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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone own this and willing to share a review? I only saw a promotion clip and it might be helpful. I need help in every aspect of playing but the most important thing for me is tone, so I need to work on breathing and embouchure. Starting in June I will have a teacher so for now I thought a DVD might help me along.
 

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Hello Doc74-Instead of buying my DVD I am willing to offer you an introductory 30 minute lesson via skype for $15 which is cheaper than buying All Things Saxophone. I am very confident that you will find my DVD useful, however starting with a teacher in June may be more so for your situation-especially if they are good and you picked him/her. Not sure what your stage of playing is. However until you are strong, a consistent teaching in fundamentals is very important ie. my concepts may be very different from your upcoming teacher's. You can visit my website for more info on where I am coming from as a saxophonist-www.joeyberkley.com Sincerely, Joey Berkley
Does anyone own this and willing to share a review? I only saw a promotion clip and it might be helpful. I need help in every aspect of playing but the most important thing for me is tone, so I need to work on breathing and embouchure. Starting in June I will have a teacher so for now I thought a DVD might help me along.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Joey,

I have yet to meet the teacher, he's only 19 but has been playing since he could hold a horn, classically trained. It can go either way with a teacher but I am optimistic.

Thanks for the lesson offer but I live out in the country and only have dial up internet so that will not work.

The reason I wanted more feedback on your DVD is because I likes what I saw in the promo, especially how you explain the embouchure so I am hoping there is more on that. I have always been a biter. I played for a few years, sloppy at best, quit for over 4 years and recently picked up the sax again, pretty much starting from scratch. This time I want to do it right. I'm already a better player than I ever was because I am more relaxed.

I am going with a teacher this time just because I need those fundamentals. I am playing scales and long notes but I also try to simply have fun. There is very little chance I will be playing in a band, I am simply a living room player and all I want is to be able to play some nice melodies that have sound sound sound! Tone is everything to me but instead of trying to go for that dreamy Getz sound, I am playing a soft reed and am aiming for a clear and stable tone. It's too early for me to try subtones, it'll work but my embouchure suffer as does intonation and stability.

If your DVD explains the fundamentals of breathing and embouchure and can get me on my way to build a strong foundation then I will probable just buy it.
 

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I understand...
Good luck with your new teacher. Being 19 I hope he is a good communicator however as you said " it can go either way." Being classically trained I hope he is open (and has knowledge) regarding different "sounds" and the sound you are looking for. Again, it can go either way. In any event I am sure you will find the experience useful in finding your way.

My DVD does have a section which focuses on sound/embouchure. Like you, I believe your sound is a #1 priority. The rest of the the DVD is geared towards improvisation basics and finger technique. Not knowing what your actual level is, I would say that my dvd is not the best instruction for a real beginner. Having some playing experience is preferable.

Quick points:
#1 Reed strength is not the MAIN factor in different sounds (Getz vs. Rollins vs. Dexter vs. Brecker). Neither is the mouthpiece. It's internal-your embouchure including throat and tongue..and your ears!
#2 Subtones are not that important and interfere with learning embouchure basics. Did you mean overtones? They are very important.
#3 Better playing=being relaxed. Absolutely!!
#4 I play (and teach) with a tight embouchure which is a lot different than biting.
#5 Trying to perfect fundamentals (forever) is huge.
#6 Sometimes playing in your living room can be a very close 2nd to playing in a band-it can go either way.

Good luck, Joey.

Joey,

I have yet to meet the teacher, he's only 19 but has been playing since he could hold a horn, classically trained. It can go either way with a teacher but I am optimistic.

Thanks for the lesson offer but I live out in the country and only have dial up internet so that will not work.

The reason I wanted more feedback on your DVD is because I likes what I saw in the promo, especially how you explain the embouchure so I am hoping there is more on that. I have always been a biter. I played for a few years, sloppy at best, quit for over 4 years and recently picked up the sax again, pretty much starting from scratch. This time I want to do it right. I'm already a better player than I ever was because I am more relaxed.

I am going with a teacher this time just because I need those fundamentals. I am playing scales and long notes but I also try to simply have fun. There is very little chance I will be playing in a band, I am simply a living room player and all I want is to be able to play some nice melodies that have sound sound sound! Tone is everything to me but instead of trying to go for that dreamy Getz sound, I am playing a soft reed and am aiming for a clear and stable tone. It's too early for me to try subtones, it'll work but my embouchure suffer as does intonation and stability.

If your DVD explains the fundamentals of breathing and embouchure and can get me on my way to build a strong foundation then I will probable just buy it.
 

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As far as my level goes...I can play not overly complicated tunes, I was in a R&R band years ago which meant playing pretty simple riffs and a lot of growling! I played tenor and baritone, the latter mostly, but I am set on playing those lush tenor sounds some day.

I onther words I do know my scales and can probably do a decent job playing on the spot but it doesn't sound or feel like I want it to. Years ago I had a bad teacher who told me the harder the reed, the better. So I played #4 reeds all the time. My tenor mouthpiece was a SS Berg LArsen 105/2 SMS. I tried that combo last week and I cannot get a note out of the horn. As you can imagine, without having heard about throat and tongue position, the only way for me to get sound out of the horn was to bite. Looking back I'm amazed I got a decent sound out of it! The baritone played much easier with a HR Meyer #8 and #4 Rico Royal reeds, but I had to bite for the higher notes and thus lost intonation.

