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Discussion Starter #1
I received Mr. Fishman's book today via Amazon.

First thing I did was listen to the accompanying CD. (Actually there are 2 CD's, one for tenor and one for alto. When you reach the advanced stage you can try to transpose the tenor part on the fly while playing along with the alto CD, or vice-versa.)

Each CD contains an example track of Mr. Fishman playing the etude followed by simple backing tracks for you to play along with.

I have to say that these etudes are beautifully constructed and fun to listen to and that Mr. Fishman's playing is equally gorgeous and clever. In fact I'd say I've already got my money's worth just from the CD itself.

The etudes are mostly based on familiar progressions. I was able to recognize "Take the A Train", "Green Dolphin Street", "Out of Nowhere" and of course The Blues and Rhythm changes. But there were also few songs I couldn't place.

The tempos seem pretty brisk. (Although not as maniacal as some of the Aebersold tempos I've heard.) But the book says the tempos are actually considered moderate by pro standards. The book is aimed at intermediate level players or above. I'm still just a beginner I guess. But that won't stop me from trying.

I really appreciate that the book gives short explanations of things like "Alternate D Fingering", "Enclosures" and "Voice Leading" with easy to understand practical examples of how and when to use them.

This book should keep me busy for at least a couple or three years. Thanks Greg!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Also I forgot to mention that the etudes are designed to incorporate lots of "idiomatic" sax licks - phrases that not only sound good but "feel" good under your fingers.
 

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altobeginner said:
I'm sure that Duets book must be fun too, but I don't know anyone to duet with!


No the Cds are set up so that a player can play one part and the other part is on the Cd.....I don't think that if you are a beginner that it would be what you need right now...but for more intermediate to advanced players they are pretty fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Had my first hour of fun with the Etudes book today. I got through the first 12 bars of the first song (a blues) at about half speed. (By "got through" I mean reproducibly memorized and sounding consistently good enough to make me smile. :D ) If I ever get to the point where I can improvise licks like these I will be in heaven. (And hopefully not dead yet.)
 

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Hey, if you have Windows Media Player, there is asetting where you can slow down the music to half-speed, so you can still play along with the recording which is important. Playing half speed by yourself and with the backing track are different stories.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good idea but I play outdoors with an Ipod. If I want half speed recordings I have to slow them down in Sound Forge and upload them to my Ipod at half speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
saxymanzach said:
Outside, huh? Where do you put the music?
I have a lightweight portable music stand. I use heavy-duty spring clips to keep the music from blowing around. (But if it's really windy sometimes the whole stand blows over!)

There's a park near my home that is almost always deserted and far enough from any homes that my blowing won't disturb anyone. I've been practicing there about 3 - 5 times a week for 1-2 hours per day since March. Yesterday I attended my first jam session with other musicians. They said I didn't sound like a beginner! The other sax players also seemed impressed with the tone of my horn and wanted to know about it. They were pretty surprised that it was just a YAS-21. One of them was playing a Mark VI and couldn't believe my horn could be bought used for $200 on Ebay! But I've had it adjusted at Baxter-Northrup in Van Nuys, CA and I have a Meyer 5M mouthpiece with Vandoren Jazz #3 reeds. It does sound pretty nice!
 
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