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Book Review

by Tim Price

Practice Like the Pros By Sue Terry

Sue Terry's new book "Practice Like the Pros" is a great book for all saxophonists. Being a long time fan of "Sweet Sue", the aspect I always dug about her was the amount of information/knowledge she dealt with musically. She is a multi-talented lady who plays from the hip. She's combined the university and the street in her conception.

This new book from her is positive proof that she can create that vision into education as well. Sue Terry stands tall as a musician, author, and saxophonist. The book and two CD set offers a hands-on look into practice routines of some of the hardest working saxophonists in New York.

Each player brings something special to the plate. The explanations given by the players are easy to understand and put to use. No stone is left unturned. The text includes some of the best exercises relating to technique, tone and saxophonistic musicianship that are available today.

I've been using this book to stimulate ideas and directions for many of my private students. It's an easy to use text with excellent examples for any level student or player to draw from. I've had many students improve greatly from just studying one chapter from one of the" pros". The written explanations in the exercises and the CD offer verbal and musical examples by each of the 20 saxophonists.

First of all, I think that one of the things I really dig about this book and the musicians -- in fact, the main thing I like about it -- is that the musicians involved, are in it for the music, and have a certain kind of -- I'm going to say it slang-wise -- a certain kind of cool-vibe quality, an informal kind of quality. Straightforward, very cool people. These are the kind of people you can talk to, you can understand and most of all...LEARN FROM. That vibe that is something I really value. That's the beautiful thing that Sue Terry has brought to this book. The sharing strength of each "pro".

You can hear every one of them is an educated -experienced kind of person who does not hold airs and does not come on strong and have an attitude. To me, that's a very endearing quality to this book, and something that should really help the sales of this book as well.

Another thing that's interesting here is the organization principle. Each artist has the ability to project, making you as a learner think ahead, to imagine what you're playing could be like if you applied these lessons. E.g.- what will the music sound like if I do this? These are very practical things that are making this book so unique!

A student has to be able to imagine what things are going to be like and project and not be afraid to try and apply it. The" pros" make that a walk in the park here. The way each artist speaks and plays makes you want to try the given material. But I also think, beyond the way one does what they do, you have had to be organized. I also dug that about the "pros" approaches here.

There's no way that you could amass this kind of information in the sense of being able to spit it out in a spontaneous way without being organized in some fashion. The way each person focused on their lesson is a lesson in FOCUS in itself! That alone makes this a great text for professionals and educators from the study aspect.

A quality you see among these musicians, a quality you can glean from all of these "pros" is a great sense of organization. I found that inspiring. If you own a saxophone you need this book, it's that easy!

Thank you Sue Terry for creating such a vivid and inspirational product. You sure are an inspiring lady who is leaving your mark on the saxophone world.

Keep on Sweet Sue!

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