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First off, I play the Bb tenor. :treble:
I am trying to play fast with accuracy.
However, if i cant play fast and clearly to begin with, how can I play fast and accurate to begin with.
Does anyone have any suggestions for excersises I can do to practice going through a variety of notes fast?

Right now, I go through a 2 octave Bb concert scale, both major and minor, with 2 octave arpeggios, then F concert, 1 octave, major and minor, with arpeggios.
Then i will do some scale patterns With Bb and F
(ex. I will play, on a Bb major concert, the pattern 1231 2342 3454 4564 5675 6786 78978. Then I do it backwards, in reverse, and backwards in reverse.)
:fftheai:

Any other excersises that might help with this?
 

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If you can't play fast and clearly to begin with...then play slow and clearly first. Then gradually increase the tempo.
 

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+1

You HAVE to start slow. Play it as slowly as you need to play it evenly. Then, slowly increase your speed.
 

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+1 & +1

Gotta start someplace. It ALL takes practice, practice, and then MORE practice.

For us mere mortals anyway!
 

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Also suggest you train your ears as much as your fingers. Sing everything you want to play, even if it's fast. Maybe even sing it with the names of the notes.
 

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The ear can't hear fast notes accurately so there is no point in fast notes being accurate. I slowed down an Eric Dolphy solo and the timing then sounded horrible. He was still a great player.
 

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The ear can't hear fast notes accurately so there is no point in fast notes being accurate. I slowed down an Eric Dolphy solo and the timing then sounded horrible. He was still a great player.
I disagree. One might not be able to hear all pitches, but if you can't nail the beat "fast notes" aregonna sound awful and useless. Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane where both able to time everything they wanted very accurately, that's where their great technique came from IMO.
If you slow down a recording, there is no way you can get the timing down any better because the whole recording has been stretched and grained. Just listen to the original and watch out for the notes that fall on the beat.
 

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Whenever you get frustrated, remember: you're already faster than most of the people on this planet (true, most of them don't play saxophone, but that's exactly the point). Fast and slow are always relative, so while I, for one, would love to be faster (than what I play today), it always helps to remember that I'm already faster than I was last month, let alone 2 years ago...
Then again, to relax about not playing very fast, simply listen to a good Miles Davis solo, and remember that it's not all about speed...
 

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In the clarinet world "velocity studies" is a term used for material designed specifially to increase speed and smoothness of the fingers. Kalman Opperman has a series of these books that are classic. These usually involve melody lines with homogenious rhythms (all eighth notes for example) so that you can gauge how fluid you really are. All musicians if they're not carefull speed up when something is fun or easy, and slow down when its difficult. Jazz guys usually combine or multitask velocity studies with books that include a specific harmonic content to it as well. Joe Viola and Andy McGhee's book come to mind.
 

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Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane where both able to time everything they wanted very accurately, that's where their great technique came from IMO.
If you slow down a recording, there is no way you can get the timing down any better because the whole recording has been stretched and grained. Just listen to the original and watch out for the notes that fall on the beat.
I don't know about Coltrane but I slowed down Dolphy. It was not at all accurate and the tape wasn't warbled. I know what tape speed distortion sounds like and this was not what was happening. When tape speed fluctuates, the pitch changes. I didn't hear the pitch change. If you think he was playing like a machine, you are dead wrong. The proof is in the recording. Don't fool yourself. Maybe the fact that your hero isn't perfect is something you just can't come to terms with. That is your problem.
 

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Well of course you're not going to play the song perfectly right away. My Band Directors always said to read over the sheet music and if need be, play it slowly and when we could play a piece perfectly at a slower tempo, to speed things up a bit and practice some more, increasing our tempo until we get to the the piece is supposed to be played at. You can kinda practice without the sax, by reading the piece and humming/singing it.
 

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Maybe the fact that your hero isn't perfect is something you just can't come to terms with. That is your problem.
Really? Do you really have to be such a dick? Would you talk to him that way to his face? Probably not.
 

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As my teacher said: Speed comes from precision.

Play really slowly (8th notes at about 60 quarter notes per minute), but *move the fingers quickly* in order to play as clean as possible.
 

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I don't know about Coltrane but I slowed down Dolphy. It was not at all accurate and the tape wasn't warbled. I know what tape speed distortion sounds like and this was not what was happening. When tape speed fluctuates, the pitch changes. I didn't hear the pitch change. If you think he was playing like a machine, you are dead wrong. The proof is in the recording. Don't fool yourself. Maybe the fact that your hero isn't perfect is something you just can't come to terms with. That is your problem.
I wanted to make a point saying that "fast doesn't have to be accurate" is a very wrong and misleading statement IMO. This would mean that there was a certain speed at which you could stop worrying about you timing and just play "fast". If so what speed would that be? How happy would that make your rhythm section. Would that sound "good"?

Maybe Dolphy really had a slopy moment in the recording you mentioned. Could you tell me what it is?
 

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I wanted to make a point saying that "fast doesn't have to be accurate" is a very wrong and misleading statement IMO. This would mean that there was a certain speed at which you could stop worrying about you timing and just play "fast". If so what speed would that be? How happy would that make your rhythm section. Would that sound "good"?

Maybe Dolphy really had a slopy moment in the recording you mentioned. Could you tell me what it is?
I disagree with this strongly. As an artist, I know that you can quickly zoom in on an image to the point where all you see is square pixels. A similar effect can be seen in a painting style called "pointillism."

When playing very rapidly, the human hear can not determine exact note lengths. It becomes a blur. Playing accurately at a slow speed is more important both in rhythm and in pitch.

The recording I examined is Charles Mingus Sextet Live in Oslo (1964).
 

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As an artist, I know that you can quickly zoom in on an image to the point where all you see is square pixels. A similar effect can be seen in a painting style called "pointillism."
I don't understand how this goes within your reasoning. The musical analogy for pointillism regarding rhythm would be the micro time, but this is the source of rhythmical accuracy as far as I know.

When playing very rapidly, the human hear can not determine exact note lengths. It becomes a blur.
For me you can achieve a blur effect by playing lose. BUT to play loose you must know the actual time even better, because you can only play loosely in relation to something. That's exactly what ED is doing at least in this video.


At 03:09 when the rhythm section comes back in he goes on playing "blury" lines, if you want, that sound rather loose and when at 03:36 he wants the rest of the band to join he plays this lick and goes on with playing very "accurately" and in time. He can allow himself to play like that because he's a master at what he does.

My point is that you cannot recommend a practice, that only the real masters can make sound good, to an obvious beginner. That's why I replied in the first place.

These are my $0.02 on that matter.
 

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I love to watch Dolphin's fingers move A LOT in this video, it makes me feel so much better about my own technique :)
 
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