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The Saxophone Book: Book 1

The Saxophone Book: Book 1

by Jeff Coffin
The Saxophone Book: Book 1

The Saxophone Book: Book 1

by Jeff Coffin


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THE SAXOPHONE BOOK comes from the innovative and creative mind of 3x Grammy winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band/Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, the Mu'tet). This 3-volume set is an extraordinarily thoughtful dissection and presentation of the musical fundamentals that Jeff calls "The Big 5".

1) Listening

2) Tone/Dynamics

3) Articulation

4) Rhythm/Time

5) Harmony


Jeff believes that fundamentals are the ‘roots’ of musical learning and, in order for the student to grow, they need strong roots. These books help develop and/or strengthen the fundamentals using a variety of creative and fun musical concepts, exercises, and ideas. From developing life long practice habits to sharing personal and philosophical ideas about music and musical spirit, Coffin has codified, and now made available, the wide array of materials that have made him one of the most recognized and sought after players, and educators, on today’s scene.


It's very simple. A metronome, tuner, patience, and good practice habits are all you need. These books are designed to allow students to 'self-progress'. However, Jeff always recommends some kind of consistent private instruction when possible.

To get started, read through the intro pages. Then, start with Book 1, exercise #1. Choose a slow tempo on your metronome and start playing. Move your tempo up as you get more comfortable with each exercise. These exercises should be repeated. Many times. Remember, it's a PROCESS. Through repetition comes magic...


The results are many and will occur rapidly! Superior listening, tone, dynamics, intonation, articulation, rhythm, time, and a deep understanding of harmony are all results of working on fundamentals. Every musician i know continues to work on the fundamentals throughout their career. It's a never ending process. When the student has made a thoughtful study of these 3 volumes, they will have a much deeper understanding of the fundamentals as well as a high level of technical proficiency and musical competency on their instrument.

These are also great books for a more seasoned player looking for different ways of approaching material they have already studied. This is a tried and true method!

A little HISTORY...

For well over 15 years, since the early Bela Fleck & the Flecktones days (late 20th Century), Coffin has worked on and developed this material. He began compiling exercises for his students in Finale, and later Sibelius, so as to avoid writing the same things out time and again. This snowballed into Jeff entering hundreds of pages of his personal exercises into the computer. What you see here is the result of that work. Literally, hundreds, and likely, thousands of hours have been spent putting these books together in as concise and clear a way as possible to benefit the student. But, what to call it? After hours of deliberation, brainstorming, looking up words in the dictionary, writing down combinations of words and phrases on paper, and mumbling to himself through a closed hand so as to not be heard mumbling to himself, Coffin finally came up with an astonishingly brilliant title...THE SAXOPHONE BOOK - Ok, maybe it's not so astonishing but it seems appropriate since every time Jeff talked about it he would start off by saying "So, I'm writing this saxophone book..."

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998073903
Publisher: Jeff Coffin
Publication date: 09/05/2016
Series: Saxophone Book , #1
Pages: 174
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Saxophonist Jeff Coffin is a globally recognized musician, composer, educator, & author. He is a member of Dave Matthews Band, and a 3x Grammy winner and 14 year former member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones (1997-2010).

Coffin lives a simple life when not on the road with DMB - He leads his own band the Mu'tet, teaches at Vanderbilt University, has co-authored the Articulate Jazz Musician (Alfred Music) with Caleb Chapman (over 10,000 copies sold!), has recorded multiple solo cd's, started and runs his own record label, Ear Up Records, founded and is Artistic Director of the Nashville Jazz Composers Collective, produces & engineers, has played on countless studio recordings, has presented over 325 clinics as a Yamaha & D'Addario Performing Artist, is an avid photographer...and he's just hitting his stride!

Table of Contents


001) Book 1 - Table of Contents
003) Welcome Page
004) Disclaimer
005) 'Must Hear' Sax Players
006) 'Must Hear' Recordings
007) THE BIG 5 - Fundamentals
008) Fundamentals Are Fundamental
009) How To Practice
010) Strengths & Weaknesses / Short & Long Term Goals
011) Saxophone Equipment Tips
012) (F)* LISTENING - Thoughts
013) (F) LISTENING - Questions
*(F) denotes a Big 5 Fundamental
014) Why Scales?
016) Major Scales/Modes/Chord Qualities
017) Major Scales - Chromatic 1
019) Major Scales - Chromatic 2
021) Major Scales - Circle of 4ths
023) Major 7th Arpeggios - Rotating Chromatic
025) Major 7th Arpeggios
027) Major Modes - Circle of 4ths
030) Major Scales in 3rds
032) Major Scales - start on lowest possible note
037) Ionian Modes 5/8 #1 - roots in whole tone
040) Ionian Modes 5/8 #2 - roots in whole tone
044) Dorian - Circle of 4ths
046) Dorian - Chromatic
047) Dorian Modes in 3rds
049) Dorian Mode Arpeggios
052) Dorian Modes 5/8 #1 - roots in whole tone
055) Dorian Modes 5/8 #2 - roots in whole tone
059) Phrygian - Circle of 4ths
060) Phrygian - Chromatic
061) Phrygian Modes in 3rds
063) Phrygian Mode Arpeggios
067) Phrygian Modes 5/8 #1 - roots in whole tone
071) Phrygian Modes 5/8 #2 - roots in whole tone
075) Lydian - Circle of 5ths
077) Lydian - Chromatic
079) Lydian Modes in 3rds
081) Lydian Mode Arpeggios
085) Lydian Modes 5/8 #1 - roots in whole tone
090) Lydian Modes 5/8 #2 - roots in whole tone
095) Mixolydian - Circle of 5ths
097) Mixolydian - Chromatic
099) Mixolydian Modes in 3rds
101) Mixolydian Mode Arpeggios
105) Mixolydian Modes 5/8 #1
roots in whole tone
109) Mixolydian Modes 5/8 #2
roots in whole tone
113) Aeolian - circle of 4ths
115) Aeolian - Chromatic
116) Aeolian Modes in 3rds
118) Aeolian Mode Arpeggios
122) Aeolian Modes 5/8 #1 - roots in whole tone
126) Aeolian Modes 5/8 #2 - roots in whole tone
130) Locrian - Circle of 4ths
132) Locrian - Chromatic
134) Locrian Modes in 3rds
136) Locrian Modes Arpeggios
139) Locrian Modes 5/8 #1 - roots in whole tone
143) Locrian Modes 5/8 #2 - roots in whole tone
147) (F) TONE/DYNAMICS Thoughts
148) (F) TONE/DYNAMICS Questions
149) Thoughts On Improvisation
150) Various Elements Of Improvisation
152) (F) ARTICULATION Thoughts
153) (F) ARTICULATION Questions
154) (F) RHYTHM/TIME Thoughts
155) (F) RHYTHM/TIME Questions
156) The Transparency Of Sound
157) Taking Your Improvisation To The Next Level In 10 Steps
158) (F) HARMONY Thoughts
159) (F) HARMONY Questions
160) Thoughts...
161) Influences
163) JC Answers Big 5 Fundamental Questions
171) Thanks

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