Snake Davis DVD – “Make It Sing” Review

“MAKE IT SING!” Snake Davis

“What good is a great finger technique if it is not supported by a fantastic sound? The notes won’t mean anything” (Snake Davis)

This is something I have always strongly believed in, and an area I continually encourage my pupils to develop with saxophone playing – tone and timbre. So, when we began stocking these at Dawkes, I wanted to see what Snake Davis had to offer in terms of exercises and advice. What’s more, he is a fellow player of Yanagisawa saxophones!

Snake Davis is a session saxophonist, who has played with some of the world’s biggest artists including M People, Jamoroquai and Beyonce Knowles. He is renowned for his passionate soulful tone, and this DVD certainly proves that Snake believes that sound is the most vital part of saxophone playing.

You can select whether to watch and listen to Snake on the alto or tenor saxophone – both sections covering the same points. The DVD starts with Snake discussing good playing posture and breathing. Within a minute I was immediately struck by his Yoga approach to playing. He talks about balance, energy, and controlled and focused breathing. These are all things we know we should be doing, but Snake conveys the importance to the extent that no practice session should ever be without them.

Snake then introduces the “Zen Note”, giving clear advice and instruction on producing a rich full tone on your saxophone. Snake even invites you to play along with him through the exercises. This leads onto “Vocaltone”, where Snake compares singing techniques to playing your horn. He’s not wrong when he describes playing the saxophone as “singing, except you have some plumbing in between the birth of the note and when the sound is produced.” So, Snake encourages you to sing a note and then play a note. He also covers the different timbres possible from your saxophone just by changing the area of where your breath is coming from (diaphragm/chest/throat).

Overall, insightful and thought provoking, Snake Davis’ DVD is an accessible resource for both beginners and more advanced players. For beginners, it inspires the player and introduces the importance of sound quality. For advanced players, it is a reminder that even the core values of tone production should never be overlooked.

Available from Dawkes for £15.50. Click Here to Shop

Lizzie – Sax Dept @ Dawkes

Snake Davis DVD – “Make It Sing” Review

Want your first Sax?

To Rent or Buy?

Obtaining your first saxophone from Dawkes Music can be achieved in a simple and cost effective way. We offer various ways to get you your first saxophone, which we believe suits everyone.

As a woodwind and brass specialist shop, you will be guaranteed the best student model saxophones on the market, with the addition of ongoing workshop support from us to ensure the saxophone continues to play to its highest capabilities. Dawkes do not simply give you a saxophone out of the box; we add our personal touch to each instrument ensuring it is set up and easy to play suiting the players requirements.

All our saxophones go through our workshop where experienced woodwind repairers examine the saxophone ensuring the regulation and pads are seated correctly. This is necessary to ensure that there are no leaks, which could lead to the saxophone being difficult to play and preventing good sound quality. In addition, the springs can be altered so that if the player is young, the keys can be made lighter to press down. The repairers also ensure the mouthpiece correctly fits the cork, which prevents any accidental damage when putting the saxophone together.


Renting a saxophone

If your child is just starting lessons, you may want to consider renting a saxophone. This is a good option for young beginners who are just starting out for the first time. We provide, arguably, the best student model saxophone on the market, the Yamaha YAS 275.

The YAS 275 is a durable saxophone which is designed for ease of playing and tuning. It comes complete with a case and maintenance accessories. Each saxophone is provided with a care sheet to ensure you are provided with the knowledge to look after the instrument.

The price to rent an alto saxophone is £27.00. This is the most common saxophone that people start on due to its size and ease of playing. However we do rent tenor saxophones at £32.00, and for the smaller players you can rent a soprano saxophone for £28.00.

The minimum rental period if for 3 months, and there is no time limit on any rental. It includes free insurance and free maintenance.

The 7th rental payments onwards can be used at a later date to put towards the cost of a new instrument, meaning that whilst you continue renting with us, you are also saving for an instrument of you own should you wish to buy at a later date.

Buying a saxophone

Making a large purchase can be daunting, especially if you are not sure how things will turn out with you or your child’s music lessons. However, buying a saxophone with Dawkes makes this easier. All our new instruments come with a 2 year buy back guarantee which means you have the peace of mind knowing that if it doesn’t work out, you will get some of your money back. Within 6 months of purchase, we offer 90% of the original price back to you (less the VAT) Within 2 years, we offer 50% of the original price back to you (less the VAT).

So in actual fact, if you buy an instrument from us, and return it to us within 6 months, you’ll spend less money than using the rental scheme.

Lizzie – Woodwind Dept 03/09/2011

Want your first Sax?