Vandoren, Speed and Bach.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Vandoren Musician’s Advisory Studio today, where I tried a bunch of alto mouthpieces and even took home a couple of alto clarinet pieces to try for a couple of weeks. I strongly recommend you visit! Excited to try these guys for a bit, then go back for some Bb clarinet help.
Vandoren Bounty


After that I stopped by Barbes and had the pleasure of listening to and playing a set with a great band consisting of Oscar Noriega, Brian Drye, Matt Pavolka and Chris Speed. I’ve been a big Chris Speed fan since college and it was fun to play with him for the first time. What a unique tenor sound! Seeing Chris and Oscar reminds me to keep working at my clarinet doubling.

One more thing I’d like to mention today, I’m starting work on a book, and I’d like to know what you think. I would like to create a simple book of diatonic sequences extracted from the works of JS Bach.  I’ve pieced together a few already and hope to flesh out another 20 or so.  I’m amazed at how much material I’ve gotten out of one short sonata movement, and would like to work at this for a while. The tricky decisions are: should I write each sequence out in all keys? Only a few keys for each one? Let the player do all the transposing? Right now I’m organizing the patterns by major or minor and ascending or descending. Here’s a small sample. I hope this is of benefit to you. The idea is that this could be useful information for the improviser. Of course it has technical benefits, but I wanted to strip the patterns down so you can use them in any diatonic situation. This is akin to the “filler” material that Lennie Tristano advocated, it’s different ideas to try on a line. You can superimpose the rhythms, break them up, I hope that they will be used loosely and not mechanically. Any feedback is much appreciated. I hope to have the book done next year, for saxophone, or all instruments.

Bach Scale Shapes #2 Minor Desc

PDF: Bach Scale Shapes #2 Minor Desc




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  1. I would definitely buy the Bach book. This is something that I practice as well, and I love the idea of having a curated set. For what it is worth, I am always for presenting info in one key. I do all of my own transposing once I have a firm grasp of the concept or underlying structure of the line.

    1. Thanks Jason, still contemplating the key situation. I may put each key in a set of 4 or 5 random keys so all are covered by the end of book but there is room for self transposing. I would prefer this be a thin volume in the end. Thanks again for the input!

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