All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Studies Teal's The Art...

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
These posts moved from the bis key dicussion.



It's not hard to learn to roll your finger up for a B natural if you want one.

I agree, but you'll be contravening Mr Teal's rules.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,957
Locality
Manchester, UK
Re: Bis key?

I agree, but you'll be contravening Mr Teal's rules.
Yes.

I've never found Teal's book very helpful, to be honest. Apart from the embouchure exercises, there's not much in there about what to do to improve. For example, page after page about what shape facial skeleton you ought to have or you might as well not bother. But almost nothing about how to form and develop a useful embouchure.

Rob Bucklands book, that I keep banging on about, has been a revelation to me. After reading it and working through some of the earler stages, I now feel like I pretty much know how to play the saxophone. Being able to play it is a very different matter of course, but knowing what your aiming at (and how to work towards that goal) is a very important step, IMO.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
Re: Bis key?

I think Teal's book was aimed at beginners, probably more guys like me who love to wallow in theory... But things have moved on since then and I agree your points about improving/improvers. I believe it's important to review, learn and experiment. What worked in the past isn't necessarily the only or best way to play.

You'll be pleased to know that based on your recommendations, I've asked for Bickland's book for Xmas or my birthday a week later. Really looking forward to getting it, and if it doesn't amterialise (i did blag a bari as a joint pressie for them earlier in the year) I'll be ordering my own copy in the New Year.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Saxade

Senior Member
Messages
287
Locality
Tasmania
Re: Bis key?

Yes.

I've never found Teal's book very helpful, to be honest. Apart from the embouchure exercises, there's not much in there about what to do to improve. For example, page after page about what shape facial skeleton you ought to have or you might as well not bother. But almost nothing about how to form and develop a useful embouchure.

Rob Bucklands book, that I keep banging on about, has been a revelation to me. After reading it and working through some of the earler stages, I now feel like I pretty much know how to play the saxophone. Being able to play it is a very different matter of course, but knowing what your aiming at (and how to work towards that goal) is a very important step, IMO.

Sorry... the only thing that I don't agree with Mr Teal is his Embouchure..... "too much lip roll over" other wise I think as a beginner his advise is excellent.... Remember it is way back then
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,692
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Re: Bis key?

In any area of skill and or study there is a "body of knowledge" that by definition has been accumulated through experience and study over a long period of time. Published in 1963 "The Art of Saxophone Playing" encapsulated that "body of knowledge" for playing the saxophone, and has been unsurpassed as the most comprehensive reference for serious students of the saxophone ever since. It is compiled of facts, not opinions. One can disagree with opinions, but not with facts. Facts do not become obsolete over time. They can be added to, embellished, or used as a foundation to develop different styles of playing, but their validity does not become altered in the process.

Granted there are other "styles" of embouchures that are taught besides the "Teal Wheel" as it's called, but it should be remembered that Larry Teal was a "classical saxophonist" and taught in that idiom. Just because someone chooses a different embouchure approach is not a valid reason in my opinion to dismiss the other 99% of Teal's information.

Teal's book can be helpful for beginners, intermediate players, and even advanced players. I used his "reference" extensively while preparing for my Master's Recital on saxophone, and in writing my thesis on saxophone pedagogy. I have used the information in the book for over 30 years in my teaching.

I am not suggesting that Teal's work is the only worthwhile or useful text on playing the saxophone. I own and have taken useful information from several, but these works compliment "The Art of Saxophone Playing", they do not replace it. It is also important to make the distinction between "The Art of Saxophone Playing" and method books. Method books facilitate learning to play by providing songs and exercises---often with helpful tips and information. The "Art of Saxophone Playing" is a reference work. Think of it as an encyclopedia of saxology. One doesn't play through the book. One studies it like a text so that when confronted with a problem while learning a solo or exercise, one either remembers something from Teal that will help or knows where to look up the solution.

My concern that prompted this lengthy appeal, is simply the fear that new players will read the various criticisms of this work on this forum, and dismiss it out of hand. That would be unfortunate since there is a wealth of information that they will surely miss that can't help but make them a better saxophonist and musician.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
Re: Bis key?

I think it'd be good to debate Teal's work - and others. Jbtsax makes good points!
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,957
Locality
Manchester, UK
Re: Bis key?

My concern that prompted this lengthy appeal, is simply the fear that new players will read the various criticisms of this work on this forum, and dismiss it out of hand. That would be unfortunate since there is a wealth of information that they will surely miss that can't help but make them a better saxophonist and musician.
Those criticisms have mainly if not entirely come from me. I'm simply expressing an honestly held opinion. I think new players will find much more that they can actually use in learning the saxophone in Buckland's book than they will in Teal's. I know for a fact that I personally have done so. It's not a "method book", it goes much deeper than that. I feel it deserves more publicity than it's been getting, hence the repeated plugs I've been giving it here.

The readers of this forum are quite capable of deciding for themselves how much weight to attach to my opinions.

I'm glad you got more out of Teal than I did. But I find it stuffy, off-putting and not particularly helpful.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
Locality
St.Helens, Merseyside. UK.
Re: Bis key?

I bought Teal's book years ago, and must confess I haven't used it much. This thread will make me revisit it.

By the way Martin, I'm another one who is getting Rob Buckland's book for christmas on your recommendation. It had better be good!
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,957
Locality
Manchester, UK
Re: Bis key?

