Kenny G gives ME a Saxophone Lesson!
In this video we are going to get some advice, inspiration and a music lesson from the biggest selling instrumental recording artist of all time, Kenny G. I’m also going to breakdown every note Kenny plays for us and make that available for you to download in case you want to play along.
“I hear you got a new saxophone” – Kenny G
Wow, word travels fast! You must have seen my Instagram clip.
In case you’re not following BetterSax on Instagram I recently introduced my newest saxophone acquisition. This gorgeous Yanagisawa TWO33 tenor sax with custom engraving.
Before we get into the lesson let me just show you how beautiful this instrument is.
and it’s not just beautiful to look at, this is the best saxophone I’ve ever owned and it is so much fun to play.
I think Kenny’s a little jealous…
“Anyway, good choice”
Thanks man you should try their sopranos.
“Just a fraction”
Wait, just a fraction?!
“It will be a lot by the way”
Kenny, what advice would you give to some of the aspiring saxophone players who may be watching?
“Practice , the better you get…”
Wow, yeah, that just about sums it all up.
All that practice certainly pays off, and I don’t mean financially. Like you said, playing the saxophone can really bring us a lot of joy in our lives… And frustration, but the payoff is in the joy.
Kenny G Plays Bebop
Kenny, do you think you could play some I don’t know… bebop inspired smooth jazz line in the key of F? …
Check out the video to hear the sick line Kenny pulls out.
Now, if you’re asking yourself…
Did he say bebop? I thought Kenny G played smooth jazz?
When it comes to improvising on the saxophone the language of bebop which was first pioneered by saxophonist Charlie Parker among others is really a common thread that ties us all together. So no matter what style you’re listening to, chances are you’re going to hear some bebop vocabulary in there.
So let’s take a look at what Kenny just played for us and break it down phrase by phrase.
I’ve put the sheet music transcription and analysis for this in the BetterSax Shed. Plus there’s tons of other great content that’s all free for you to download and enjoy!
If any of this talk of scales or music theory is going over your head and you’d like to get a good handle on it, I encourage you to check out my latest course the Harmonic Foundation which covers all the scales, chords and music theory we need to know in order to improvise with confidence in any style of music.
Interested in other saxophone interviews with super talented players? Check out all of my saxophone interviews right here on the BetterSax blog.