The Practice Notebooks of Michael Brecker

by Sher Music Co.

What a treasure to have access to these notebooks! Such an inspiration, on every level.”
— Chris Potter

Important new Appendix added!
Appendix IV - Michael Brecker's Practice Method (in his own words)

The legendary saxophonist Michael Brecker kept extensive notes on things to practice over the whole span of his career. This book contains over 700 entries, beautifully re-engraved from his hand-written notebooks.

For All Treble Clef Instruments (since Michael often advised "Play in all keys")

  • 35 years of Michael Brecker's musical inspirations at your fingertips!
  • First-hand accounts of how Michael actually worked on these ideas from his bandmates Joey Calderazzo, John Patitucci, Richie Beirach, Steve Khan, Dave Liebman, etc.
  • An appendix of his saxophone-specific ideas on fingerings, multiphonics, etc.
  • For intermediate as well as advanced musicians - you don't have to be a genius to learn from a genius!
  • Spiral-bound, 141 pages, $32 list price, $19 for PDF version.

Wow, incredible! This will become an invaluable piece of Mike's legacy, and a valued resource.”
— Susan Brecker

What an achievement. I'm excited for all my tenor and soprano saxophonist friends and colleagues, but more broadly though, this book is a fascinating look into the mental process of a musician who has had an impact on so many musicians and listeners.”
— Brad Mehldau

You can get right inside Mike's head if you spend time studying and internalizing these hundreds of musical ideas and theories. Have fun seeing where they lead you! You'll be very surprised with your advancement and your own ideas which will start to formulate too in the process.”
— Randy Brecker

Wow. What a treasure trove of information. So much love and dedication put into his music. I read a tea leaf once that said the mind is like a computer as it gives you back the information the same way you put it in. Mike left no stone unturned!”
— Jerry Bergonzi

What an incredible contribution to Michael's legacy and to the improvising world at large. Your catalog is a gift and godsend for musicians.”
— Peter Erskine

This is an invaluable look into the musical mind of Mike Brecker and deep insights into how he meticulously created a path to developing his very personal approach to the existing jazz vocabulary. What's even more amazing is that even though you will see a great intellect at work, it is the overwhelming humanity of Mike's sound that permeates all his technical achievements. Recommended without reservation!!”
— Richie Beirach

This is an amazing method for compiling vocabulary for use in improvisation, plus a whole lot of great ideas to experiment with. A beautifully done book, reminding me that I miss Michael Brecker every day.”
— Mike Stern

That such an artist would have documented so much of the meticulous work that fed his artistry is rare. For others to have access to such an archive is miraculous. For all of us to be able to witness the dedication and hard work it took to make Michael the great artist he was is inspiring. To say this is a treasure trove is beyond an understatement.”
— Maria Schneider

A genuine Master musician at work. It's inspiring to get an in-depth look at Michael's process. His life and artistry is a gift to us all.”
— Donny McCaslin

This is a great project and I'm so happy that you put this together. Michael Brecker has been a huge inspiration in my life with his music and to glimpse into his practice journals is a wonderful treat.”
— Seamus Blake

Mike Brecker was a towering figure on the saxophone, and I was fortunate to have played with him a lot during our younger years. This amazing compilation offers great insight into his methods. Remember, Mike was never satisfied and I'm sure he practiced each bit of material here in all keys, and turned it around every which way until he found ways to use it creatively. I'm looking forward to delving into it myself!”
— Barry Finnerty

A really great book. Mike is a treasure in our music. Always a student as well as a leader. I was fortunate to have Mike on a few of my record dates. He would call me to discuss certain chord changes and would ask me how I approached the harmony in improvisation. He was always searching and reaching for new heights in his musical expression. A beautiful soul. This book really shows Mike's commitment to his personal growth and exploration. There are so many fantastic musical insights here. Go slow and take it in!”
— Alan Pasqua

Chuck Sher and his staff have provided a finely organized, in-depth look into the dedication, passion, and extraordinary creativity of Michael Brecker's musical journey.”
— Denny Zeitlin

What a treasure to have access to these notebooks! Besides the invaluable musical material, what shines through is the patience, humility, generosity, and persistence of Michael Brecker's artistic devotion. He brought such focus and dedication to every note he ever played, and here we have a glimpse into his process. Such an inspiration, on every level.”
— Chris Potter

The book looks great. Wish I'd had this 40 years ago!”
— Tim Armacost

This is a godsend. This is above and beyond, Chuck. This is a completely different type of book. Even if you don't copy it exactly and do what Mike did, this shows how organized great players are. Great players practice greatly. People are great players because they're great practicers! I could use this book in about 10 different ways. I remember Jimmy Heath saying 'Anybody could play like Coltrane, all you have to do is practice like Coltrane.'”
— Denis DiBlasio

If you took a poll of all of the saxophone players in the world and asked them, 'which sax legend's practice notebook would you most like to get your hands on?', I'm going to guess that Michael Brecker would be pretty close to the top. That notebook is indeed available to all of us now. After taking a look through the pages, I believe that this is going to be a staple of every serious jazz saxophonist's training from here moving forward.”
— Best.Saxophone.Website.Ever

The publication of Mike's practice books will go a long way toward revitalizing the often forgotten process of targeted research. It's gold to discover how an artist thinks, how they've organized their practicing.”
— Hal Galper

Panel discussion on Michael Brecker Practice Notebooks from Everything Saxophone Blog