Flight of the Bumble Bee

One of my students challenged me to play this song……so I’ve been working on it.  It’s getting there.   Man this thing is hard.  I’m going to keep working on it until it’s perfect and I can play it in my sleep………. I’m dedicating this one to my Dad. He use to come to all my concerts and after every concert would say “Pretty good son but……..you need to work on your technique! It’s all about your technique! If you don’t have good technique……….” Anyways, here you go Dad. I know, I know…..technique! I’m playing this on a Selmer Reference 54 alto saxophone and my Freddie Gregory refaced HR Link 7. Not bad for a jazz player………..

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Funny enough…this is better than a lot of classical players can play this hehe…
    Interesting how a jazz mouthpiece can sound great on classical work. Maybe I’ll pay for a rubber link and use it for both situations…occasionally I’ll pull out the Meyer but it gets too bright up top.

  2. hey steve, what note does this piece start on?

    i seem to have heard to versions. one that starts on B and one on F# and its bugging me. i paid for the sheet music and it sound completely wrong. -_______-

  3. That was great. The ONLY suggestion I could think of is to try to do the whole thing with one breath (really just circular breathing)
    2 fun versions you might like to hear (of Flight of the Bumblebee) are by Galway (on flute) and one I heard on an album by George Young (I think it was called “The Greatest Sax in the World” – kind of egoistic, but is WAS good). He became my alto idol of that time.

  4. Hello Steve. Can you please make a lesson on circular breathing? I’ve been struggling with the concept for years now, and it’s driving me nuts.

    • Dahunsi, I’ll see what I can do regarding a circular breathing lesson. I learned to do it in high school but haven’t used it since to be honest. I have never seen a need for it over all these years but I’ll see what I can do. Steve

  5. Avatar Anand Ramakrishna says

    Nice. But it really misses the circular breathing. There’s a recording of this one by Harvey Pittel in his website.

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