I bought Teal's book years ago, and must confess I haven't used it much. This thread will make me revisit it.

By the way Martin, I'm another one who is getting Rob Buckland's book for christmas on your recommendation. It had better be good!
Oops! Well, just to cover my back a bit:

There are a few problems with the editing, sentences that have run togther and such. Perhaps because it's new, but they could have been a bit more careful. But you can see what he's getting at. Also the print is fainter than I would have liked it. But I really feel like my playing and, perhaps more importantly, my confidence in my playing has come a long way since I started working on it.
 

Rico Vandoren

Member
Messages
141
Locality
St.Helens, Merseyside. UK.
Re: Bis key?

Only kidding Martin...

I've met Rob on a few occasions at the RNCM's Saxophone Days. I've always been really impressed with him, and I'm looking forward to using the book.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,304
Locality
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Re: Bis key?

Oops! Well, just to cover my back a bit:
Martin.... No backtracking now, if this book by Buckland is not a masterpiece your subscription to MaSLM will be terminated.......>:)
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,321
Locality
London
Re: Bis key?

Teal's book can be helpful for beginners, intermediate players, and even advanced players. I used his "reference" extensively while preparing for my Master's Recital on saxophone, and in writing my thesis on saxophone pedagogy. I have used the information in the book for over 30 years in my teaching.

Would you recommend it as main book for absolute beginners (aged 9 - 12)? Any alternative?
Thank you in advance.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
Re: Bis key?

Personally I got a lot from Teal and still recommend that people read/use it. However It's not been updated in many years, new playing techniques come along, and we need to challenge what we're taught. This isn't just for technique, but also musically. I'm not, personally, keen on a lot of modern music - but if composers like Debussy, Stravinsky, Stockhausen, Ives, Glass didn't challenge conventional wisdom, music wouldn't progress. Coltrane's held up as a shining example of this because of his scale... But it leaves me cold.

Getting back to mouthpieces, why don't we put the reed on top? Clarinet players started like that, but someone challenged and put the reed underneath. Just because Teal's been the foundation of theory for many years doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't a better way - or room for an improved, up to date edition.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,698
Locality
Victoria BC Canada
Re: Bis key?

Teal's book is useful, some of it, such as embouchure is dated and we have learned lots of new things about technique over he past half century, and about describing things better I think.

Ben Britton has just written a book that I think will be most useful for beginners as the explanations on support, embouchure tone production are very clearly described. Also for those who are interested Joe Allard's pedagogy can be downloaded for free. I have all 3 and have learned from all of them..
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,957
Locality
Manchester, UK
Re: Bis key?

Martin.... No backtracking now, if this book by Buckland is not a masterpiece your subscription to MaSLM will be terminated.......>:)
I'm relieved it's only my subscription that's in peril ;}.

What I particularly like about the book is that it gives you ways of training yourself, rather than just prescriptions about what should happen when everything's going perfectly. For me, learning an instrument is much more about acquiring a set of skills than it is about absorbing a body of knowledge. It's a question of training more than it is of study. Same goes for improvisation. Older texts in any subject didn't really make this distinction. It seems to be a relatively recent thing that educators (in their writing, anyway) have started to be aware of it.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,304
Locality
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Re: Bis key?

I have now placed his book (Buckland) on my wish list............ if i am not as good as Parker in 12 months time i will demand a refund and put a formal complaint into CaSLM bungalow ;}
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,957
Locality
Manchester, UK
Re: Bis key?

I have now placed his book (Buckland) on my wish list............ if i am not as good as Parker in 12 months time i will demand a refund and put a formal complaint into CaSLM bungalow ;}
What, the Butler in Thunderbirds? "Yes, m'lady"
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Locality
Sturton by Stow, Lincoln
Re: Bis key?

What I particularly like about the book is that it gives you ways of training yourself, rather than just prescriptions about what should happen when everything's going perfectly.

Well on your advice I've now ordered my copy and hope it will make a nice accompaniment to Mr Thomas' Taming the Saxophone Volumes
 

Profusia

Senior Member
Messages
1,014
Locality
Worcestershire
Re: Bis key?

Just got home to find my "Playing the Saxophone" by Rob Buckland and "Taming the Saxophone" volumes 1 & 3, and Pete's instruction DVD have all arrived. Its going to be a busy week deciding which if any of them should make it into my holiday case!
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Messages
8,692
Locality
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
Re: Bis key?

Would you recommend it as main book for absolute beginners (aged 9 - 12)? Any alternative?
Thank you in advance.
As a "main book" no. As a reference to be used along with a good beginning method book---a resounding yes! The chapters entitled "Playing Position", "The Breathing Technique", "The Embouchure", "Developing the Technique", and "Attack and Release" contain information that can help teach and reinforce the specifics of good playing habits for those just starting out. The chapters on vibrato, intonation, staccato, articulation, phrasing and interpretation, doubling, and altissimo will become useful as the saxophone student progresses. I have used the Rubank Method Books for many years, which were the "gold standard" of methods for a long time. However nowadays there are scores of excellent saxophone method books to use for individual or like instrument class instruction. As far as the Teal book goes, at only about £11 it is the best money a student of the saxophone will ever spend.

On a side note, if one speaks Chinese, this method might just be what they are looking for: Popular Saxophone Playing Techniques :) (sorry Kev, I couldn't resist)
 

Members online

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom