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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
I’ve been playing bari for about 9 months and bass clarinet for 5 years but have only ever been remotely serious about it for about 9 months as well.
First day of sophomore year and I’m in this jazz band I was convinced to be part even though I didn’t even know what jazz was. I was presented with the choice of playing tenor or bari, many recommended tenor because it was in the same key as bc but I chose bari for ****s and giggles
What I did not know was that this would spark my first thing I’ve ever been passionate about in life.
Now I’m averaging about 6 hours of practice daily and it feels so good to have a passion. It’s not even about school music as much anymore I’m probably gonna skip band camp to do construction for a new not school owned sax
With that long winded essay though the question is what can I do to make these hours of study more effective? It sort of now looks like
4 hours of Long Tones a week (2 on each horn)
3-5pm outdoor jam sessions on thursdays where I’m starting to come out of my shell and meet madly impressive and inspirational cats
1 hourish of scale work a day
Probably like an hour or 2 a week dedicated to etudes and book studies (Eddie Harris The Intervalistic Concept (reccomend some more books too this one is lowkey really hard, classical or whatever)
The rest of it devoted to memorizing heads, changes, and learning a tune by heart basically.
Outside of the practice room I might transcribe and transpose stuff when I’m done with school work or whatever, and I’m CONSTANTLY listening to all kinds of cool tunes from the highest grossing albums to some old obscure recordings to the new stuff too.
It’s pretty obvious to me this could use rearranging, but I could use some more professional opinions here.
Thank you so much in advance!!!
 

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You know what you must do to attain your goal: put in the time. All of those activities will help you to improve as a musician.

Your biggest challenge is to pick a schedule and stick to it no matter what. I'm not sure that four hours per day, seven days per week is good. Give yourself time off. Five days per week will do, but that's up to you. You need time away to help you decompress and to deal with the occasional frustration when you think that you have hit a wall.

Chords, chord progressions, scales, and transcription are excellent things to work on. Work on your reading with the Charlie Parker OmniBook or a similar publication.

To master your instrument and your genre of music takes three things: dedication, dedication, and dedication. People cite 10,000 hours as the requisite time spent on one's instrument to be any good. That's just the beginning.
 

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My dad always told me that if you practice it wrong you’ll play it wrong. No matter what training schedule you settle on make sure you play your part perfectly. That means you have to slow down until you can play it with no mistakes. I’m an old guy and I’m still working to get that concept through my thick skull. Not slowing down until it’s perfect is why I never got beyond a certain point.

Bottom line is whether you practice a half hour a day or six hours a day, you’ll never get better if you’re not practicing to make it perfect. I know this could be stated better but I think you will get the point. Make it note perfect and make every note sound pretty and musical - unless of course playing with a nasty sound is called for.
 

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I’ve been playing bari for about 9 months and bass clarinet for 5 years but have only ever been remotely serious about it for about 9 months as well.
First day of sophomore year and I’m in this jazz band I was convinced to be part even though I didn’t even know what jazz was. I was presented with the choice of playing tenor or bari, many recommended tenor because it was in the same key as bc but I chose bari for ****s and giggles
What I did not know was that this would spark my first thing I’ve ever been passionate about in life.
Now I’m averaging about 6 hours of practice daily and it feels so good to have a passion. It’s not even about school music as much anymore I’m probably gonna skip band camp to do construction for a new not school owned sax
Congrats on finding your passion. Since you are still new to the horn, I suggest you don't skip band camp, and instead dig in to learn to play in an ensemble, to listen, and interact with other musicians. At this point, sure it's great to own your own horn, but you don't know what to look for or what you want, much less know what you need. Wait a couple of years before buying that first bari. Take advantage of playing a school-owned bari. Bari saxes are expensive and get a lot of knocks - especially in a school environment. I suggest that you instead realize that getting a good mouthpiece and a stock of reeds is a priority investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You know what you must do to attain your goal: put in the time. All of those activities will help you to improve as a musician.

Your biggest challenge is to pick a schedule and stick to it no matter what. I'm not sure that four hours per day, seven days per week is good. Give yourself time off. Five days per week will do, but that's up to you. You need time away to help you decompress and to deal with the occasional frustration when you think that you have hit a wall.

Chords, chord progressions, scales, and transcription are excellent things to work on. Work on your reading with the Charlie Parker OmniBook or a similar publication.

To master your instrument and your genre of music takes three things: dedication, dedication, and dedication. People cite 10,000 hours as the requisite time spent on one's instrument to be any good. That's just the beginning.
I was definitely looking at the bird omnibook. Should I get it in both keys or become good enough at transposing that I just get one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My dad always told me that if you practice it wrong you’ll play it wrong. No matter what training schedule you settle on make sure you play your part perfectly. That means you have to slow down until you can play it with no mistakes. I’m an old guy and I’m still working to get that concept through my thick skull. Not slowing down until it’s perfect is why I never got beyond a certain point.

Bottom line is whether you practice a half hour a day or six hours a day, you’ll never get better if you’re not practicing to make it perfect. I know this could be stated better but I think you will get the point. Make it note perfect and make every note sound pretty and musical - unless of course playing with a nasty sound is called for.
There are some things that I feel like I don’t have the resources to slow down, for example when doing transcriptions I have to rewind and take it at the same tempo. Is there an easy mobile/TV access software for slowing stuff down?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Congrats on finding your passion. Since you are still new to the horn, I suggest you don't skip band camp, and instead dig in to learn to play in an ensemble, to listen, and interact with other musicians. At this point, sure it's great to own your own horn, but you don't know what to look for or what you want, much less know what you need. Wait a couple of years before buying that first bari. Take advantage of playing a school-owned bari. Bari saxes are expensive and get a lot of knocks - especially in a school environment. I suggest that you instead realize that getting a good mouthpiece and a stock of reeds is a priority investment.
I did get a new mpc it was all I got for Christmas and it’s a nice Otto link super tone master 6. I know about all that stuff with the inconsistencies in the links so how do I know if mine needs work or not?
Also using Boston sax shop reed 3’s. Might switch to 2.5s next time
 

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"regimen"
 

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  • Haha
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I was definitely looking at the bird omnibook. Should I get it in both keys or become good enough at transposing that I just get one?
If you can afford both buy them, but be aware that many of the songs in the Bb book are written out of the range of the saxophone as written. Practicing transposition from one key to another in your head will make you a better musician.
 

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I was definitely looking at the bird omnibook. Should I get it in both keys or become good enough at transposing that I just get one?
That really depends on WHY you are playing from it. Do you intend to play the tune with a band? Or are you reading it to gather develop technique, phrasing, and a feel for some great lines? If the latter, I suggest you get it in the original key.
 

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ALTO: Medusa- 82zii, TENOR: Medusa, BARI: b901, SOP: sc991
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I would get both books. Also, I recommend getting a few of the Jamey Aebersold products.
 

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I don't think the OP's question has yet been properly addressed. If am not mistaken he was asking for help developing a practice routine.
Technically, the OP asked for a permanent unit of an army typically commanded by a colonel and divided into several companies, squadrons, or batteries and often into two battalions who practice.
 

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So, if you want my opinion… you may be practicing too much book learning but, that doesn’t mean you should not do some. Think of it like this:

Morning workout routine
These include long tones, tonguing, scales, and “book” exercises. When I say book exercises I mean patterns, a common etude or something to get you going…. After that the real work begins. Generally I prefer to alot an hour for this routine.

Focused technical practice
If the morning routine is where you regurgitate things you already know like doing reps at the gym, this is where you learn the exercises. This is where I would look at an etude book or transcription book (like the Charlie Parker Omnibook) and work out the technical playing these. I would also do focused scale pattern practice here. Anything that you need to be “second nature” but need more focus on it. Set realistic time goals 20-30 minutes… it is a matter of focus. If your focus isn’t there you are likely practicing mistakes. Practice slow. 60-80 for most things and work to move them slower not just faster. You need to be able to feel and hear between the beats. Ultimately it will help you play faster.

Improvisation and playing what you hear
This should be the lion share of your practice. So, I would say at minimum half probably more like 60%-80%. As single line players we forget sometimes the skill that pianists and guitarists use wherein they sing and play what they are singing at the same time. This needs to be a real focus. You can structure chords or changes (though you should start small) or even use a single chord to begin understanding the relationships in what you are hearing. There is no magical all the time scale for improvisation. Use your ears to inform your hands and don’t be afraid to slow down to get the thing you are hearing and slowly speed it up. Remember transcription is just you inserting someone else’s playing into your ear and then doing the same thing; learning to play it. Once you have a grasp of things, start working changes and tunes. Find contrafacts for the changes so you can learn more tunes and still work the same chords. Don’t be afraid to try new chords and changes. Think rhythmically first, tonally second harmonic third but always sing your melody.

This isn’t part of the practice so to speak but relates to it. After that work on understanding theory and listening to as much as you can; both for educating yourself and pleasure. Try to use active listening not just passive. Please understand that though I mention times, they sort of have to be mutable. You have to be flexible. Don’t rush… it should be a lifelong journey not a flare up and burn out… as I have stated before, remember this is aural art; approach it as such. Hope this helps.
 
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