STATE-OF-THE-ART instruction in improvisation for all instruments in all styles (bop, modal, funk, blues, fusion, smooth jazz, Latin, and classical) and in all aspects of saxophone technique (beginner to professional). For rates and further info contact me at or call 617-332-0176.   


• You will need a computer and web cam.

• Skype lessons are 45 minutes followed by an emailed assignment including pdf and mp3 files. While taking lessons you can email me with questions at any time.

• You get all the benefits of a private lesson without leaving your home. 


• I find out as much as I can about your experience, preferences and goals.

• I send you a detailed and organized lesson assignment by email including audio tracks and written music (pdf and mp3 files). For more specifics see ABOUT THE LESSONS and SOME TOPICS OF STUDY (below).

• I thoroughly explain each part of the assignment and include examples of how it should sound.

• You practice, record and email the assignment back to me. You can email me with questions at any time.

• After receiving and listening to your return assignment, I send you comments, suggestions, my own playing of various examples and the next lesson.

• Each lesson is individually tailored to your needs and preferences. In other words, private lessons by email.

• It is strongly suggested (but not mandatory), for your own progress, that you send the assignment back within a month’s time, if possible.

For rates and further info contact me at or call 617-332-0176.


If you're looking to have your playing evaluated, simply email me an mp3 of yourself playing to a backing track. I will review it and then we can either talk by phone (45 min) or Skype or I can send you written comments, materials and suggestions.


These lessons were originally created in response to requests by students. Now, 20+ years later, with students around the world, I have found Lessons by Email or Skype to be an extremely effective way of teaching both woodwind technique and improvisation (to all instrumentalists and vocalists). A few of the advantages are: 1) you can work at your own time and pace; 2) you have a permanent record of the lessons; 3) you receive state-of-the-art personalized instruction for less than the cost of a local teacher.

First, I find out as much as I can about your experience and preferences. Then, I try to determine the best and most appropriate place to begin. I give you materials, which are not only fun but will help you reach your goals quickly and efficiently. All styles (including bop, modal, blues, fusion, smooth jazz, Latin, and classical) and aspects of woodwind technique are taught – from beginner to professional.

For beginners, I emphasize the fundamentals of tone production, technique, reading, playing by ear, improvisation and just having fun.

For improvisation, I feel it’s important to get a solid foundation of chords and scales and then to build from there. While this information is being absorbed, you'll learn to improvise over tunes, 12-bar blues, and common chord progressions. In addition, I give you more complex II V I lines and written solos on standards to read, all to build your vocabulary, technique and ear.

For intermediate students, I stress various exercises which enable you to play improvisational techniques (chord tone soloing, bop scales, approaches notes, 3217/3517 lines, pentatonics, symmetrical diminished, etc.) over chord changes, with rhythmic accuracy and without getting lost. These exercises take the mystery out of improvisation by giving you concrete, logical and systematic approaches to improvising. Learning tunes, transcribed solos, ear training, vocabulary, instrumental technique and theory are also emphasized.

For advanced level players, we work on tonic systems, poly-pentatonics, symmetrical augmented, cycling, motivic improvisation, and more.

I have carefully developed these proven methods over many years of teaching, performing, research and study. For rates and further info contact me at or call 617-332-0176.


 (click on live links to see or hear examples)

  • Tonic Systems
  • 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th Chords
  • Approach Notes
  • Intervalic Cycling
  • Chord Tone Soloing
  • How To Work On Blues
  • Symmetrical Diminished Scales
  • Symmetrical Diminished -7 & -7(b5) Patterns
  • Whole Tone Scales
  • Intervalic Improvisation
  • Harmonic Analysis
  • Theory
  • Ear Training
  • Articulation
  • Pentatonic Patterns
  • Poly-Pentatonics
  • Time Feels
  • Tone Studies
  • Compositional Techniques
  • Bebop Cliches
  • Vocabulary and Language
  • How To Practice and Apply Chord Scales
  • Diatonic Patterns
  • bIII-7 bVI7 Substitutions Over II-7 V7
  • Multiphonics
  • Quoting
  • Practice Routines
  • Mouthpieces
  • Building Technical Facility
  • Performance Techniques
  • Keyboard Skills
  • Voicings
  • Subtone
  • Ghosting
  • Upper and Lower Structure Triads
  • Overtones
  • Applying Bebop Vocabulary, Pentatonics & Playing Outside Over Funk Grooves
  • Number Permutation Systems
  • Repertoire and Learning Tunes
  • How To Work On Tunes
  • 23rd Chords
  • Bop Scales
  • Bop Scale Substitutions 
  • 7, -6, -6#5 and -7b5 Pentatonic Scales
  • Voice Leading
  • Inversions
  • Transcribing
  • Rhythmic Displacement
  • Melodic Embellishment
  • All Styles
  • Reharminization
  • Transposing
  • Symmetrical Augmented Scales
  • Modes
  • How To Work On Transcriptions
  • Growling
  • How To Practice Altissimo
  • Repeating & Matching Patterns
  • Scale Tone Soloing
  • Reeds
  • False Fingerings
  • Reading & Sight Reading
  • 3217 & 3517 Systems
  • 5432 & 5732 Systems
  • Embouchure
  • Vibrato
  • Bending
  • Glissandos
  • Warbles
  • Upper and Lower Structure 7th Chords
  • Breathing
  • Tetrachords
  • Blues Licks
  • Thematic Improvisation
  • II-V-I Line Compendiums
  • Triadic Pairs
  • Various Approaches to Playing Outside
  • Harmonic Anticipation and Delay
  • Synthetic Scales
  • Polyrhythms