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Sax Scorchers

Wood/Various Editor: Nigel Wood


Sheet Music

PDF E-Edition:





Solo Sax




From the editor: The study book “Sax Scorchers” is a pioneering collaboration between the familiar world of hard-copy music publishing and the tremendous new energy of creative music on the web. The inspiration for this book of 20 studies began traditionally enough, with the success of our existing saxophone study books, Karen Street’s, “Street Beats”, and Chris Gumbley’s, “15 Crazy Jazz Studies”.

These albums are highly enjoyable explorations of the two composers’ individual and varied styles. However, I was very aware that there was even more diversity to be tapped within the substantial pool of talent provided by all of our other Saxtet Publications composers. Fired by our original, co-operative vision, (to publish music written for saxophonists by saxophonists) I therefore asked all of our existing composers to contribute one study for this album.

I was also keen to cast the net even wider and harness some of the impressive and imaginative writing that was receiving new exposure on the web. The ‘virtual’ element of this album comes from a competition we launched on, the self-publishing arm of the notation software, Sibelius, for a one-page study in any style. Although the original intention was to publish only the winner in this album, we have ended up including three other entries which we found especially appealing.

The outcome of the project is a pan-global, multi-genre cornucopia of saxophonic diversity. Students and professionals should find plenty to get their teeth into technically as the varied backgrounds of the contributors, who span four continents, also ensure plenty of musical and stylistic challenges.

Individual studies take you on a visit to the Scottish highlands, the Punjab, the Caribbean, Tuscany, and beyond, while genres represented include pop, jazz, contemporary, classical, folk, romantic, latin, be-bop and funk.

This album has been great fun – but quite a challenge! – to compile. I hope you have fun and are challenged when you play the studies.

Nigel Wood
August 2001


The Celtic Kids, Gerard McChrystal
A cheerful Celtic run-around.
Highland Flung, Dave McGarry
A lyrical and wistful Scottish air.
Mozartiana, Mary Gilmartin
A collation of Mozart melodies requiring quick changes in articulation, dynamics and mood.
Bhangra Beats, Jan Steele
A rhythmic, Punjabi-derived song.
In Limbo, Karen Street
A bright, calypso style with strong syncopations and some big intervals.
Sax Scorcher, John Ross
Punchy and energetic, with contrasting, lyrical central section.
Chillin’ in the Hud, Andy Scott
Tricky Latin-influenced rhythms and sudden changes in dynamics.
Salon de Destrabe, Gabriel Santecchia
Selected score from the Sax Scorchers Study Competition
Sleaze-Ball, Chris Gumbley
Exaggerated lip slurs and vibrato make a virtue of stereotypical sax sleaziness here.
Sax Roaster, Alan Bullard
Selected score from the Sax Scorchers Study Competition
Atlantic Day, Lionel Ferer
A baritone study with cadenza introduction to a funky work-out with some BIG intervals.
Fives, Richard Payne
Off-beat quavers and changing time signatures demand plenty of concentration in this lively study.
Un Sorriso all’Ombra, R.A. Moulds
An expressive, cantabile piece, requiring a full, even tone and well-controlled phrasing.
It’s About Time, Rob Buckland
A swing work-out for your embouchure and sense of rhythm.
See-Saw, Andy Tweed
A hypnotic, legato study to test your tuning and embouchure.
Distant Song, Richard Ingham
A dream-time introduction to contemporary techniques and notation.
Saxtitude, Ulrich Schultheiss
Vigorous and funky, this requires a positive approach to articulation and dynamics.
Set Piece, Kyle Horch
Quirky and insistent, this is rhythmically demanding – and rewarding!
Balletico, Nigel Wood
Set study for The National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain entry audition.
Saxtetics, Stephen Davies
A bravura exploration of hard bop and improvisational riffs. Not for the faint-hearted!

Titles from “Sax Scorchers” included on exam syllabi:

TCL Saxophone (valid from November 2022)

Sax Scorcher – Grade 6 (Eb & Bb)
Salon de Destrabe – Grade 7 (Eb & Bb)
Distant Song – Grade 7 (Eb & Bb)
See-Saw – Grade 8 (Eb & Bb)
Balletico – Grade 8 (Eb & Bb)

TCL Jazz Saxophone (valid from November 2022)

Celtic Kids – Grade 2 (Eb & Bb)
See Saw – Grade 8 (Eb & Bb)

Please check the latest exam syllabi for exam updates & amendments.

“Sax Scorchers” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.


This publication could well be something of a first. Its aim was to create a collection of studies for solo saxophone that included a variety of styles and ideas. In order to extend this idea to its maximum, a competition was launched on the web-publishing arm of Sibelius. The impressive response to this encouraged Nigel Wood to incorporate not only the winning entry but also three further offerings over the net. The result is a collection of 20 studies each by the hand of a different composer, spanning four continents and a huge variety of stylistic challenges.
Stephen Pusey, Sheet Music Magazine, Spring Term 2002

tom.saxtet (verified owner) – January 14, 2023

An exciting collection of one-page ‘studies’ for solo. Inspired by the success of Saxtet’s existing study books Karen Street’s “Street Beats” and Chris Gumbley’s “15 Crazy Jazz Studies”, Nigel set out to tap a wider diversity of talent and has included pieces from all of Saxtet’s own-playing composers, as well as three from a competition run on the Internet. The result is a wonderfully varied album whose contributors span four continents – the Punjab, the Caribbean and Tuscany are amongst the locations included, whilst the range of styles covers pop, jazz, contemporary, classical, folk, latin, bebop and funk. A brilliant book – not to be missed! (Grade 6-8+).
Music News, Wood Wind & Reed, May 2002

tom.saxtet (verified owner) – January 14, 2023

This is a very exciting new collection from Saxtet Publications. Nigel Wood commissioned seventeen composers and saxophonists to write a one-page study for saxophone. Each was completely free to choose the style and influence brought to their original work. He also ran a competition on (the self-publishing arm of the notation software, Sibelius), which brought another three studies for the book. The result is a fascinating collection of studies by composers from four continents, and including influences from pop, jazz, contemporary, classical, folk, romantic. Latin, be-bop and funk. Each study has its own technical difficulties, but all are great to play. My particular favourites include Rob Buckland’s groovy shuffle “It’s about time”, the beautiful melody of Dave McGarry’s “Highland Flung” (which comes with chord changes so could be played with accompaniment), and Richard Ingham’s haunting melody “Distant Song”, which introduces the use of some contemporary techniques. Fab.
Sarah Markham, reviewer, CASS Magazine, Spring 2003

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