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Guy Lacour: 50 etudes faciles et progressives (cahier 1)

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
I came across volume 1 of these studies when I was looking for something that I would be able to play without endless practice. I wanted something that could be played at sight, and that would enable me to concentrate on dynamics above all. Without a doubt this was a good choice.

Volume 1 contains 25 etudes on 21 pages, all of them in easy keys. It is published by Billaudot, Paris. The easiest are Grade 2 in the Australian (AMEB) syllabus, and they go up to Grade 5. By way of comparison, Bozza's Aria is Grade 5 in the same syllabus.

The first five pieces are quite easy. After that they gradually increase in difficulty. The sheetmusicplus website lets you look at number 13 which seems to be somewhere between 3rd and 4th grade.

One of the attractions of this book for me is that is was written by a saxophonist for the saxophone, I suppose early in the 1970s. I rather dislike arrangements of the "good bits" of Mozart piano concertos, Haydn symphonies and whatnot.

I expect to be through this book fairly quickly, and I will then decide whether to continue with the second volume. The reason that I am uncertain is that the back pages of this book list all sorts of other French saxophone music at various levels of difficulty. For example, Hubert Prati's Approche de la musique contemporaine and Guy Lacour's 24 etudes atonales faciles may be worth investigating.

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
I have now gone through this book, and it was quite an enjoyable experience. The first ten or so studies shouldn't be too hard to manage for anyone who has done good practice for a year or two. After that they get a little harder for various reasons, including timing and larger intervals. Studies 15 to 20 in particular require attention to timing. I found the last five easier (21 to 25) than these, but that probably is because I am spending a lot of time doing the exercises in the Universal Method.

I now expect to work on polishing the ones I particularly like, e.g. 13, 14, 18, 23, 24 and 25.

I have not decided yet whether I will do Book 2. In the meantime, I will concentrate again on Gambaro and Rossari and, of course, the Universal Method.

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