Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Saxophone Lesson: David Liebman - The Perfect Saxophone Embouchure



Review of "The Complete Guide To Saxophone Sound Production" from Down Beat Magazine

"The Complete Guide To Saxophone Sound Production is a wonderful new instructional video by Saxophonist David Liebman. The presentation is basically non-scripted, which tends to give it the more relaxed character of an actual lesson, while still being well organized. The material is clear and concise with plenty of visuals and demonstrations. If there are negatives it might be that it is a bit long - the one problem of not being more tightly scripted - and some of the intended nuances in sound demonstrations are lost in television playback.

The body of the video deals with developing a quality, personal saxophone sound. The concepts are those that Liebman (and many of the other great saxophonists of the past two generations) learned while studying with Joe Allard, to whom the video is dedicated. Sections are included on 1) identifying and developing correct breathing habits for optimum tone production and expression, 2) the use of the larynx to properly "voice" the saxophone and develop an even sound throughout the instrument, 3) concepts for developing a good embouchure, and 4) the placement of the tongue for optimum use of air and proper articulation. He then introduces the playing of overtones with plenty of visuals and demonstrations to show how breath support, the larynx, embouchure, and tongue position work together to develop a truly individual and quality sound.

The final two sections of the video, "Expressive Techniques" and "Reeds and Mouthpieces," tend to be more informational than instructional and are less focused in their presentation. In fact, the "Reeds and Mouthpieces" section doesn't mention reeds at all. That notwithstanding, this video has a lot to offer and is well worth the investment. David has also published the book Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound (Dorn Publications) which contains the same information but without the audio/visual reinforcement. - Trent Kynaston"

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