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I tried out a few horns last saturday and I really like the selmer series III, I didn't buy it because i couldn't get a good deal on my ref 54. The main difference that I noticed was that the series was a bit more warmer then my ref 54.

Instead of buying new gear I decided to stay with my current set up and try to get as much as possible out of it. I got a couple of question about how I should do that.

I'm preparing myself for my audition for my college degree so you I'm basically a full time music student.

How much time would you recommend for me to spend on practicing longtones?

What kind of exercises should I focus on? (vibrato, bending, subtone, overtones, altissimo, legato/staccato articulation) And how much time should I spend on these exercises.

My influences are Richie Kamuca, Al Cohn, Bill Perkins, Zoot Sims etc so my altissimo is less important then my subtone, articulation.

Btw If you have any tips on something I forgot to ask I would like to hear it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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working with what we have is something that we will be doing for the rest of our lives. no harm starting with music, especially when you already have a great horn to start with.

3 exercises I always recommend:
long tones.
scales.
transcriptions.

when you practice, work towards sounding great even during practice. so that it will sound great naturally when you are playing at gig. do not settle for your best efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
working with what we have is something that we will be doing for the rest of our lives. no harm starting with music, especially when you already have a great horn to start with.

3 exercises I always recommend:
long tones.
scales.
transcriptions.

when you practice, work towards sounding great even during practice. so that it will sound great naturally when you are playing at gig. do not settle for your best efforts.
Thanks but I was talking about long tone type exercises only.^^
 

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+1,000,000 My teacher has me working on overtones and matching the fingered pitch to the overtones tone. It does wonders for improving the quality of ones tone. One other thing that I don't think I've seen mentioned falls under articulation... and that is from here on forth for the rest of your life...pay attention to how your notes end or trail off. Trust me, that alone will change the way you approach articulation/sound concept/etc.

Long tones as well as using long tones with overtones (harmonics) and matching the fingered pitch to the overtones tone.

Also recording yourself and listening back is a HUGE help, at least it was for me. I could really critique myself and make changes, even with the long tones.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I wouldn't believe the most people here on sotw. Good luck
Yes, there are a lot of differing opinions thrown around on any number of topics here on SotW, and occasionally you have to weed through a bunch of crap to get to the point. I don't think opinions are going to stray too far on this one though...

bakkiemetkoekie, what part of practicing long tones, overtones and articulation to achieve a better sound is unbelievable? What do you do to work on sound production?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all! I basically now what to practice but I really want to know what to focus on. I have a private teacher so that's not really the problem
 

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+1,000,000 My teacher has me working on overtones and matching the fingered pitch to the overtones tone. It does wonders for improving the quality of ones tone. One other thing that I don't think I've seen mentioned falls under articulation... and that is from here on forth for the rest of your life...pay attention to how your notes end or trail off. Trust me, that alone will change the way you approach articulation/sound concept/etc.
Oh man,.... is that SOOO true! I was just introduced to just how important articulation really is in one of my summer classes. And how articulation goes way beyond what most people think of when they hear or consider the word 'articulation'. Amazing how it can change a sound/tone AND/OR,... any given phrase. If the OP is a full time music student and getting ready to move into college, I'm sure he's heard this before. I hear people talk about it all the time, but this summer was my first class that focused entirely on articulation and everything that word brings to the table. Again,... amazing stuff when it comes to changing tone and expression! Now if I can only do it!!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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What kind of exercises should I focus on? (vibrato, bending, subtone, overtones, altissimo, legato/staccato articulation) And how much time should I spend on these exercises.
All of those, but this is a good one as it combines different elements so is not so boring and works towards you controlling the tone, NOT the tone controlling you which so often happens, even with lots of conventional long notes:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-tone-control.html
 

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"
Flâneur;1722187}One other thing that I don't think I've seen mentioned falls under articulation... and that is from here on forth for the rest of your life...pay attention to how your notes end or trail off. Trust me said:
Flâneur;1722187}One other thing that I don't think I've seen mentioned falls under articulation... and that is from here on forth for the rest of your life...pay attention to how your notes end or trail off. Trust me said:
Very true. And equally important is how you start (attack) each note! A sloppy attack on any note will make it sound bad no matter what you do with the note after that. Of course this goes far beyond long tones; it applies to everything you play. But you sure can include it in your long tone practice.
 

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Agree on everything said here. Would also add that to put all of this into practice, what is working wonders for me is transcription (if that's even the right word for what I'm thinking). Not just writing down the notes, that's actually less important (for this anyways), but matching the tone and approach of the recording. I'll try to play along with Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, whoever, and try to get as close to their sound as possible to help me understand the mechanics that are going into that tone production, the articulation, that style. Then, when I play my own sound, I have more tools to work with.
 

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Overtones and tone matching are logical places to go after you've been working on long tones for a while. For what it's worth, I started working on overtones only because I'd heard that was how to get altissimo happening -- and it turned out that the overtone stuff was HUGE for my sound development, independent of altissimo stuff...

Regarding tone matching, one of the best posts I've ever seen on the topic is here: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...p-Tone-on-Alto&p=832653&viewfull=1#post832653 (This stuff applies to any sax, not just alto...)

I also think SactoPete's suggestion of really trying to "become one" with great players by matching everything they do in a given solo (tone, articulation, vibrato, etc.) can open up a lot of new avenues for expressiveness in your playing...

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all I really appreciate it and I don't want to sound ungrateful but I need help to put it into practice. I can do longtones for 1-2 hours if that's needed to really improve my tone but I don't really know how much time I should put into what part of my tone exercises. Nevertheless I've read some really helpful things and I really appreciate all your effort.
Agree on everything said here. Would also add that to put all of this into practice, what is working wonders for me is transcription (if that's even the right word for what I'm thinking). Not just writing down the notes, that's actually less important (for this anyways), but matching the tone and approach of the recording. I'll try to play along with Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, whoever, and try to get as close to their sound as possible to help me understand the mechanics that are going into that tone production, the articulation, that style. Then, when I play my own sound, I have more tools to work with.
How do you keep that sound after you've played along? I can do it when i'm playing along a record but then I lose it when i try to keep that sound with other exercises
 

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Good suggestions here, exp. overtones, also mouthpiece only exercises. One of the best things for working on tone I find is just playing ballads. Play acapella, listen to yourself, how you're shaping the notes and phrases. Exercises are necessary, but you can get a lot of work done while enjoying playing music as well.
 

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I echo the comments posted to date especially with regard to Pete Thomas and the two threads by Phil Barone.
 
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