Andrew Tyler is our Student of the Week! Andrew is a really active member of our Facebook Community, and always inspires us with the videos he posts of his performances with big bands. We loved his version of “Skyfall” – watch it below!
A New Start
Andrew started playing saxophone fifteen years ago. “I realised I was getting worse at all the sport I had played all my life – I wanted something I could try and improve on for the rest of my days. I’m very competitive!” he explains.
Andrew was one of our first Sax School members. “I met Nigel at the wedding of Neil Hughes from the Cinnamon Club. Nigel was playing with Dominic Halpin. I introduced myself as a school member and probably asked geeky questions about gear!”
“Springsteen, Billy Joel, Supertramp – anything that had a sax feature always caught my ear”
As a youngster, Andrew played flute. “It’s not cool though – I wish I’d picked up a sax at age eleven instead,” he says. Andrew has always loved the sound of the tenor sax. “Springsteen, Billy Joel, Supertramp – anything that had a sax feature always caught my ear,” he explains. Nowadays, Andrew’s favourite players are Joshua Redman and Stan Getz.
As Andrew’s playing progressed, he got involved with Big Bands in his area. He now plays for Wychcraft Big Band and has been invited to play with Fish Lip Soup and Kaleidoscope Big Bands. “I didn’t know big band music before joining,” he says, “but now I’m addicted to Glen Miller, Count Basie, and I’ve recently discovered Gordon Goodwin – he’s a genius!”
Joining the bands has been a big part of Andrew’s saxophone journey. “I want to keep my seat!” he says, “It really motivates me to get better and better.”
Sometimes this has meant taking on a challenge. “Recently I have been given a number of feature parts that are miles out of my comfort zone. So I practice and practice! I’ve done loads of pattern practice as part of getting better at improvising,” Andrew explains.
“I’m addicted to Glen Miller, Count Basie, and I’ve recently discovered Gordon Goodwin – he’s a genius!”
Andrew’s goal for 2019 is all about sound. “In my head I know what tenor sax sound I want to make. I want to sound like Joshua Redman!” he says.
And he’s got a plan of how to get there: “This year I’m going to devote more practice time to long tones and overtones, and working on my sound. I try and play an hour a day – not always easy but I find it very relaxing to play and miss it when I don’t.”
Sax School and the Community
“I really enjoy the lessons Nigel sets out for us,” says Andrew. “The range, difficulty, and being able to play along with a backing track are great ways to learn and improve”. Even as one of our first members, Andrew still finds plenty in Sax School to keep him busy. “There’s such a wide range of options – you can always find something to work on.”
The Sax School Facebook Community has also played a big part in Andrew’s progress. “I’ve really benefited from getting constructive feedback ahead of gigs. I’m always nervous so getting positive feedback really helps with my confidence. It’s a forum where no one tells you you’re rubbish!” he says.
We hope being awarded Student of the Week will give your confidence a boost too, Andrew! Congratulations from all the Sax School Team.