and improved control of your major seventh chords.

Advanced level. Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 3: Getz Double Note Articulation Effect

In this video lesson, I demonstrate a specialized type of articulation that I call the “Getz Double Note Articulation Effect.”

This is a device that I first heard on an album called “Stan Getz Plays.” It gives the illusion of double-tonguing, but it’s single tonguing with very strategically placed slurs.

Learning to use this effect has really improved my control and speed for articulation. This is a great tool to have in your “special effects” bag of tricks to add something unique to your solos.

Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 4: The Blues Scale – Part 1 of 2

In this video lesson, I explore the blues scale. This part one video teaches scale construction and application of the blues scale over a dominant and a minor chord.

I share my thoughts on using the scale over the full range of the horn and demonstrate some popular techniques used by the masters with this scale, including sequencing and repetition.

Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

LESSON 5: The Blues Scale – Part 2 of 2

This video lesson continues where part one ended, exploring options for adding extra chromatic notes to the scale.

Includes many examples in which I play some of my favorite phrases using the scale with the extra notes.

I also share my thoughts on the overuse of this scale by beginning players and explain why I look at this scale as a sort of musical spice, used to enhance the flavor of a chord progression.

Includes PDF practice notes for Bb, Eb and C instruments.

approx 44 min

Module 43

LESSON 1: The Donkey

In this video lesson, I share my system to develop a strong, consistent tone when changing from the upper register to the lower register. The video lesson focuses, especially on slurred descending octaves.

I explain a common problem of aspiring saxophonists dropping their jaw to get to the low register, which causes a pitch drop to the upper note, as well as a weak sounding lower register. I call this problem, “the donkey” because the sound reminds me of a braying donkey.

This is an essential lesson for tone development. Key elements in this lesson include a discussion of jaw positioning, throat tension, and air support. ESSENTIAL FOR ALL LEVELS.


In this video lesson, I share with you the basic bebop style blues changes that my famous Chicago teacher, Joe Daley showed be when I was studying with him in the 1980s. These are what I consider to be essential blues changes for bebop era blues heads, like Billie’s Bounce, Tenor Madness, Now’s the Time, etc.

There are many advanced options for the blues, but this video will provide you with the essentials to get started. I play the progression slowly, with the chords in all four directions. I also take you through singing the roots of the chords while playing the changes on the keyboard. Includes PDF with these changes for C, Bb, and Eb instruments. Intermediate level.

Includes detailed PDF practice notes for C, Bb, and Eb instruments.

LESSON 3: Mi(maj7) Chords with Echo Game in Four Directions

In this video lesson, I explain how to play minor(maj7) chords. This is one of my favorites. it has a kind of “film-noir” quality to the sound of the chord, with a dark minor third, a neutral perfect fifth, and a very bright major seventh. I often refer to this chord as the “Vertigo” chord because this sound was featured so prominently in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film “Vertigo,” starring Jimmy Stewart.

This chord is also featured in songs such as: Harlem Nocturne, Nica’s Dream, Chelsea Bridge, Solar, and many more. I take you through the “echo game” in all four directions, with Direction 1 at 2:16, Direction 2 at 4:00, Direction 3 at 5:36, and Direction 4 at 7:10. Starting at 8:08 I have a high-speed echo game for advanced players. At 10:48 I give suggestions for practicing with this chord.

Includes PDF for C, Bb, and Eb instruments.

LESSON 4: Addition by Subtraction

In this video lesson, I share my thoughts on transforming your playing not by adding more and more layers to what you’re doing, but by subtracting things that are holding you back. This is a very powerful concept. Who would have thought you could sound so much better by simply subtracting a few things from your playing?

approx 36 min