Bulletproof Saxophone Playing

Doron Orenstein over at Best.Saxophone.Website.Ever. has put together a package of six different lessons with some of the top saxophone teachers in the country. What Doron did was to set up Skype lessons with these teachers and then record them, probably with something like Audio Hijack Pro. There are roughly six hours of lessons and two PDF supplements in which Doron has done an excellent job of summarizing the concepts and exercises from the lessons.

 The lessons focus mostly on saxophone specific issues like breathing, embouchure, throat position, tonguing, articulation, intonation, and technique. I haven't listened to all of the lessons, but those I did check out were very good. A couple of my students bought the package and they both had major breakthroughs, one in regards to pitch and the other had a major improvement in sound. Despite Doron's penchant for hyperbole there is a lot of really great information in these lessons. I can't remember seeing anything that focused as much on just the mechanics of playing the horn.

  I would have to say it's a great deal to get six hours of recorded lessons for less than the price of one with a live teacher. The cost of BPSP is $44.95 for all the audio and the PDF book, $34.95 for just the audio, and $14.95 for just the PDF book. Doron also offers a 100% money back, no questions asked guarantee. You really have nothing to lose except bad saxophone playing.

Bulletproof Saxophone Playing


Klemen Kotar said...

Bought the book, either it's not really what I was looking for or I don't like it as much as I'd hoped. Thought about returning it but feel like a douchebag doing it so I'll probably keep it. Btw, I liked Garzone's Triadic approach DVDs but think the Pentatonic ones are well...lame...I like Garzone's playing a lot but thought the group performance was subpar, I mean, it's alright but for players of such calibre? I don't think so.

David Carlos Valdez said...

If you didn't like the package then I wouldn't feel bad about asking for a refund. I do think that some of the lessons are better than others, so I would make sure that you first listen through all of the different lessons before you ask for a refund, that is if you still feel like you didn't get your money's worth. There could be a few pearls of wisdom that make a difference in your playing. Take Doron at his word and ask for your money back if your aren't totally satisfied.

As far as the Garzone DVDs, the two DVDs are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The TCA is for very advanced players and the Pentatonic is really aimed at less advanced improvisors. I liked both and found the Pentatonic DVD to be at least kind of fun as a play-along. Both of the DVDs have a lot of material and if you really appreciate George's playing you will like them. Remember that both of these DVDs were recorded in just one day of shooting, so it's understandable that not all of the performances are inspired.

David Carlos Valdez said...

I want to stress that the two students of mine that got Bulletproof did really have quite significant breakthroughs. These guys were in no way beginners and have been exposed to a lot of different teaching materials.

One felt like the things he learned from BP made a immediate major improvement in his sound. The other student, a guy who I have been trying to get him to play in tune for a few years now, all of a sudden started nailing his intonation. The singing exercises were the thing that made the difference for him.

David Carlos Valdez said...

Another thing to keep in mind here in regards to all of these different teaching materials that I talk about on this blog is that you could be paying a hell of a lot more money if you were at a conservatory or even taking a private lesson. If you took one hour long lesson with Garzone you'd be paying over $100 an hour, and I would guess that it's really more like $200. You wouldn't probably get of much of his concept in that one lesson as you would from one of his DVDs. I would bet on that. Now, is his teaching style the best for you? Maybe not. In fact, many students that have taken lessons with him have felt that his teaching style just wasn't for them. A lot of them thought that George was 'too abstract' or maybe just wasn't giving them clear enough practice goals.
There were those that moved on to teachers like Billy Pierce and were more happy with that sort of approach. On the other hand there are many students that study with George and are quickly converted into full fledged 'Fringe-heads' (myself included). Same goes for these new DVDs, some people are just not going to connect with them. BP might not be for you also, but it's still a whole lot cheaper than taking six Skype lessons with top sax teachers. At least you're not taking out any huge student loans.

We are really in a new age of Jazz education. For the first time the teaching concepts of so many teachers are available digitally for the price of a meal. We can learn from teachers that we would have never had access to before without being enrolled at a top Jazz conservatory. So often I wonder what my playing would have ended up like if when I was 18 years old I would have had all of the digital PDFs, DVDs and MP3s that sit on my hard drives at this moment.

Doron said...

@Kleman Please, by all means, ask me for a refund if you didn't find the program to your liking! I hate the idea of leaving a bad taste with my readers/listeners. I promise I won't think you're a douchebag.


Out of the many people who have purchased this program, it's only natural that I won't be able to please everyone, and I took that into consideration when offering the refund. I still stand by the fact that if anyone were to do what's outlined in the program, that their playing would improve dramatically, but sometimes we're at different places in our musical progression where certain bits of information just aren't hitting the spot, or perhaps the information is not delivered in a way that speaks to us effectively. So by all means, get in touch and I'll give you your refund right away.


Damienzm said...

I'm leaning towards checking it out when I get some $$, I bought Bruce Mishkit's "Master Lessons for the Creative Musician" years ago, and even though I only got a couple of tidbits from it, they became part of my musical existence.. definitely worth the $20 or whatever I paid....