top of page
  • Foto del escritorRod Herbert BigSoundMusic



Some heartfelt congratulations to some of my young friends, who have auditioned and have been accepted into Conservatorium Undergraduate University Music Degree programs majoring in Jazz.

Great news and now the harder work starts!

Here is my list of ideas and advice that I would follow if I did this again or had the 2nd chance!

I sent this list to my saxophonist buddy, but I think it works for every instrument if you read between the lines!

Learn to sight-read anything 1st time perfectly.

Learn everything about your saxes and playing in ALL styles.

Learn to improvise and solo on your best horns.

Find YOUR VOICE as an improviser.

This is a long gradual process of playing and intensive listening.

Learn EVERY recording from MILES DAVIS from EVERY era.

Play along. Transcribe and improvise. Each saxophonist is different!

Learn as many TUNES as you can in every style. In many keys and tempos.

I-Real Pro program is your friend!!!!!!!

Learn to play fast-burning Bop heads and slow warm emotional Ballads channeling our masters from the past.


Learn to DOUBLE on all saxes and perform very well on clarinet,

flute, piccolo, bass clarinet -

Look at Chris Potter who is amazing at ALL woodwinds.

The best cats WORKING are playing all the horns needed for the gig and doing theatre shows doubling instruments and sight-reading and improvising like crazy!

Immerse yourself in Every style including Straight ahead Swing.

Commercial Pop and Funk, all the great horn bands.

Ska and Reggae.

Latin Jazz, Salsa and world music. Cuban clarinet/sax player Paquito De'Rivera.

Concert bands and Symphonic Wind Ensemble Repertoire.

Classical solos and ensembles.

Learn to play Swing Big Band REPERTOIRE clarinet melodies from Benny Goodman and Woody Herman both learning the iconic solos needed in the "ghost" Big Bands, as well as improvising and wailing on these classic pieces of repertoire from the swing era.

The same is said for trumpeters learning classic melodies from the bands of Miller and Count Basie and Duke Ellington and all solos from Louis Armstrong.

The same is said for trombonists learning the high ballads of Tommy Dorsey including Getting Sentimental Over You, Marie, Song Of India. Duke Ellington melodies from Lawrence Brown and Plunger solos from, Tricky Sam Nanton Butter Jackson and Al Grey from Count Basie Band.

Immerse yourself in traditional Jazz on sax and clarinet.


Listen listen

Wear Hats both physically and metaphorically!

Have a Traditional Jazz Hat.

Dig deep into the history and original recordings.

Where to start?

All Louis Armstrong including Hot Five and Hot Sevens, the 1950's recordings including Louis Armstrong Plays WC Handy, Satch Plays Fats.

Listen to lots of albums by guitarist Eddie Condon who recorded from the 1920's to 1960's using all the greatest Traditional musicians of the times!

Have a classic Bluenote Records Hat.....

Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Art Blakey......

Have a Bop Alto Sax Hat channeling cats like

Bird, Cannonball, Stitt,

Art Pepper, Paul Desmond, Arthur Blythe, Steve Coleman, Australian Bernie McGann......

Have a Funk Hat channeling cats like

Maceo and Pee Wee and Fred Wesley and James Brown............

Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Parliment Funkdelic........

Have a Duke Ellington Hat!

Learn the recordings!




Sing in a chior!

Work hard at aural and ear training almost more than practicing!

I felt confused as a horn player not hearing piano and guitar chords. The best kid in my ear training course is now one of Australia’s most creative Jazz pianists!

Learn Piano - both classical and jazz. I regret not doing this further and at a young age as a child.

Stay At Home!

If possible stay living at your family home whilst studying.

I studied at Conservatorium for six years. The first four years I was totally immersed in practice, composing and playing in every ensemble possible including Wind Ensemble, Jazz Big Band, Brass Ensemble, Chior, Percussion Ensembles, Brass Quintets........

When i moved out of home, I was obsessive with making money from teaching and playing so i could pay my rent!

Running from the conservatorium to schools to teach. Running back and forwards between uni and work, limiting my study time!

Use your time management !

Get to know everyone in your music school from years above and below your grade!

Get to know all the local musicians in your town, city, and country!

Build yourself a musician and entrepreneur profile both live and online!

You will need to create your own gigs and recordings!

Learn music business and marketing and webdesign!

Learn to operate a live gig sound system and use DAW recording software and composing software!

Jam with everyone!

Play in every group possible!

Say YES to every gig whatever it is!

Then learn everything about the gig style whatever it is!

Everything including the

Punk Macedonian Jazz Irish Funk Bebop Fusion Ska Band!


Stay fit!


Learn to teach!

Have fun!

Rod Herbert


1 visualización0 comentarios

Entradas Recientes

Ver todo


bottom of page