Complete Approach to Sound for the Modern Saxophonist

Ben Britton, saxophonist/educator/blogger, recently sent me a copy of his Complete Approach to Sound for the Modern Saxophonist book. I was quite impressed with just how thorough the book really was. This is a book that I have started using with my own students at Portland State University. Ben includes a ton of crucial sound production exercises, many that I use with my own students. I really like that Ben focuses on airstream, embouchure, articulation, long tones, overtone exercises, and warm-up exercises, and doesn't really even get into finger technique.

See below for the book's topics from the table of contents:
Ben Britton
 Introduction to Air Support, Breathing In, Blowing Hot Air, Up Against the Wall, Introduction to Embouchure , Mouthpiece Test, Mouthpiece Bends, Introduction to Air Stream, Focus, Low vs. High, Focusing the Vocal Tract, Bending Up, Airstream Focus vs. Embouchure, Other Contributing Factors Long Tones on the Mouthpiece,  Air Attacks, Low Note Bends, Air Support at Soft Dynamics, Whispering Hot Air, Soft Long Tones, Putting it to Practice, Embouchure Pressure, Sound and Feeling, Wrong Embouchure, Embouchure and Articulation, Interval Jumps, Embouchure Flexibility and Timbre, Roll In, Roll Out, Subtone vs. Full Tone, Looking Forward, Lower Lip, Tongue Bends, Techniques for Executing New or Difficult Overtones, Guiding Principles for Overtone Practice, Types of Overtone Exercises, Long Overtone Variations, Overtones and Altissimo, Multiphonics, Multiphonics with Tongue Bends, Level I- Long Overtones, Level I: Overtone Flexibility, Level II Long Overtones,  Level II: Overtone Flexibility, Bugle Calls, Scales Using Multiple Partials, Scales Using a Single Partial, Slurring Up, Articulation Techniques, The Lightest Articulation Possible, Moving Beyond Low Bb, Legato Tongued Scales, Staccato Low Bb, High Register Staccato,  Staccato Scales, Real Music, An Approach to Daily Practice, Regularly Recording Yourself, Why Warm Up?, Importance of Long Tones, Warm-up Outline,  Descending Long Tones, Part 2: Long Overtones, Part 3: Overtone Flexibility, Part 4: Articulation, Customize Your Warm-Up
Here is a page from the book on techniques for executing new or difficult overtones:
(click above graphic for larger version)

Ben includes audio files of himself playing many of the exercises, often with examples of both the correct and incorrect methods of performance. Here are a few excerpts from the book with audio examples.

A few endorsements for the book :
 “Ben’s book covers some of the important concepts of playing saxophone in a well articulated, clear style which can serve both beginners and more advanced players well."-- Dave Liebman
"This is a terrific book on an often neglected yet integral part of saxophone playing. I recommend Ben's book to every serious saxophonist." --Walt Weiskopf
 Nice work Ben!

No comments: