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New Book Reviews: Boots Randolph,
World of Warcraft, Sound Innovations

Woodwind & Brasswind Contributing Writer - Greg Vail

Boots Randolph Rock and Roll Saxophone - Book and CD

Boots was great saxophone player from the early rock & roll and traditional country music eras. This book set is written to a High School or College level player that wants to learn more about different saxophone styles and develop their improvisational skills.

The first twenty pages found in the book are scales and basic exercises to learn your way around the saxophone a little better. Technique is covered next, with basic concepts of listening, tone and articulation addressed, and then a variety of techniques more specific to the saxophone like growl tone and altissimo are covered.

The accompanying CD has audio examples of each saxophone technique, as well as a written description in the book. Saxophone fingering charts and altissimo fingering charts are included for both the alto and tenor saxophone as introduction for extended range playing above the standard range of the sax.

The interview included is interesting and it's obvious the author, Mike Shannon, has great respect for Mr. Randolph as well as having worked with him over the years. You will find some solo transcriptions of Randolph's playing on audio CD with Boots on sax, and then background tracks to play the same solo for yourself. I recommend Rock and Roll Saxophone for any sax player wanting to explore the old style rock and roll playing.

World of Warcraft Instrumental Solos

Students looking for something unique might want to consider music from video game, World of Warcraft. This book has an accompaniment CD and well laid out book with favorite songs from the game, written for just about every instrument. The music is considered level 2-3 and should be pretty easy for a good high school student.

The tracks sound really good on the CD and any student familiar with these melodies will find learning the music enjoyable knowing that an interest in this music will likely accompany a love of many of these songs. Therefore students should have a good idea of how the songs should be played simply from familiarity with the video game.

The book includes a basic fingering chart in case the student has a note or two that they don't remember fingering for. Also included are pictures from the video game in a package that is as beautiful to look thru as it is to perform.

I recommend this book for any World of Warcraft game player that would enjoy playing familiar music with great sounding tracks with a folk and sometimes orchestral sound. Each piece of music has a demonstration track to listen to, plus a minus one track that has the saxophone removed so you can perform each song without the reference your particular instrument.

World of Warcraft Instrumental Solos are available for:

Sound Innovations - Intermediate Band Method Book 2

Sound Innovations is a very well-conceived and excellently laid out method book for use of an intermediate level high school student. It is designed to be used either as a personal study method book, or as high school classroom curriculum for an entire band.

The authors move from a basic understanding of each instrument, through a variety of exercises and Chorales in a very logical manor; increasing the difficulty required as the pages unfold. Starting in the key of C and eventually ending in 3 sharps and 3 flats, major and minor keys; any student that works thru these pages will improve and develop very solid technical abilities.

One thing to consider is this book has no written words to explain the concepts being presented. A more advanced student will have little difficulty with this, but a younger student may require a teacher, whether it be in a classroom setting or a private instructor, to progress thru these pages with success.

Often, classroom materials are great for a band setting, but can miss the individual musician's development on their personal instrument. Sound Innovations seems to have taken both jobs to task and has developed a very useful individual method book and full band curriculum all at the same time.

Sound Innovations Book 2 is available for the following Instruments:

Woodwind & Brasswind is proud to offer high-quality musical saxophone straps and accessories for all musicians. All items are backed by The Woodwind & Brasswind's 45-day satisfaction guarantee, assuring that you'll love your purchase.

Los Angeles based freelance saxophonist Greg Vail is among the most versatile woodwind players on the west coast. His work in jazz, pop and contemporary gospel music spans over 30-years. Greg maintains an active digital presence at

While Woodwind & Brasswind compensates writers for their editorial reviews, the views expressed by the writers in those reviews are their own.

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