This Guy Blows My Mind…….Derek Brown

Derek Brown has a Youtube channel called “Beatbox Sax”.  While most of us mere mortals are just trying to figure out how to play the sax the normal way (or should I say the way that is most “common”), Derek is one of those rare individuals that is breaking new ground with the saxophone.  Check out the two videos below and you will quickly realize that this guy is not your average sax player.

It is obvious that Derek Brown is a master of what we call extended techniques for the saxophone.  When I was a young student at Ithaca College  studying classical saxophone I heard some of these classical techniques used in more modern classical saxophone pieces.  I thought they were strange sounding and wasn’t sure what to make of them.  Derek is taking many of those same techniques and using them for a very different result though.  I have to give the guy props,  the amount of time and practice he must have used to master these different elements and techniques just boggles my mind.  Many of these are not techniques that I would use but I thought Derek Brown and his individual approach to the saxophone is well worth posting on here that is for sure.

Derek has been kind enough to post a multitude of tutorials on Youtube teaching these different techniques.  I counted 30 tutorials so far of which I posted 10 below.   If you dig his playing above and what he can do on the sax be sure to check out the tutorials below as well as the many other videos he has on his Youtube channel.  Well done Derek Brown!  The Beatbox Sax Master!!


BeatBox Sax Tutorial #1-Overview

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #2-BackBeat Pops

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #3-Hi-Hat Clicks

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #4-Slap Tongue

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #5-Double Tongue

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #6-Double Pops

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #7-Air Puffs

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #8-Slap Crack

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #9-Slap Dyads

BeatBox Sax Tutorial #10-Smacker Scratches


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 Jack Luster says

    Great demo and thank you!
    What mouthpiece, opening, and reed strength are you using?

  2. Hey Derek,
    I really enjoyed your beatbox sax solo session at Trinity College Hartford, CT.
    I forgot to ask you one question after the concert. In one or two sentences how do you define JAZZ? As I mentioned I am writing a report for my jazz history class and I would really appreciate if you are willing to answer my question.
    Thank you!


    • Ace, I’m not sure how often Derek comes on here so you might want to try another way to reach out to him that might be more effective. Steve

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