Tag Archives: Video Lesson

Back to The Blues Scale

The Blues Scale is one of the most important scales to learn if you want to improvise with confidence.

In this episode of the Vlog I demonstrate how I go about practising the Blues Scale and just how useful it can be.


Posting a Video for Deck The Halls – Christmas Project 2015

Here is a short video showing you how to record and upload a video from an iPad or iOS device for the Deck The Halls Christmas Project 2015.

There are a few things to remember when you’re recording Deck The Halls for the 2015 Christmas Project,

  1. You MUST record at full speed, any slowed down versions will not be used.
  2. If you can record the backing track through your headphones and only send me the sax.
  3. Try and play the whole piece, even if there are some sections that you have to leave out, (this saves me having 15 people playing the first 8 bars!)

A Love Supreme by John Coltrane

Fifty years ago on Wednesday, 9th December 1964, John Coltrane took a trip from his home in Long Island NY to Hackensack, the home and studio of Rudy Van Gelder.

Along with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums, there he recorded one of the most important musical suites in history. If you haven’t heard it yet, BUY IT TODAY!

Seriously, if you play the saxophone you should have this in your collection, even if you don’t ‘like’ jazz. This album influenced Hendrix, The Beatles, U2, every jazz musician of the last 40 years and even many classical players.

I’d also advise checking out Branford Marsalis’ version record live in Amsterdam for the 40th anniversary …


Also, watch this programme by the BBC, again from 2004.

As Coltrane biographer Lewis Porter says, ‘There are obsessive fans of Elvis Presley, but nobody has founded a CHURCH like they have for John Coltrane!’

The work has influenced me personally a great deal and I took my 3rd year thesis studying A Love Supreme at collegeand I’ve performed it a number of times, including here….

Joshua Redman, Ravi Coltrane, Ashley Kahn and others took part in a symposium reflecting on A Love Supreme, which you can listen to here.

So this week your ‘lesson’ is to either listen to this great album for the first time, or get deeper into what Coltrane was expressing through his music.

‘It is indeed A Love Supreme’

Silent Night – Christmas Project

It’s time for a Cambridge Saxophone ‘Christmas Project’. This year I want EVERYONE to get involved and so I’ve chosen something that everyone should feel comfortable contributing to.

What I would like you to do is the following:

  1. Watch the video lesson.
  2. Download the correct music for you (click here to access the folder on Dropbox, mail me if you don’t have access).
  3. Record yourself at the end of the week playing along to the recording, AT THE CORRECT SPEED!

The speed is really important – rather than ten videos of the same thing, I want to create one recording, with each of us playing a few bars each. That way those of you who are less comfortable can still contribute, and there is enough in this to pose a small challenge for more accomplished players.

If you’re not sure how to record the video on your iPhone or iPad click here. To record direct to YouTube from your webcam, click here.

One final thing: I got my dates mixed up – you have TWO WEEKS to complete this, but it would be nice to have it out BEFORE Saturday, 20th December!

Elements of Music – Lesson 1

In this latest video I talk about the ‘elements of music’ as outlined in Victor Wooten’s excellent book The Music Lesson. You can buy it via the link below – I hope we’ll all read it in March and get some interesting discussion going via Google Hangouts. Don’t forget to register your availability for the next hangout here.

The worksheet for the lesson can be downloaded here.

Click on the link underneath to buy Victor’s book:

Enjoy the lesson and post any comments below.

Festive Practice Tips for the Saxophone

Christmas is coming …

And you can’t have escaped all the music, mulled wine and carol singing. Well, if you want to keep the carol singers away the best thing to do is to make sure you keep on practising, because if you’re deep ‘in the zone’ you won’t even hear the doorbell ring!

I find that practising and studying during the festive period can be hard work. These tips give you the chance to enjoy some seasonal spirit and continue to practise.

Click here for the book I mention in the video.