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There’s no mistaking the big, deep sound of the baritone saxophone. This largest member of the saxophone family is in many Motown hits of the 60’s , like "Heat Wave", "Baby Love" and "Dancin’ in the Streets". It’s also often heard in the horn sections of concert, school and military bands, jazz ensembles and even musical theatre. Whether you’re a novice or professional, there are a variety of books that offer informative, detailed instruction on how to play your baritone saxophone. Before you know it, you’ll be imitating the smooth sound of Dick Parry’s solo on Pink Floyd’s "Us and Them."
If you’re teaching band students or have decided to take up playing the baritone saxophone as a hobby, you might want to consider the Hal Leonard Essential Elements for Band - Bari Saxophone Book 1 with EEi (Book/CD-ROM). Great for beginners, this book features familiar songs and specially designed exercises that work well in a unison-learning environment. 12 full band arrangements are created for the classroom with specific exercises to help focus each student on the unique characteristics of their instrument. There are even printable pages for duets and trios.
For the more advanced players who want to ramp up their musical repertoire, there’s the KJOS Standard Of Excellence for Jazz Ensemble Bari Sax. Divided into 3 sections, each representing a different style - rock, swing and Latin - this book is ideal for high school bands, jazz ensembles or private studios. Rhythm and improvisation studies can be played with other members of the ensemble or with the accompanying CD, and the director’s score features tips on player selection, band set-up, audio reinforcement, music selection and rehearsal suggestions.
From avant garde to bebop to jazz and modern rock, the baritone sax has found its place in every musical genre. And with such a large selection of method books to choose from, you’re sure to make your own distinct mark on your journey towards becoming a better baritone saxophone player.