Category Archives: Videos

Barry Harris Half Step Rules

The video above was filmed at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, NL. It is part of a collection of video chronicling workshops that were given by pianist Barry Harris between 1989 and 1998. That collection can be found on the Barry Harris Videos channel on YouTube. There is a lot of great information there. Dr. Harris’s career has spanned over half a century and at the age of 85, he continues to perform and teach.

In the video, Harris outlines and demonstrates a set of rules for dealing with descending dominant (Mixolydian) scales. The basic concept is that in particular circumstances, the addition of half steps is necessary to insure that chord tones (1, 3, 5, b7) occur on downbeats instead of upbeats.

In the handout below, I wrote out the rules outlined by Dr. Harris in the video. Harris briefly talks about rules for the Major scale, but only mentions the use of a half step going from 6 to 5 before returning to the discussion of the dominant (Mixolydian) scale.


New video: Moksha with Peter Apfelbaum, Jen Hartswick, and Skerik!

Here’s a video from the Moksha gig on Friday at Las Vegas Country Saloon. This is from Christian McBride’s “Technicolor Nightmare.” Jen Hartswick’s on trumpet, Peter Apfelbaum and Skerik are on tenor, and I’m playing bari. Enjoy!

How It’s Made. Videos for all the woodwinds.


While browsing youtube the other day, I came across a video of saxophones being made at the Keilwerth factory. I am a geek of the highest order when it comes to this kind of stuff and could watch it for hours. This, of course, meant that I looked up other videos and I want to share some of those with you today. I was looking for videos for all of the woodwinds, but couldn’t find any oboe or bassoon videos. If you know of any, please feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll add it to this post.

Brannen Bros. Flutes

Buffet Clarinets

Selmer Saxophones

Fox Bassoons – Thanks to Bret Pimentel for this one!

This is the first video of 7. You can find all of the videos here.

Bonus video! Reeds


Kadri Gopalnath – Carnatic Saxophonist


One of the really cool things about the saxophone is that many musicians have been able to play it within many different musical traditions. Kadri Gopalnath is one of those saxophonists who pushed boundaries and made the saxophone a legitimate instrument in a tradition that is hundreds of years old.

Carnatic music is the traditional music of South India. Many people refer to it, and the Hindustani music of the North, as Indian classical music.

Kadri Gopalnath started out playing the nagaswaram, a double-reed instrument considered to be very auspicious. It’s often played in Hindu temples and at weddings. It is also the world’s loudest acoustic non-brass instrument. Having heard them when I went to India, I can definitely confirm that to be the case. Kadri switched to the alto saxophone after hearing one in a band. He worked for 20 years to learn to play the saxophone in the Carnatic style.

My saxophone professor in college, George Wolfe, introduced me to Kadri Gopalnath’s playing. I was blown away by it and had no idea that someone could play the horn like that. Check out the video and see for yourself.

Pneumo Pro Wind Director – Great Tool for Flute!

I purchased one of these a few months ago from Flute World for about $30 and have had nice success for myself and working with students. You can use it as a standalone product, but it also fits into the body of the flute so you can work on your airstream while simulating other parts of playing (fingering, posture, etc.) It is dead simple to use and there is an almost immediate improvement in tone. Remember to put a penny on top of the Pneumo Pro to keep it balanced so you and your students are playing with proper technique. Click on the banner below to check out the Blocki Flute site and learn more about the Pneumo Pro.