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Stephen Howard Woodwinds


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
I'm surprised I hadn't mentioned this website earlier.

Mr. Howard's website is a wealth of information and reviews of both new and vintage instruments. At the very least, you can go there and just look at the pretty pictures.

Highly recommended.



Blurb from Helen:

Steve’s site is great! And his new book is also a must read for saxophone players. It’s a really hand reference book for non-techs, and full of really pretty pictures. You would like that Pete. ;) He took all but 1 of the photos himself.

I’ve had the book since January, and I’ve been meaning to write up a follow-up to my blog post that I originally wrote in December.
I am lucky enough to live quite close to Steve, and I asked him to teach me to repair at a time when he was thinking of how to explain things in his book, so the process worked for both of us.

On his website, he has reviewed my Couesnon tenor and alto - and his phrase relating to my alto is often seen quoted on eBay ads:

"Well, I blew barely five notes on it and wouldn't have been at all surprised if a gospel choir had appeared out of nowhere behind me and began to sing in exquisite and glorious harmony.
This little alto just oozes soul.
Just like the tenor, the tone of the alto seems to capture the very best of the vintage genre and blend it seamlessly with the brighter, punchier contemporary tone. The final result is a tone for all seasons.
But surely, if you're a jack of all trades you're a master of none?
Not so...this alto has so much flexibility that it takes a mere tweak of the embouchure to lay the tone back or kick it into overdrive. It is, frankly, stunningly articulate."

In his sax book there is a picture of my saxes in the vintage section. He did me the honour of acknowledging me in his acknowledgements, too!

But it is also worth mentioning his clarinet book which is equally good - and of his excellent photography, many of the clarinets in that are mine too.

His workshop is literally a hut in a farmyard - a most unlikely setting for a master of his trade!