Great Lenny Pickett Clinic

I just found these videos on Youtube a few minutes ago and started watching them.  Lenny Pickett is a tenor sax player known to almost all saxophone players.  If you have ever watched Saturday Night Live, you have heard Lenny Pickett.  He’s the sax player in the middle of the TV screen playing notes so high that you wouldn’t think they could come out of a saxophone.  He has the reputation of being one of the masters of the saxophone altissimo register.  After watching these videos it is apparent to me that he is the master of a lot more than just the altissimo register.  He delves into slap tonguing,  circular breathing, altissimo playing, alternate fingerings and multiphonics,   He also plays a few other instruments along the way that reinforce what a great musician Lenny Pickett is. (In part 5 he plays a recording and he says it took 72 instruments in total to record and he played all the parts!!)  He sounds amazing on all of them!

This is worth listening to!  (He even reveals talks about his mouthpiece and bass clarinet reed……..)  As you watch the videos it is evident how much Mr. Pickett loves music!  Check out part 4 where he is playing different recordings (his favorite recording in the world) for the high school kids…………He is so passionate about it.  Don’t miss the playing he does with the recording in part either.  So much emotion and feeling!

I also love his honesty and humility.  He even admits in video 5 how he doesn’t know any jazz standards (the melodies)……..Wow!   I also love his honesty at 11:00-12:00 in part 5 about going into music and making a living at it…………….

I found this video clinic very inspiring and motivational!    Thanks for this great clinic Mr. Pickett but also thanks for all the funky and soulful sax solos every Saturday night since I was a kid……….they have helped not only motivate me but so many other sax player over the years………….  Enjoy!!!   Let me know what hits you or what you think in the comments section below………….


Lenny Pickett Clinic 1 of 5

Lenny Pickett Clinic 2 of 5

Lenny Pickett Clinic 3 of 5

Lenny Pickett Clinic 4 of 5

Lenny Pickett Clinic 5 of 5


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


  1. Avatar Tom Leonard says

    Steve…thanks for sharing the Lenny Pickett Clinic….some very thought-provoking elements, as well as some great interesting techniques to apply. I appreciate your work in helping sax players develop our playing chops!!

    Tom Leonard
    Beverly Hills, FL

  2. Avatar Jazz Is All says

    Steve, I´m watching it now because I found it on Youtube while watching his old TOP live shows. I posted about those today, but it as mostly to comment on his incredible altissimo glissandos. In the second of these videos I just saw him demonstrate different tonguing techniques and it is like a whole education in just a couple of minutes of demo and explanation. When he showed that he only uses the very tip of his tongue when tonguing really fast the kids in the clinic all gasped, and so did I because it was the fastest tonguing I think I’ve heard before. The man is simply awesome. I was going to post the videos but searched and saw that you already did so that’s great and so are your comments. Now back to my education with this true master.

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