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OK, Now that I've been back for a bit, Last night at band rehearsal the first alto was cruising , myself just getting back into the swing of things after 15 plus years of being away,Some times it just seems my brian isn't processing the notes as fast as it use to. Any decent tips on improving my speed.I've been trying the metrodome thang starting it slow and then picking up the pace.
 

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OK, Now that I've been back for a bit, Last night at band rehearsal the first alto was cruising , myself just getting back into the swing of things after 15 plus years of being away,Some times it just seems my brian isn't processing the notes as fast as it use to. Any decent tips on improving my speed.I've been trying the metrodome thang starting it slow and then picking up the pace.
This is a good way to start. Always practice at a tempo that you can cleanly hit every note right. I would also suggest keeping you fingers on the pearls. Less finger movement=less wasted motion and more speed. Practicing your alt fingerings and just running your faster runs over and over again are always good too.
 

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To increase your speed, you must play faster! :D

Sorry... that just popped into my head.

Actually, stormott77 has fine advice. Not sure there really are any other shortcuts. :dontknow:
 

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true to play slowly is the key at first, if you cant play ata tempo that allows mistakes you have to slow down!,but practice small parts on the horn, ie D,E, F# and get to know little" passages then expand them,heres an exersise, in the key of D".
D,E,F#..X 2.. D,E,F#,G,A...X2...D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#...2..and so on until you have gone up one or two octaves,if you stumble on technique go back and start again, dont settle for complacency make it right.
keep the fingers close to the keys, and yes sat on the pearls, not half an inch or so off them,the fingers should be close to the keys, if not touching almost watch the pros", and you will see what i mean, you dont see many with a wild technique!!..
play different rhythms quarter notes eight notes, and hkeep your foot tapping for accuracy, metronomes are very useful too..
good luck
 

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Some times it just seems my brian isn't processing the notes as fast as it use to.
My brian is pretty slow too.

The secret is articulation. PM me or ask here for more info on that if you are interested.
 

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Get your hair cut short, that reduces your drag coefficient.
 

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When I used to play with the Family Stone Band I had to play the soprano sax line in Dance To The Music on alto. It's the little sax response after they sing "Dance to the Music" It puts the lick in the palm keys and it is tricky to play. I had to get my metronome out and play it slow, very slow. I raised the tempo as I started to get a grip on it. It took me a couple weeks to get it to tempo with the right feel. I thought I had it after a week and I played it at rehearsal and Cynthia Robinson just looked at me and said "What the hell was that. Your swinging it way to hard." Back to the shed. I probably played that 8 note lick 3,000 times in a two week span before I had it in an acceptable ball park. I learned so much playing with those guys. I was so out of my league. I got to take some solos but because of how green I was they had me play my solos note for note to what Gerri Martini played on the original recordings.
 

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I also am playing in a big band after an extended (30 year in my case) break. To make matters worse in my band, we really don't rehearse - instead, we play on Tuesdays for Nursing Homes, assisted living centers, etc. If we totally fall apart, we may go back over a part, but otherwise, it's on to the next tune. With a book of 800 or so, that's a lot of sight reading. What I found out was hanging me up the most was not the notes, but the rhythms. I borrowed the book and copied (scanned) about 15 of the tunes that were challenging, and started sitting down and doing the metronome thing. Eventually I realized that the number of rhythmic figures you come across is fairly limited. Once I became fairly adept at playing the rhythms at tempo, reading the notes became a lot easier.

Now if I can just get my tongue to work.... (intro to asking Pete about articulation).
 

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My brian is pretty slow too.

The secret is articulation. PM me or ask here for more info on that if you are interested.
WE are interested :) Thank you for making yourself available.
 

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My brian is pretty slow too.

The secret is articulation. PM me or ask here for more info on that if you are interested.
Yeah Pete spill the beans please. I'm getting faster and more accurate but I could always use some of your insight.
 

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When I used to play with the Family Stone Band I had to play the soprano sax line in Dance To The Music on alto. It's the little sax response after they sing "Dance to the Music" It puts the lick in the palm keys and it is tricky to play. I had to get my metronome out and play it slow, very slow. I raised the tempo as I started to get a grip on it. It took me a couple weeks to get it to tempo with the right feel. I thought I had it after a week and I played it at rehearsal and Cynthia Robinson just looked at me and said "What the hell was that. Your swinging it way to hard." Back to the shed. I probably played that 8 note lick 3,000 times in a two week span before I had it in an acceptable ball park. I learned so much playing with those guys. I was so out of my league. I got to take some solos but because of how green I was they had me play my solos note for note to what Gerri Martini played on the original recordings.
Ha, I just listened to that lick again, and yeah it lays out really nicely on sop but that would be rough on alto! I could NEVER get that worked out to speed.
 

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Ha, I just listened to that lick again, and yeah it lays out really nicely on sop but that would be rough on alto! I could NEVER get that worked out to speed.
It haunted me. Even after I had it down better every time I had to play it live I was thinking in my head "ok here we go, get it right" I would play it with a metronome over and over again right before the show. You could get I bet:bluewink:
 

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Play ppp. Pretend it is maths, and p=practice. Oh, and try to play faster and faster and cleaner and cleaner. And remember, the average Joe practices until he gets it right, the other guy practices until he can't get it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the tips, I also found that when I practice a tough song at home without blowing (no mouthpiece) I seem to get it pretty good . And concetrating on keeping my fingers closer to the keys is also key (pune) attended
 

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If you are playing off of a recording there is a wonderful device that guitar and bass players use to practice. It is a cd player that is capable of changing the speed, key, pitch of a cd recording. It is great to slow down a recording to learn a particular riff. I wish I had this 35 years ago. You can find them at the Musicians Friend and Guitar Center store web sites. It is made by Tascum. I am sure there are other makes now.
 
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