OK, so it wasn’t an actual “date” with Chez but on a dismal Sunday in January I was one of a lucky bunch of sax enthusiasts to participate in both Chez Taylor workshops organised by Sax Bandits; the first covering three iconic 80s Sax Solos and the second looking at how to Solo Over Dance Music.
Expectations were high as it seems everyone had already watched Chez on her. One guy even travelled 5 hours down from Lancashire especially for the first workshop, having promised his best mate that he’d play some sax solos at his wedding! So… were such high expectations met?
Chez is as enthusiastic and as motivating in person as she is online.
She paced both workshops just right for the different abilities in the room (between 1 year and 25 years of playing experience) everyone got the opportunity to practice a little individually as well as together, and Chez shared some nice personal anecdotes to support development of techniques like growling and flutter tonguing, while completely avoiding falling into the trap of “an evening with…”
It’s clearly impossible to master the sax solos from Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty), True (Spandau Ballet) and Careless Whisper (George Michael) in only an hour and a half, but even with my limited playing experience of two years I feel that I gained enough direction, tips and confidence to go away and get even the tricky bits up to speed on my own.
Chez gave us a great “toolbox” and a whole bunch of performance tips and tricks ready for that first public solo.
And as for solos over dance music, I joined the workshop with next to no knowledge of improvising and left inspired by the possibilities of soloing effectively over House music. Chez gave us a great “toolbox” and a whole bunch of performance tips and tricks ready for that first public solo. It’s just up to me now to get in a lot of practice… in between the trips to Ibiza of course.
Expectations exceeded – thanks everyone!
If you missed the workshop but would like to learn these 80s Sax Solos, you can get the sheet music from. Our Epic Sax Solo Series are note for note, the most accurate transcriptions out there.