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ISBN 9780876391389

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The Saxophone Handbook: A Complete Guide to Tone, Technique, and Performance

by Douglas Skinner
available from

A complete guide to playing and maintaining a saxophone. This handbook provides essential information on tone, technique, articulation, breathing, and more. Exercises are included that will help you develop mastery of all facets pertaining to saxophone performance. Extensive directions on repairs, from simple to complex, will help you maintain your instrument and customize it to your own performance style and preferences.

You will learn to:

  • Recork keys and the neck, fix binding rods and keys, check for leaks, replace pads, adjust needle springs and key heights, and many others
  • Understand the importance of mouthpieces and reeds and how to maintain them
  • Improve your tone, intonation and flexibility in relation to throat shapes, vibrato and embouchure
  • Play with proper technique, including posture, fingerings, breath control, and more
  • Learn repertoire effectively and develop productive practice habits

Douglas Skinner has mentored thousands of musicians over his forty-year career, teaching saxophone performance, band instrument repair, jazz history, and ensembles. He is professor emeritus at Texas State University.

"One of the most informative books about the saxophone I have ever read. If you love the saxophone, you will love this book."

Jerry Bergonzi, Saxophonist, Composer, Author, and Educator

"The Saxophone Handbook by Doug Skinner is a most welcome addition to the saxophonist's library! The vast amount of valuable material is presented in a very informative and comprehensive manner, and the inclusion of an assortment of useful diagrams and charts is a bonus. While this book addresses a broad scope of important subject matters, I was particularly impressed by the detailed chapters on instrument repair, instrument selection and mouthpieces. I certainly will recommend this book to current and former students, as well as a host of fellow saxophonists and teachers.

Chris Vadala, Professor of Saxophone/Director of Jazz Studies, University of Maryland

"This is an invaluable book that should be in the library of all saxophone players and teachers. Everything in this book will be used at some point by all serious saxophone players. Mr. Skinner has done a wonderful job of presenting the material in this book in an easy to understand manner so that it can be used by saxophone players of all levels. I do not know of another book for saxophonists that includes everything from tone production to instrument repair. I'm glad we finally have one that does."

Greg Wilson, Saxophonist, Teacher, Vice President of MACSAX Saxophones

"From mouthpieces to methods and maintenance, tone to technique for jazz and classical players, Skinner's well organized and easy to read compendium replaces volumes on my shelf. This is an essential reference for teachers and serious students!"

Richard Lawn, Author, Composer, Saxophonist, and Educator (Founding director of jazz studies at UT Austin and professor emeritus, University of the Arts, Philadelphia)