I started over on tenor only with a JD Hite mouthpiece and # 2.5 reeds and I am no longer biting. My tone is pretty bland but that's ok for now, I need to master those basics first. I don't know if this new teacher will be much help regarding sound and different throat/tongue positions but we'll see, I'm hopeful. First lesson is free so I have little to lose!

Honestly, I don't understand what I need to do with tongue and throat, I played around a bit yesterday and was able to change my sound a little but nothing drastically.

I did mean subtones, not overtones. I love the airy, full subtone sound of Getz, Webster, Desmond, and so many others. I just don't think I should be trying that right now! Eventually though I think my own sound will have plenty of 'air' in it, it's just what I like.

Although I have never really practiced overtones all that much, I can play the second octave without using the octave key, but I never really tried anything more than that.

Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it. I will go ahead and order your dvd, I'm sure there's plenty I can learn from it. Besides it is always a moral boost and motivator to hear someone good play!
 

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Thanks Doc74
Good luck with your new teacher. Let me know if you need any more help.
Joey

As far as my level goes...I can play not overly complicated tunes, I was in a R&R band years ago which meant playing pretty simple riffs and a lot of growling! I played tenor and baritone, the latter mostly, but I am set on playing those lush tenor sounds some day.

I onther words I do know my scales and can probably do a decent job playing on the spot but it doesn't sound or feel like I want it to. Years ago I had a bad teacher who told me the harder the reed, the better. So I played #4 reeds all the time. My tenor mouthpiece was a SS Berg LArsen 105/2 SMS. I tried that combo last week and I cannot get a note out of the horn. As you can imagine, without having heard about throat and tongue position, the only way for me to get sound out of the horn was to bite. Looking back I'm amazed I got a decent sound out of it! The baritone played much easier with a HR Meyer #8 and #4 Rico Royal reeds, but I had to bite for the higher notes and thus lost intonation.

I started over on tenor only with a JD Hite mouthpiece and # 2.5 reeds and I am no longer biting. My tone is pretty bland but that's ok for now, I need to master those basics first. I don't know if this new teacher will be much help regarding sound and different throat/tongue positions but we'll see, I'm hopeful. First lesson is free so I have little to lose!

Honestly, I don't understand what I need to do with tongue and throat, I played around a bit yesterday and was able to change my sound a little but nothing drastically.

I did mean subtones, not overtones. I love the airy, full subtone sound of Getz, Webster, Desmond, and so many others. I just don't think I should be trying that right now! Eventually though I think my own sound will have plenty of 'air' in it, it's just what I like.

Although I have never really practiced overtones all that much, I can play the second octave without using the octave key, but I never really tried anything more than that.

Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it. I will go ahead and order your dvd, I'm sure there's plenty I can learn from it. Besides it is always a moral boost and motivator to hear someone good play!
 

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I'll answer Doc's question. Yes, Joey's DVD is excellent. I have been playing (and gigging) a long time but I continue to take lessons and keep on the lookout for ways to do a better job teaching my students. Joey really nails the basics with embouchure, working up technique, the base of whatever comes later. I was surfing you Tube and found him by accident. I bought the DVD because Joey to me sounded like alot of Coltrane and Brecker influence and I liked his funk playing. Frankly I didnt' expect much for 20 dollars but it has alot of information. Especially if you want to study what I understand to be the Joe Allard embouchure. Anyway, for 20 dollars this is a no brainer. I guess what I liked most about it also is that Joey's credits include him teaching in a Junior High/High School program. I can only imagine how those students are going to turn out learning this at their age. But like anything else "out there" in the information world you only benefit if you can spend 20 to 30 minutes a day on setting your chops, 60 + minutes on working on patterns for fingers and "licks" for your vocabulary. Nuff said, K
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll answer Doc's question. Yes, Joey's DVD is excellent. I have been playing (and gigging) a long time but I continue to take lessons and keep on the lookout for ways to do a better job teaching my students. Joey really nails the basics with embouchure, working up technique, the base of whatever comes later. I was surfing you Tube and found him by accident. I bought the DVD because Joey to me sounded like alot of Coltrane and Brecker influence and I liked his funk playing. Frankly I didnt' expect much for 20 dollars but it has alot of information. Especially if you want to study what I understand to be the Joe Allard embouchure. Anyway, for 20 dollars this is a no brainer. I guess what I liked most about it also is that Joey's credits include him teaching in a Junior High/High School program. I can only imagine how those students are going to turn out learning this at their age. But like anything else "out there" in the information world you only benefit if you can spend 20 to 30 minutes a day on setting your chops, 60 + minutes on working on patterns for fingers and "licks" for your vocabulary. Nuff said, K
Thanks Keith! I figured I couldn't go wrong for 20 bucks and like I said I like his style, so I ordered the DVD yesterday. Can't wait!
 

