Bitesize Lessons

Want to learn something musical in less time than it takes to boil an egg?

These ‘Bitesize’ lessons are from 3 to 6 minutes in length and cover scales, chords, licks and much more. There are ten videos here that will help you with a range of subjects and allow you to maximise your practice time.

Lessons

Arpeggios

Arpeggios, or chords, are (with scales) the most important building block for playing music. However, most music students avoid them and don’t like practising them, often because it seems such a tall order to learn them all.

Melodic Minor Scales

The melodic minor scales have formed part of the scale syllabus for most examination boards for years, even centuries!

Harmonic Minor Scales

Here is a bitesize lesson on harmonic minors – honestly, in this video you can learn about harmonic minors in the time it takes to boil an egg!

Applying the Circle of 5ths

The Circle of 5ths is one of the most important teaching tools that I use. If you understand the concept and how it applies to harmonic progressions you are well on the way to improving not only as a saxophonist but also, most importantly, as a musician.

How Peppa Pig Can Teach You Harmony …

Here is a short video using the theme from ‘Peppa Pig’ as a way to practice a lick or descending pattern between the tonic and dominant chords in any particular key.

BeBop Scales

BeBop scales are an incredibly easy way to get round dominant 7th or major 7th chords.

Playing Melodies in All 12 Keys

Once you’ve got a lick down, you really need to be able to translate it into all keys. It’s like learning a phrase and then being able to use subtle varieties of it in conversations.

Exercises Only on the Mouthpiece

In Dave Liebman’s excellent book Developing a Personal Saxophone Sound he writes that ‘the closer one gets to the source of the sound, the greater effect that has on the overall sound’. In other words YOU (or more accurately your body) are the biggest influence on how the saxophone sounds! After that it’s the mouthpiece, the neck and then the saxophone.

Preparing Reeds

Let’s face it, when it comes to the saxophone few things give players more frustration than reeds. Finding a good read is like finding the perfect playing partner: when the reed plays well, you play well.

Say it, Show it, Play it

One of the most frustrating things about playing a musical instrument is when the connection from brain to fingers breaks down.

V7b9 Chord

The V7b9 chord is VERY common in jazz – and many other forms of music. It’s a good idea to get your head around this chord in as many keys as you can as it really adds some colour to the ‘plain Jane’ V7 chord.

Lecturer

Dan Forshaw

I'm passionate about creating inspirational experiences through music and other arts. A life changing experience under the influence of the music of John Coltrane lead to study in New York and London. My thesis was on the Theology of John Coltrane as expressed through A Love Supreme. I perform across Europe with various jazz groups and teach through my innovative website, www.cambridgesaxophone.com. I'm a total Apple Geek, Cricket, Rugby, F1 and Football fan and I'm learning to listen opinions before giving my own!