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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
i want to set some goals for this year to work on. One of the things i don't like in my playing is the way my eight note lines sound, specially when moving scale wise or with added chromatics. Causes for this are technical inaccuracies as well as time rushing..Just want to add some exercises to my routine this year.
I have though of using Bergonzi´s Jazz Lines method and follow it but in the end my goal is to get fluency and agility in any register on the sax. Another idea i have is o make long lines or transcribe them and then transpose them to all keys.
What would you recommend for this type of practice?
 

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Most good books of instruction help to advance jazz playing. Just give yourself time and those jazz elements will start to feel right and flow nice and smooth. I use a concept of memorizing licks and phrases by using easy to remember words that help with learning jazz language. It's my "Easy Easy Bebop" method.
 

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Hello,
i want to set some goals for this year to work on. One of the things i don't like in my playing is the way my eight note lines sound, specially when moving scale wise or with added chromatics. Causes for this are technical inaccuracies as well as time rushing..Just want to add some exercises to my routine this year.
I have though of using Bergonzi´s Jazz Lines method and follow it but in the end my goal is to get fluency and agility in any register on the sax. Another idea i have is o make long lines or transcribe them and then transpose them to all keys.
What would you recommend for this type of practice?
Bergonzi's book will give you fluency and agility in all registers. You just have to practice the material through the whole range of the horn. The number one rule is if it is sloppy then you are going too fast. Slow down and get there gradually while being clean and even. I always combine jazz articulation with 8th notes as I think it is vital to a great sounding line also. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback,
what i see is that i don't have fluency and ability to play long 8th note lines when improvising. Part of the problem is technical facility and the other is fluency on a set of chord changes. This happens when i improvise. I have good time, and i can play an interesting solo keeping time and sounding good but when playing 8th note lines this changes to more rushing, insecure and a feel that the line sounds forced. In a sense is also a lack of forward motion or where the line wants to go. Sometimes the line feels so random, i am thinking the next finger movements in my head and end in playing same turns and chromatics. So i thought bergonzi´s jazz lines could be a nice workout. But i though there could be other ways to do it so would like your approach.
For my limited practice time i was thinking of working my bebop 8 and 10 note dominant scales, with other note approaches and vocabulary from transcriptions.
Now i am trying also to expand my range which feels quite limited in my improvisations, almost no palm or bell notes there.
 

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You don't need transcription books and work books etc. What you need most of all is simply... inspiration. And you need to fall in love. You feature the word "horizontal" in your title. I would suggest you not label yourself into a mindset like that. You want to incorporate aspects of organic STYLE into your playing from the great melodic players, which is not horizontal, vertical etc as much as it is a complete artistic vision of the player. A style is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This describles all the truly great players. You can't beat Getz, Mobley and Rollins for these ... Don't get bogged down transcribing ideas into all 12 keys until later on. For now, search out some solos that really grab your attention, things that really bear many repeated listenings and that really light up the pleasure centers in your brain like a Christmas Tree, and transcribe some favorite four or eight bar phrases from them. You can transcribe the entire solo if you like but I only do that very very rarely. Did I mention to ALWAYS practice with a metronome? And as mentioned above, practice slowly and without mistakes. Accuracy is of prime importance. Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice DOES make perfect. Good Luck.
 

