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In this video I'll point out the 10 bad habits I've noticed, hold back many beginning saxophone players. And I'll show you how to avoid them.


Hope you enjoy :) (Help me get to 4K likes and 300K views :)
 

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Your video quality is good. I agree about splitting the initial learning into just the horn/fingers/posture/embouchure notes, and then read music later on > K
 

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Good video. It encapsulates some of the information I've been trying to pass on for quite a while. The difficulty is that many/most when learning find a teacher who is very conservative, which means that it's nearly 100% learning to read and develop an eye to hand pathway of playing and not making the instrument your voice. Good to hear you challenging this in several of your "points". Would be good if learners could just get this information and then make this happen for themselves, but unfortunately it seems that most will just follow a "program" and not do much outside of that for themselves. The systems for learning and progressing through grades and tests seems (to me ) to be the antithesis of being a part of any art form. The only school of teaching that emphasizes playing by ear (initially) is Suzuki method, but its also got it's own institutionalized quirks.

Your video, although pitched at learners, could/should possibly (with modifications) be aimed at teachers who perpetuate this problem. You've also correctly pointed out that "we are what we practice". IMHO being channeled into a narrow zone of learning or style of music is a major failing. Most students have little/no idea what they could be playing and many have little exposure to a wide variety of music. A good teacher shouldn't set up a single style/goal, but give the student a wide range of options. For students who have little/no experience this includes (as you mention) piano. As important IMHO is drumming. Rhythm is not cerebral or theory, it's felt in the body and more akin to dancing. To be a good musician you have to have a good sense of rhythm and be able to apply that to your instrument. A great player sings AND dances through their instrument.

We have to recognize that the "teaching industry" depends on an attitude of "anyone an learn to play music"...and that's true. You can train a person to read dots, blow, and use the appropriate fingers to make the sound represented by that dot. They may not know what they are playing until they hear it, but can take pride in making a pleasant sound or a recognizable tune...but that does not make them a good musician or artist. The problem and worry is that the people WITH TALENT are being channeled into the same form of learning that restricts their potential to express their talent. One becomes what they practice, with that groove getting deeper with every practice.

Society tends to promote students who seem the best and brightest with scholarships and extend their schooling. That's great if you wish to be an engineer or physicist, but I don't think is a great idea when it comes to the arts. There's no easy way to say this: look around...how many great artists, musicians, composers can you name that have continued their studies to achieve a PhD? Is it a coincidence that almost every great artist in every field of the arts doesn't have an advanced education? Did none of those students with so much promise actually have talent?

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't teach, but what we teach, and what those goals are, may need to be reassessed. The first thing to recognize is that we can't teach creativity, but it can be encouraged. What can be taught is how to use the tools that enable creativity and to be mentors rather than pedagogues. The video is an excellent step, but IMHO aimed at the wrong audience. We need to redefine teaching and train teachers to be facilitators of creativity and mentors. There's always room for the Jazzer who just wants to learn new licks from a pro, but that's not what this is about. It's the primary teacher opening the eyes, ears and opportunities for their students and helping them to achieve their potential.
 
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