Dean is available for one-on-one lessons in person in London, UK. Alternatively, lessons via Skype are possible from anywhere in the world and have proven to be remarkably productive. In fact they may be more so, as you will also get a full-length video of the lesson as a download within a week that is yours to keep. This is included in all video lessons via Skype (lessons are possible using FaceTime as well, however at this time recording video is only available via Skype). Using Skype also makes it easy to transfer files such as patterns, solos, etc as PDF files during the lesson.

 

The lessons are structured on the goals and playing levels of the individual musician, and cater to what it is you want to work on or accomplish. Everything that is taught is done in a way to tackle at least one of the most common areas on which saxophone players want to improve, and often include several simultaneously. These things can include any or all of these areas:

Fundamentals: Tone, Time, and Intonation

“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.” — Michael Jordan

While not necessarily the most glamorous of the musical elements, they are by far the most important. No building can stand upon a weak foundation, and Dean utilizes several interesting and actually fun ways to develop these areas, thus enabling the music to flow freely and unencumbered by technical limitations.

The Altissimo Register

There is scarcely a saxophone player anywhere who isn’t interested in better utilizing the upper register of the saxophone. This part of the saxophone is addressed in interesting and practical ways, leading to a fluent and melodic development in this area of the horn.

Odd-Times and Compound Time

Here’s another area that has proved to be quite a challenge for musicians. On a modern jazz gig, chances are at least one song will be in a time signature other than 4/4, and having the knowledge and confidence to play on it in a convincing way is essential. Odd-times and compound meters are dealt with in a very understandable and organic way, including ways to adapt current vocabulary to fit any combination of meters. In fact, Dean’s debut record features songs and solos with shifting time signatures of 7/8, 5/8, and 4/4 (12th Day), 5/4, 9/4, and 6/4 (The Answer), 7/4, 4/4, and 6/4, (Tony Que?), and 6/4, 15/8, and 4/4 (Ripple Effect).

Quickly Integrating New Material

One of the best methods to offer is Dean’s approach to quickly integrating new vocabulary into your playing in hours or days as opposed to weeks or months. This isn’t a gimmick; instead, he has a unique practice approach that enables new material to be assimilated very quickly, meaning that new material will become part of your everyday vocabulary with ease.

Composition, Arranging, and Production

As an award-nominated producer and award-winning composer, lessons don’t even have to be on the saxophone! They can be based on techniques for composition in a wide variety of styles, along with arranging and part-writing for rhythm sections, writing for any number of horns, and production tricks to bring your songs up to industry quality.

 

If you’re interested in lessons, please contact Dean at lessons@deanmongerio.com