Imagine a large watermelon. Inside sit the secrets to saxophone virtuosity. Saxophone Technique whacks open the melon, cuts it into slices, and presents each topic as a digestible and tasty treat. Philosophical and phun, Saxophone Technique delves into the petits détails—the essential minutiae—that allow good saxophonists to become great. Bursting with exercises and pulsating with strategies, Saxophone Technique will help any player derive the most satisfaction and the most enjoyment from the practice process. Click here to purchase.
The contents of Sarah Anne Wolkowski’s excellent book “Saxophone Technique” go far beyond technique and are better described as saxophone philosophy. This is not your regular, run-of-the-mill (read: boring, dry) music exercise book. Instead, it is fun to read, quirky and delightful – like a wise, eccentric saxophone friend describing all their saxophone secrets. Full of personality and useful ideas and with amusing chapter titles like “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” and “Shake Your Tailfeather,” everything is covered here: embouchure, tonguing, alternate fingerings, articulation, body positioning, preparing for performance and more. Included are some fresh ways of looking at classic concepts like long tones and new suggestions for ways to change up scales practice. I particularly enjoyed the focus on the importance of physical fitness, a detailed description of “winter reed” and what to do about it, and a creative practice tool called 4-3-2-1 – all new ideas for me that have already been useful to my practice.
Sarah’s writing style is superb – unique, witty, concise – and above all, informative! It was highly entertaining and enjoyable to read and I couldn’t put it down. Most of all, there are so many golden ideas here that will change my practice for the better. I will refer to this book again and again and it will contribute to my own philosophy of saxophone playing. Definitely a keeper! Thanks Sarah.
Robin Creech Cathro is a stay-at-home mom and part-time business administrator for her family cattle ranch. She lives for Tuesday night band rehearsals with the Westwinds Wind Orchestra, the highest calibre concert band in Calgary’s Westwinds Music Society, where she has been the lead alto saxophonist for the past 11 years.
Dr. Mike Anklewicz is the saxophone instructor at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Read his review of Saxophone Technique: “Sarah Anne Wolkowski’s Smart Perspective On Sax Technique Makes For A Fun and Inspiring Read” here.