Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took a break from practicing my sax for a while.
I played my sax, but I didn't practice intensively as I did, went through this music breakdown and such.

I barely started picking up on the All-state etudes last week, after realizing it was too late for me to try out for Region-Jazz.

It's not a good performance, I ended up forgetting what I was reading at the end.

So [here we go again] how are my fingers (I hate my left pinky),
my tone (I thought I heard myself going flat on certain notes),
my phrases (I kept messing up after going through half of the music),
my timing (I got lost a little),
my interpretation of the music (not a very good video for this haha),
my overall performance (I still have 2 months, so I should perfect it by then),
and so on.

I'm going to post the rest, once I start practicing them haha.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,590 Posts
Here are a few things I spotted.

Make sure your B-C transition is clean.
I'm not always picking up a solid pulse in your playing.
Your articulation isn't always coordinated with your fingers.

Nice tone.
 

·
Über Geek, Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SO
Joined
·
3,841 Posts
I'd recommend that you spend some more time listening to recordings of the piece you're working on. You have good technique, but I'm not getting a clear sense of what the composer wanted to convey musically. Perhaps slowing the piece down a bit would help--it seems almost like you're a slave to the tempo more than to the music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Jazz House, yeah I kept changing my tempo here and there, haha.
When you mean articulation, what spots in particular?

--------------

@bari_sax_diva I wanted to go slower, but my fingers just took off for this recording, haha. My band director recommended me to go faster than the tempo everyone else was going (Dotted quarter note=72-80) just to give me that attention.
I'll post some more videos.....today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Slow down, at least for now. Your groupings are not yet even and if you play fast and wrong, it just sounds wrong. Watch your fingers, keep them arched. Look at your pinky - it is sticking straight out. Keep your other fingers on the keys, relax, don't lift off the key. Practice scale exercises with similar articulation in this key. No doubt that you can prepare this well with practice though. You are also pinching some. Try relaxing your mouth, making more of an O shape, and taking more mouthpiece. You are running out of air and getting a weak tone when you do that, you can very prominently hear this on high notes at the end of phrases.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
I can't stress enough...SLOW IT WAY DOWN FOR NOW. Slow practice is the only way to master something like this. Continuing to play it at the tempo you are now is only going to hurt your progress in the long run.

And when I say slow it down...I mean at least HALF the tempo of that video to start with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Not bad. Couple suggestions:

First (and others have mentioned this before), you need to plan your breaths. If breathing is an issue, it's usually because we're missing parts of the musical puzzle. When you're practicing slowly, don't just play slow to get the fingerings worked out - take that as an opportunity to treat the etude as a lyrical exercise. It should be clear enough to you about where a phrase begins and ends. Bingo, breathing problems solved.

For the most part, you have a good tone. Just be careful about notes above the staff - the higher you play, the thinner and more strident your tone gets. This is highlighted by the sometimes explosive articulations up there. Relax, and try to warm the sound. Perhaps this is related to the breathing?

That one passage near the end with the wide interval slurs over the break - came across a little violent. The changing tones are the important ones, and I think putting a little bit more weight on those notes might give you the headroom you need to even it out, thus addressing both a technical and musical issue.

Lastly, I know it's an etude, but it sounds really "etude-y" if you get what I mean. You'll set yourself apart by being a musical technical monster.

The technique will come, don't worry about it so much (slow practice, varied rhythms, yada yada). Solve the musical puzzle first, and everything else will fall into place. Good start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright thanks for the advice.
All of that on the video was muscle memory (from a few months ago)+a couple days of practice.
My fingers are very uneven and I'm working on that and my technique.
My new band director wants to give me a lesson every wednesday, so that should help.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
Everyone is giving good advice but I just wanted to tell you that you sound a lot better than you have in the videos you've been posting over the last 2 years. So progress is being made. Keep it up.

EDIT: Now for some advice.

1) It sounds like you're feeling it in 3 (or 6). Aside from a few measures (like the 4th), you can feel it in 2 and it gives the etude a much more flowing feeling. It'll keep it from sounding as rushed if you count slower and feel the dotted quarter as the beat.

2) Try using Side Bb where possible. I tend to favor the bis as well but when I was working on this etude, I made myself use side Bb most of the time and it ended up working a lot better.

3) When you get to that section at 0:45 in your video, the repeating figure where the first note of each grouping moves down a step, use bis Bb (which you're doing) and use Side C instead of the normal fingering. Much easier and cleaner that way.

4) Make sure you articulate those isolated staccato notes, not just the ones that the ones that are grouped together. Also make sure that first pickup note clearly sounds.

5) When the 2nd half of the etude starts (on Eb), two measures after that on the F dotted quarter tied to the 16th, I break that tie and breathe there to make sure I have enough air to get to my next breath. This happens at about 0:35 in your video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, here's the first etude, I feel like I mess up my tempo with the Dotted quarter notes in the piece, I feel that I still need to clean up the piece.

Etude 1:

I know for sure, that this one is dirty, I forget to articulate some notes, and some notes didn't respond.
I haven't really worked on it yet.
Etude 3:

Tell me what you guys think.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
You still need to make some better choices about when and where you're going to breathe, or at least stick to them if you've already made those choices. I might suggest that in the places where you obviously have a chance to breathe...between notably different segments of the etude for example...take even more time on that breath than you're taking now. Give yourself a chance to expel all of the stale CO2 from your lungs and get a nice chestful of fresh oxygen. You're not really taking full advantage of your lungs when you try to take in oxygen on top of any stale air that might still be in there. This can be a huge problem for all of us. Learning how to breath includes learning how and when to purge your lungs of stale air.

It sounds like you're getting a grip on things overall, and you've already noted some of the things you know you're doing wrong. We don't have to tell you about those...you just need to work on them. I will ask one question though, and you don't really need to answer because it's more of a gentle admonishment than a question. You posted the first video 5-6 weeks ago with the acknowledgement that you still had "two months".
What's the deal now with the..."I haven't really worked on it yet"...??? :tsk:

This is a seriously good Life Lesson. Putting things off until the last minute will haunt you for the rest of your life if you make a habit of it at an early age. Trust me...I've been there.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
Never mind. What I posted in this 2:57am response was something that Chunsoo had already seen elsewhere. Admins...please feel free to remove this one entirely since I can't. Thanks...
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top