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I'm reviewing his ideas on practicing basic scale or triadic patterns then adding chordal patterns and approach notes. This is a very clear method. I'm going to spend time on the whole thing to pick up some pieces in my growth that I skipped. I think the challange for me will be to not over play and use tech to be "cute". Stick in a II V on a tune that is more diatonic pop. But I like copying Joeys tone and just working simple patterns that later I'll put together for cohesive lines. K
 

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I just watched the whole thing and it is impressive and explained very clearly. His tone is really really nice and it is definitely something to strive for. I'm already doing his take on scale studies and it is a huge improvement over my own which would bore me to tears. Great DVD!
 

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Thanks Doc74. I really am glad you're finding my DVD helpful. Practicing scales and scale patterns are boring... but necessary and valuable. No pain, no gain. Feel free with any questions-Joey.
 

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I received the DVD a few days ago (the decision to purchase it was based on this post) and i think it's great!
it has good explanations/examples. i am currently working on my embouchure (trying to unlearn the 'rolled lower lip' thingy). to me, it makes much more sense to use the embouchure the way Joey displays in this DVD (no artificial lip rolling, just placing the MP in your mouth - this actually make me feel like i'm "talking" while playing).
bottom line - i would recommend it to any saxophone player (beginner/intermediate).
Joey, thanks for making this DVD!
 

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Thanks Threadkiller
"Talking while playing" is an interesting way to put it. May I borrow that phrase? It actually says a lot all at the same time. Hopefully we all have something valuable to say when talking/playing.
Sometimes I feel certain solos of mine are "blah blah blah..." Feel free to contact me if you have any follow-up questions.
Best,
Joey

I received the DVD a few days ago (the decision to purchase it was based on this post) and i think it's great!
it has good explanations/examples. i am currently working on my embouchure (trying to unlearn the 'rolled lower lip' thingy). to me, it makes much more sense to use the embouchure the way Joey displays in this DVD (no artificial lip rolling, just placing the MP in your mouth - this actually make me feel like i'm "talking" while playing).
bottom line - i would recommend it to any saxophone player (beginner/intermediate).
Joey, thanks for making this DVD!
 

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My pleasure. Of course you may use this phrase.
BTW i am a "late bloomer" (started playing the sax a year ago when i was 30 years old) after 15 years of playing guitar.
regarding the "talking" phrase - i am still amazed by the infinite ways i can express myself while "talking". guitarists do have their way of expressing dynamics/mimicking the human voice but they are limited. that is how i came up with the "talking" phrase. it feels more natural to me.
BTW, Your "Hee Tee" exercise has been added to my daily practice.
i also appreciate your willingness to answer any follow up questions. i might use it in the future!

Thanks again! :thumbrig:
ThreadKiller
 

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Doc74 I have this DVD it is very basic and dry I wish I had not bought it. Joey is a great sax player but he does so much talking and very little playing on a scale 1-5, 1 being great and 5 being bad, I give it a 3.
You would be better off getting Eric Marienthal's DVD
 

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Doc74 I have this DVD it is very basic and dry I wish I had not bought it. Joey is a great sax player but he does so much talking and very little playing on a scale 1-5, 1 being great and 5 being bad, I give it a 3.
You would be better off getting Eric Marienthal's DVD
my1note-I am sorry to learn how disappointed you were purchasing my DVD All Things Saxophone. Your comment "Very little playing" seems odd to me considering the large amount of (instructive) playing I actually do. However I do appreciate your other comment "very basic and dry" Although I know you meant it as a criticism, for me as a player (and educator) no matter how sophisticated I get harmonically/melodically/rhythmically etc it always comes down to how well you grasp and apply basics-perfecting fundamentals can be very dry! For me it is a life long endeavor. So Doc74 be wary, I do not offer a new approach other than practicing 10-12 hours a day: long tones/overtones/finger mech/embouchure/scale and chord patterns/transcribing and applying it/repertoire and chord progressions etc etc. My1note is right it can be very dry or tedious. In any event, my1note if you send back the DVD to me in the original case (assuming you haven't thrown it away) I will be happy to refund your money. I'm sure you can find a better use of your funds-a box of reeds or Eric's DVD perhaps. Let me know and I will give you the mailing address. Sincerely, Joey Berkley
 

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I just finished watching the DVD.
It's definately good material.
I don't understand what one could expect for the money paid,
but for me this is a nice collection of solid advice, for the self motivated begginer to intermediate saxophonist.
Not for the absolute beginner though. Also not for people that search for quick show-off recipes.
This guy is explaining routines and ways to practice and get better and involves a LOT of work.

I don't expect to become the next Coltrane just by buying a DVD, but this guy gives clearly his opinion about embouchoure, scales, technique etc.
And his opinion seems really responsible.

I think it's a really really nice DVD.

Thanks Joey, I can't wait to see you doing other DVDs as well.
By the way I really like your phrasing and tone as well.

Stelios from Athens Greece
 

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And to make my comment more precise, there a nice intro into scales and modes -again not for the beginner, maybe for the aspiring intermediate-
Great stuff for the money of a synthetic reed!
 
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