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SAXOPHONE AND CLARINET – AN EASY GUIDE (article first published : 2004-05-30)

I was given Saxophone and Clarinet – an easy guide by Chris Coetzee to review and hesitated for weeks before actually getting down to writing something. The overriding reason being that I don’t play or read music. But, as they say, “Never judge a book by its cover”.

I realised as I breeze through it that more and more that people like me CAN actually make sense out of it. Ideally suited for students of music (amateur and professional), it outlines the basic elements of learning how to play these wind instruments correctly, with ease and confidence.

The contents of the book focus on subjects ranging from taking up the saxophone and clarinet to their origin to learning the language and specialising your pitch and rhythm. Ultimately, it teaches you everything. It doesn’t actually take your fingers and place them on the correct key mechanisms or thumb rest. But it does show you how to do it.

You could easily teach yourself up to a certain level and then, when you are confident enough, attend practical lessons and blow ‘em away! In the same respect, you could master your technique while taking lessons and evolve at a faster rate than you would have expected.

Fully illustrated and comprehensively written, this book takes the wind out of your horn. There are brilliantly designed fingering charts as well as breathing exercises and tonguing and articulation exercises. The book focuses on various pieces of the instruments and shows you how to take care of and prolong their playing life.

There are displays of themes and variations as well practice sheets and various compositions.

I would most definitely suggest this book for any keen musician, wind instrument or otherwise. It is a valuable for both teachers and learners, young and old. Published by New Holland, it retails at R109.95. - Ruby Bernard




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