Everyone who wants to make a real art of his saxophone playing should have this book. The author first describes the technical matters of the instrument itself: what you should look at if you buy a new saxophone, mouthpiece (with detailed explanations of its parts) or reed (with hints how to adjust it). Then he wants to train the physical conditions of the player, i. e. posture when playing, breathing and embouchure (both with several exercises that can be done without the instrument, just in order to control and strengthen the concernded muscles). He also tells a lot about tone quality, how to produce a vibrato, how to make dynamics correctly and how to pitch notes that are not OK on the instrument. A trill chart is also included in the book. For more advanced players, Teal includes fingerings for the very high register of the saxophone and some information about double tonguing and doubling (playing another woodwind instrument). The author doesn't want to teach the player improvisation and such things, although they are widely required. His aim is "craftsmanship", and his background when he wrote the book was to make the saxophone more common to "classical music". Teal's idea is that the saxophone player only can be an artist if he masters the technical matters of his instrument, and then he can proceed to playing what he likes. His book is a very good help for every player to learn everything what is necessary for a good playing skill.
This book is the widely acknowledged prime source for saxophone information. Every sax player should have it! It brings together a wealth of information about many aspects of saxophone playing that is not available in any other single source. It explains the embouchure (lip) needed to play and even has exercises for helping to develop it. It has a fingering chart including alternate fingerings. It also has a very useful chart of pitch alteration fingerings - if your instrument has a few notes that are flat or sharp (very common), then these fingerings can be used to bring them back in tune with the rest of the horn. The essentials of breathing for saxophone are also discussed, again including exercises for developing breath control. The various aspects of tone control are discussed thoroughly. Also the legato and staccatto techniques and how to properly tongue a note are explained very clearly. Mouthpiece terminology and design considerations are shown. Advanced exercises are also given for "mastering the technique". This involves learning to keep the fingers in contact with the keys, proper hand positioning, etc. Doubling (i.e., playing a second instrument, like a clariniet) is often required of the saxophonist and this is discussed. Altissimo fingerings are also shown, although only the advanced students will be interested in them.
Es gibt mittlerweile eine Unmenge an Büchern für Instrumentalisten, die aus lauter Lust an Verkaufen entstanden sind, und an sich nichts zu sagen haben. Dies ist aber eins von jene Büchern, die jeder Saxophonst haben muss!
I like this book. It gives a solid introduction into saxophone playing. The author asks you to take special care when you are autodidact (like me). It does not forbid you to learn on your own. You just get all the hints in a qualified way, to avoid the traps of wrong playing or buying e.g. the wrong mouthpiece. The book is especially good for people with technical understanding. I like also the approach that the saxo player needs his own concept of how he wants to sound and that his body is part of the resonance system - not the saxo alone. Very much worth the money, and the title "The art..." is justified.
Nothing to write home about, but a useful compendium penned by a respected saxophonist. If you'd be to follow this manual only, your articulation and tone production would probably resemble a type writer more than a pen, let alone a brush—so to speak.