Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Im Mike and I play the tenor sax. I am going into my junior year of high school and I am 101% sure that I am going to major in music. Music is that important to me that I am prepared to take the risks and struggles of a musician. Now a future music major needs a foolproof practice routine. Something that prepares in all areas of the horn. I focus on jazz, which means there is even more that I will have to add into my routine.

I am in a complete rut. Practice hours and routine varies to enormous extents. There is no structure whatsoever. I have mused about why this happens and resolved that I may just not know exactly what to practice. That's where I need some help from my fellow sax players. Can anyone tell me key exercises and ideas that I need to focus on. Exercises like "playing longtones starting soft and gradually getting louder and then softening again" or "arpeggiating chord changes in the Real Book" would be great. Keep in mind that at the moment I do have the time to practice multiple hours at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
Get a good private teacher. If you are that serious abot gettin better and studying music in college you will be able to afford it. A teacher can do all these things, help you with new things and moniter your progress. Let me again say, a GOOD private teacher.

Tell us where you live so someone can connect you to a good teacher.
 

·
The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
Joined
·
27,650 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
782 Posts
There are so many things to cover that I often suggest a practice rotation of sorts. Be certain that you are working to develop tone, technique, timing, articulation, reading skills, your ear, knowledge of common jazz chord progressions and standard tunes, and a good overall sense of musicality. While many of these components work together, you can still develop an approach to focusing on them individually.

I'm sure you are already practicing major and minor scales. Break up the routine a bit by varying the order. Sometimes practice around the circle, sometimes chromatically adjacent, etc. Also be certain to practice them full range. You can work your articulation skills with the scales.

Reading practice should include, IMO, a combination of classical studies such as those found in the Ferling and Iasilli books, and jazz etudes.

Ear training can include transcribing jazz solos, interval and chord recognition at the piano, singing scales, matching pitches, etc.

While you should always practice playing with good time, you can focus your efforts by playing scales with a metronome in eighth notes, triplets, sixteenths...with the metronome set on beats 2 & 4, sometimes only on beat 1, etc. Also, practice improvising to standard chord changes using only a metronome. I like to play spin the dial, working at various tempos in a non-progressive order. It can be more challenging to play slowly after playing a fast tempo.

Long tones also...

I could go on, but the point is that by creating a rotation of sorts in your practice, you can cover multiple aspects of playing by approaching them from different angles. This provides a structure that keeps you from practicing the same stuff the same way day after day - which ultimately leads to playing plateaus.

Randy Hunter
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Online Jazz Podcast Lessons and Books
New Lessons:
ii-V-I's: The Modal View
The Circle of Fourths and Dominants
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
You might really need someone to help you along and monitor your progress at this stage in your development.

By the way, if you pay for lessons up until a succesful college audition, a scholarship could possibly be like a refund for all of those lessons and hopefully associated hard work!

Anywho, since you are not already knowledgeable about how to do all of these things and organized about it, I highly recommend one on one time.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top