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Id say sit on one chord or one change until you are happy with your fluidity . If you can't tell whats going on record yourself . you can do this perfectly now at some speed. So thats where you start . then its just do it again and again comfortably. I've been working on the blues scale for years and now am adding a 6 into it and going to a sub V7 feel/tonality but it takes going over and over over in one key until its automatic. That will transfer to other keys but at least in one key get exactly what you want . Preferably a key you always solo in. For me its my A minor, C sharp maj and minor and Fsharp minor. Those keys cover many of the songs we play. I have worked on major and minor pentatonics , major and minor blues scales many other things. But ONE thing at a time to as good as you can get it. Then move on. Hard to do . Most people give up or lose focus. I played with a guy who's a decent tenor player and it took me 4 bars to tell his time was whacked. Like Brecker says a wrong note goes away, bad time lasts all night So like Late Night said Metronome . I use Metronome online. Great and free. K
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes! Haha! Maybe i could play laying on the floor too.
I have been working hard these days on one scale, using chromatics, approach notes, also applying some patterns. Also playing all the range, palm notes are hell right now, sound and intonation wise, but i am getting better, at least that's my feel until i record my practice. So i am on the way i think. Of course the metronome is my best friend and doing it slow with accuracy.
Now, i don't know if sticking to this method would be the best, working only a dominant bebop scale over a long period of time.
What i have been doing as i practice my one scale, in this case C dominant bebop(i prefer to think C dominant with chromatics) is to think of other chords where i could apply it too. C7, Em7b5, A7(adds b9#9b13, 4th instead of 3rd), F#7(tritone sub), Bbmaj7#11, Gm6, A frigian,...For that purpose i put a drone sounding in the background along with the metronome.

The Bergonzi book puts me working on major, dominant, minor, dominant b9 b13,....a lot of different scales, of course for different chords, but all of them are mixed in exercises and songs. I did study from it a while ago but although i learned almost all the scales i never did the hard work, technically speaking, maybe too much now that i have limited practice time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I forgot to say that i also practiced some diatonic patterns in the key of the scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was referring to scale wise movement(with chromatics also) Pete, as it can be deducted from reading i guess. Don't worry too much.
 

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I was also a bit confused, what exactly is "horizontal" playing
Think: Coleman Hawkins on "Body and Soul" (vertical/chordal) vs Miles Davis on "Seven Steps to Heaven" (horizontal/scalar) or George Coleman on "Maiden Voyage".
 

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A simple way I use for Horizontal playing is to work triads and 7ths in all 12 keys within 1 Octave (C to C 1 octave) so then play C# maj Triad then D / Eb /E and so on this will make you think of inversions as your boxed in to not go above C or below C 1 octave down.
Hope I'm making sense hear.
Then apply the same again within 1 octave starting from C# to C# then move up to D to D / Eb to Eb and on, going through all major Triads inc 7ths and so on that way you can think every Triad and its many inversions and over time you will gain your speed and thought process
Then use minor 7ths and so on.

I'm finding this rewarding , but use a metronome .
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A simple way I use for Horizontal playing is to work triads and 7ths in all 12 keys within 1 Octave (C to C 1 octave) so then play C# maj Triad then D / Eb /E and so on this will make you think of inversions as your boxed in to not go above C or below C 1 octave down.
Hope I'm making sense hear.
Then apply the same again within 1 octave starting from C# to C# then move up to D to D / Eb to Eb and on, going through all major Triads inc 7ths and so on that way you can think every Triad and its many inversions and over time you will gain your speed and thought process
Then use minor 7ths and so on.

I'm finding this rewarding , but use a metronome .
To my thinking that is purely vertical. Chords. Regardless of that is a good exercise.
 

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Improvising practice suggestion: Dial up a playlist on Pandora or some other service that adds random variety, in the style you want to improve and just go for it. An hour later you'll be tired, and likely will have tried a few new things. I do that on occasion and have a blast. I hit on something that I really dig and hit pause to really get it under my fingers. It's a lot more like fun than practice.

I also have 20-30 unfinished bits of music that I have set aside over the years. I use them as practice "play-alongs" and record the whole thing. One day I'll be satisfied with the payback.
 

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To me the words vertical and horizontal conquer up either something that goes up and down, or something that goes left to right (or right to left).

How you apply that to music I'm not quite sure. So if you apply those terms to playing the saxophone I might think of vertical as going up and down melodically, and horizontal as sticking on one Note.

I've heard piano players use those terms where vertical would be a chord (ie notes stacked on top of each other) and horizontal would be a melody line

But a saxophone cannot stack notes on top as a chord (except with mutliphonics)

People do seem confused about the meanings here.
 
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