Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I am starting another new series on my channel called "Real Talk Real Tips" where I give both saxophone and general musical advice, tips, and tricks. This first episode is something I've been asked about a bunch, and that's how to play fast lines cleanly and smoothly. Have a look and let me know what you think!

 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,624 Posts
This is a great video. I had the same thing explained for a flute etude in the anderson studies. Very clean explanation. Thanks Dave
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,624 Posts
One thing about fast playing. I remember Bob Reynolds saying that Andy Snitzer had him playing Giant steps at 60 BPM eighth notes for a week and for whatever reason when he needed to play it much faster it got in his fingers with the slow repeated practice. I'll take many fast passages and cut the time in half and really get the shape in as relaxed way as I can with fingers really relaxed and close to the keys. What happens if this process works is that speed becomes just moving up a dial. No tension no strain you are just turning a dial from 1 to 10 if that makes sense .K
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,624 Posts
It also helps to elongate the sense of time as you get faster. So when I did the omnibook years ago I was feeling 2 and 4. Now some music I just feel as one beat a measure. It takes the tension out of playing fast? for me K
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
7,356 Posts
What chords is this over?

Sure enough. 10 Minutes and now I can play this line super fast.

I gotta take it in 12 keys now. But I want those chords Dave.

I feel like If I had 20 or 30 of these little phrases with the chords I would have my next year of practice laid out for me. This is the kind of stuff I really like because I can pick it up quick. While there's still a whole bunch that goes over my head.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
5,092 Posts
What chords is this over?

Sure enough. 10 Minutes and now I can play this line super fast.

I gotta take it in 12 keys now. But I want those chords Dave.

I feel like If I had 20 or 30 of these little phrases with the chords I would have my next year of practice laid out for me. This is the kind of stuff I really like because I can pick it up quick. While there's still a whole bunch that goes over my head.
Emin, A7, or a ii V7 in D, or anywhere those chords work. It's all over the Omnibook in various forms, the first appearance being Anthropology (the first tune) over A7, then in Celerity over A7, then over the beginning of a ii V7 (E-) in Au Privave, in Constellation over the whole ii V7 I (E-7 A7 D) (he does it twice on this tune lol), Kim #1, Ko Ko (Cherokee) over the E- A7 ii-7 V in the bridge (twice), etc. There are many more instances in the Omnibook and throughout Bird's discography. It's like a "signature" lick.

The important thing from this video is how he says to shed the phrases in pieces and work on putting them together. I always work on blending the end of one chunk into the beginning of the next one for just the reasons Dave talks about. Insomuch as there is a "right" way to learn awkward vocabulary, this is it, and it applies to ANY awkward phrase you need to get under your fingers.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,671 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys for the great feedback! And Dan absolutely nailed it (no surpise there).

This specific line was from Constellation, and it’s just Em7 for a bar, A7 for a bar, and Dmaj over the last 2.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
This is excellent and has helped me a lot not just playing faster but ways to think about reading the music and ways to change my practicing and making it more challenging. Thanks Dave.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Super Action 80 Tenor, Buescher 156 Tenor, Yamaha Vito YAS-21 , Kessler Soprano, Superba II Bari
Joined
·
4,947 Posts
I got giddy seeing that lick in the background. I've used this method too, but have found that I can learn fast licks more quickly if I play them accurately at obscenely slow tempos with a metronome. It seems to be based upon the player though as I have students that learn better with this method. Others prefer the one I use. In any event, if you learn nothing else from Charlie Parker, let it be this lick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
Playing the first note of the next 'chunk' is a really useful tip - thanks.

There was a discussion, a while back, about learning a phrase (and, indeed some bigger unit) in lumps backwards (as in 5, 4, (4,5), 3, (3,4,5), 2, (2,3,4,5), 1, (1,2,3,4,5)). I guess there are pros & cons either way...

One problem I have is, then, the timing of taking breaths. The phrase, like in this example, is (mostly) before and after other phrases - often with just an eighth-note break...
Is there a methodical way to practice / plan breathing once the phrase(s) are down?
Obviously it depends a bit on the lung capacity of individuals, volume etc....
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,688 Posts
Thanks Dave! I really like this method for learning phrases. Not just for playing fast; I think it's useful in a lot of ways.

There was a discussion, a while back, about learning a phrase (and, indeed some bigger unit) in lumps backwards (as in 5, 4, (4,5), 3, (3,4,5), 2, (2,3,4,5), 1, (1,2,3,4,5)). I guess there are pros & cons either way...
I've done this (working backwards) also and it works well because you learn 'what's coming up' first. And you could apply the exact same concept that Dave outlines for each unit; just starting with the last unit first. Either way, another thing to keep in mind is to concentrate most (or spend more time) on any section that you find more difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
... also - my favourite irritation - I reckon it's worth scanning the phrase for alternates (Bb/c/c#, F/F#) ... deciding to change, eg biz to side Bb, can take quite a lot of work for us less experienced types.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top