A Saxophone Lesson at Juilliard with Bruce Williams

YouTube video

Did you ever want to take a lesson from a master at the Juilliard School? Well, now’s your chance. Back in February, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the legendary Saxophonist Bruce Williams.

Who is Bruce Williams?

Currently a member of the Jazz faculty at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, Bruce Williams is considered one of the premiere alto and soprano saxophonists in the world today.

He’s performed, toured, and recorded with groups like The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, and the The World Saxophone Quartet. He is also a mentor and teacher at Jazz House Kids in New Jersey – one of the most successful and respected jazz education programs in the nation.

Bruce has played on and produced a variety of albums and records throughout his life, and has even played on two-Grammy nominated recordings. You can find a lot of his music on Spotify including his most recent album entitled Private Thoughts.

A Saxophone Lesson with Bruce Williams

In this interview, we discuss a variety of topics like the importance of sound, proper throat shape, how to play vibrato, the key to playing lead alto, using charts, how he works with reeds, and the impact of playing with good articulation.

Saxophone Etude Books

Bruce Williams also mentions several standard etude books that he uses with his students including:

Sigurd Rascher 158

Klose 25 daily etudes

Guy Lacour

Marcel Mule 48 Etudes

Rubank Selected Studies

Rubank Advance Methods 1 and Advance Methods 2.

Yanagisawa Saxophones

Like me, Bruce Williams also plays on the Yanagisawa Saxophones, and considers them to be the best saxophones in the world. He is also Yanagisawa Saxophone Artist, and has been playing on these horns for over 20 years.

Final Thoughts

If you want to follow Bruce you can find him on Facebook and Instagram, or maybe someday, even take your own lesson with him at the Juilliard School of Music. But for now, check out the full interview and take in everything this master has to offer. Let me know in the comments below what you thought of this interview and lesson with Bruce Williams.

Interested in more interviews? Check out this “Sax Study with Jaleel Shaw.”

Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.

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Saxophone Classes Folsom, CA - Mr. D's Music School says:

That’s really nice post. I appreciate your skills. Thanks for sharing.

Peter says:

I thought this was a really great interview which reminds me that I am such an amateur! I have. Question: 11 mins into the interview Bruce explains that he gets his students to use a “close A”. What does he mean?

Jay Metcalf says:

That’s Klose an etude book. It’s listed in the blog post, click the link to see it online.

Sax Study with Jaleel Shaw – Better Sax says:

[…] If you like interview videos with great saxophone players, check out this playlist to watch all of my other interviews like this one with Bruce Williams of the Juilliard School. […]



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