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I have just made it back to the U.S. after a year in South Korea. I am a beginner that just started playing while in South Korea and have heard time and again on this forum that one needs a teacher. I am in the Hampton Roads VA area and would love to find a teacher if anyone wants to recommend one?!

On to the title of the post. I usually start my practice sessions off with long tones and scales. I can play the basic notes exactly on pitch when playing them one at a time. However, while doing the lessons from the lesson book (including famous songs and jingles), I will watch a tuner and my pitch jumps high on some notes and low on others while playing the lessons. Should I keep doing each lesson (song or jingle) until I can play it PERFECTLY with every note on perfect pitch before moving to the next one? Or is this something I should wait until later to worry about? If so, when should I focus on this, after a year, two years, when I start learning Altissmo...? I have read that most experienced players can play songs and pieces with every note on pitch, so I am just wondering when I should START to focus on this. I realize it will take years to get to that point, but should I begin now?

Thank you again for your help and such a great forum!
 

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Well, of course the better you hit the pitch of every note, the better your playing will sound overall. You might want to record yourself from time to time and decide yourself.

On the other hand, if I would move on to the next song only when every note is in tune PERFECTLY, I still would struggle with the first song....

It's a process, that takes time. I had (and still have) some hard times on some of the notes, and what eventually helps for me is to play together with some recording.

Regards,
Thomas
 

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So, I figure the best course of action would be to not focus on centering my pitch perfectly, it will come with time by practicing all the other aspects of the sax? Any teachers/instructors out there have a specific approach or timeline for centering pitch? Is it ok if I am say 10 cents off while performing the lessons? Thank you again for your help, and any teacher suggestions in this area are still welcome and appreciated!
 

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If you played the pitch perfectly, it would sound like a synthesizer. Pitch is an art. We do want to use some amount of vibrato and pitch bends normally. If your vibrato was a perfect wave with the center exactly on pitch, it would not sound human or musical. I believe that being strategically off-pitch, could be a musical technique when done correctly. That is my theory anyway. A computer analysis of the pitch and rhythm of the best musicians would reveal that they are human. That's not a bad thing.
 
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