Bobs key skill is in teaching the musicians of the future. With over 40 years of teaching experience Bob has taught literally hundreds of people to play the Saxophone and Clarinet.
Additionally bob is a skilled pianist and provides accompaniment while you learn.
While all ages are strongly advised to take the Trinity College London Music board graded exams. Lessons are tailored on individual preferences and requirements. Associated Board of Music exams are available on request.
As well as traditional material supplied by the examination boards, Bob has authored a number of play along books. Centring around jazz, blues, Latin and funk you can learn to play the specially written tunes, with the additional advantage of learning to improvise too!
what do you teach? do you do grades?
Bob teaches the Clarinet , Tenor and Alto Saxophone up-to and Beyond Grade 8. Classical and Jazz are Bobs specialities.
Bob is also a very active professional Jazz musician and adds this into the learning mix. For those wishing to improve their Jazz playing and develop improvisational skills then Bob will tailor the learning around whatever the student is trying to achieve.
For those looking for more conventional accredited learning Bob teaches the Trinity College London or on request Associated Board music grades.
Bob Highly recommends the Trinity College London syllabus for woodwind players. There is no singing element as with Associated Board and generally Bob finds that the aural component is simpler. Its not a matter for which provider is best, its simply that in Bobs opinion the Trinity syllabus is more performance oriented and provides a more enjoyable experience.
What sort of instrument should I BUY?
Choosing your first instrument can be daunting, but needn't be so. Bob has many years of experience and some tried and tested solutions to make your learning the more enjoyable process.
Bob recommends being cautious about purchasing instruments from auction sites, second hand or online retailers. Unless you really know what your looking for bargins are hard to come by.
Additionally a flood of cheaper brands are coming onto the market and the quality of the mechanical build can make for a frustrating learning experience.
And really is that pink saxophone really going to sell when you decide to sell on your instrument to upgrade?
Bob Wants to stress in no way has he any affiliation with any specific manufacturer of instrument. Bobs primary focus is to ensure the player is comfortable and is not held back in learning by limitations in poorly built or maintained equipment.
The other major consideration for the new buyer is new vs secondhand. There are many pros and cons to either of these options. Bob is happy to discuss them with you.
Heres Bobs guide to buying an instrument for the aspiring musician just starting out.
For ages 7 - 10yo upto Grade 3 Bob highly recommends the Trevor James Alpha Sax.
The Alphasax is based around the original body tube of an Alto saxophone with completely redesigned mechanism and tone hole positioning for the smaller individual who would previously have been told to "wait until they got bigger" before they could learn to play the sax.
However past Grade 3 a saxophone with full key-work will be required to progress further with the musical grades due to the increasing complexity of learning. This typically takes around 2 years.
For players 10yo - Adult the Trevor James Classic Alto is hard to beat for quality and price. If your looking for a Tenor Sax the Trevor James Classic Tenor is the way to go.
In Bobs opinion The Trevor James Series is the best beginner saxophone on the market today. If your starting out you won't be disappointed.
As with everything though, those with a more fluid budget who wish to buy a something more intermediate with better resale value could opt for instruments from Yamaha or Yanagisawa. These instruments have an even better build quality and should suit a player up-to a very advanced if not professional level.
Where can I buy one? Can I rent?
Bob has strong ties with Brittens Music Tunbridge Wells where you will be able to see and buy all the recommend saxophones. Additionally Brittens have a very competitive rental program and a very competent repair service. http://www.brittensmusic.co.uk/
Another superb source of woodwind instruments is Saxophone.co.uk http://saxophone.co.uk/
Buying secondhand? This is an art, but armed with the right info theres no reason why you shouldn't end up with an instrument that out performs a new modern one. Additionally with more sought after vintage models there is an air of history, much like owning antiquities. You never know the horn you buy could have been lead alto in the Tommy Dorsey big band, swinging away in Ronnie Scotts or part of a military band traveling the world. Check out Bobs Technical Blog to see advice on buying second hand horns.
How much is it going to cost?
Bobs teaching price is £16 per 1/2 hour
Recommended beginner learning material costs
The Trevor James Alphasax is £599 RRP
The Trevor James Alto Classic is £799 RRP
The Trevor James Tenor Classic is £699 RRP
At the time of writing there are significant deals to be made from the RRP so hopefully you'll be paying less.
Sax mouthpieces Mouthpieces
Prices to follow
Reeds - Saxophone Vandoren reeds £2.79 each (typically lasts 2-3weeks)
Cleaning materials - £10.00
Books - Prices to follow