The Vertical Saxophone


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“I consider The Vertical Saxophone to be an indispensable book for the intermediate to advanced player. I work from it all the time and recommend it to my students.  There’s nothing like it for the study of larger intervals, and it’s very beneficial for your tone, intonation, reading and facility all over the horn.  It gets your technique to a centered place that makes everything easier.  It’s extremely well thought out, thorough, and a pleasure to play.” 

– Steve Adams, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Saxophone Instructor at Mills College

The Vertical Saxophone is one of my top five favorite method books.  It will improve your playing and open up vast possibilities in your improvisation. Though it is aimed at a jazz saxophonist, it functions as so much more.  It is first and foremost about the idea of using wide intervals in one’s improvising or composing. It may explicitly bring to mind players like Eric Dolphy or Bennie Wallace, but wide intervals can be used in any genre to add variety. A Bach flute sonata is full of them, and even a pop melody like The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” gets its memorable contour from its wide intervals. This book will help you start hearing wide intervals as an option, as well as test your intonation, articulation, fingering, and your ear. I have used this book to great effect on saxes, flutes, guitar, even my voice. Even if you never intend to use these ideas in performance, practicing them can yield huge benefits. I would honestly recommend this book to musicians of any genre or instrument.”

-Steve Peterson, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Salt Lake City, Utah

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For all saxophones, or any treble clef instrument. Downloadable in pdf format, 163 pages. Price: $13.00

This is a comprehensive approach to using wide intervals (intervals larger than a third) in jazz improvisation, written specifically for the saxophone. Intervals are introduced and explored in two ways: within the octave (4ths, 5ths, 6ths and 7ths and the octave itself); and as octave displacement (9ths, 10ths, etc.) The first part of the book lays out the technical foundation for gaining fluency and control with larger intervals, addressing each interval within the octave (both symmetrical and diatonic), as well as simple octave displacement. Scales, chords, and passing tones are all addressed.

The rest of the exercises in the book are dedicated to applying what you’ve learned over chord progressions (including 5 etudes written over the chord changes to some well-known jazz standards) to help you turn your skill into improvisational expression. The material presents great technical challenges (progressing in difficulty), and extends up into the altissimo range. With this book you’ll:

  • Gain technical fluency and confidence with wide intervals
  • Discover new ways to organize and transform scales and arpeggios into unique and interesting melodic statements
  • Challenge and improve your ears as an improviser
  • Open up many new possibilities as you play over standard songs and other chord changes (or no chord changes!)
  • Increase your flexibility 
  • Add resonance and power to your sound
  • Improve your sight reading and control in the altissimo register

For all saxophones, or any treble clef instrument. Downloadable in pdf format, 163 pages. Price: $13.00

Click the links below for a pdf  SAMPLE PAGE from the book:

The Vertical Saxophone Sample-pdf

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If you have any questions about the material in this book, or are having problems downloading the pdf, please contact me. I’ll get back to you promptly. Thanks!