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Saxophone Exercise: Play for Control, Not Speed

Eric Marienthal is one of the most sought after jazz saxophonists of our time.  He’s a GRAMMY® winner and 8-time nominee who's played and recorded with the Chick Corea Electrik Band and is currently the lead sax player for the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band. Eric’s been teaching amateurs and professional saxophone players alike at since 2015.


In the ArtistWorks jazz saxophone course, Eric posts either a “Lick of the Week” or an “Exercise of the Week” video for his students to work on and talk about. The saxophone exercise in this video is based on the chromatic scale that teaches you to play for control, not speed.  First Eric quickly demonstrates the exercise, then if you set your metronome to 120 BPM you can play along with Eric at minute 2:44. 


                  LEARN MORE: You can try some sample saxophone lessons from Eric Marienthal now! 


Some key takeaways from Eric’s sax exercise video: Alternate your articulation to develop your musical coordination. 

Play for control, not speed; don’t try to play as fast as you can.

The video is also a breathing exercise - see if you can play it all in one breath. You may need to work up to this level. 

Be sure each note sounds clearly and you’re playing smoothly from one note to the next with a nice little vibrato on the ending note - making it all sound musical. 


You’ll find the exercise is fully written and can be accessed with this link, so you’ll have everything you need to play along with Eric. 


In the video, you'll hear that Eric suggests his students submit a video to him on the course. That's because he teaches not only through the 30+ hours of jazz saxophone lessons and these once a week quick videos, but also through Video Exchange Learning® which is a unique platform of musical instruction available only at ArtistWorks.

Enjoy the video!


Eric Marienthal Teaches "Quiet Nights"
Podcast: Eric Marienthal on Music from the 1960's



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