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Discussion Starter #1
Good day everyone,

I browsed some posts here, but to be honest, got lost :D

I am a very beginner alto player, who during last months played occasionally. I have more time now, and would like to improve, however I do not have a practice routine.

I have a relatively good ears, and I can play out some pieces and always prefer to play tunes.

My routine this days has been: Long tones, plus scales (not any major or minor) just playing up and down the sax, and afterwards I play some tunes, I either transcribe or I don't know.

If anyone can suggest me scales or other staff I would appreciate. Can you also tell me if scales are hat important? For example, on piano, I have never played scales, I always played different compositions. And besides I have very good technique for piano, because you practice your technique within the composition. Is it different for sax?

I feel very motivated now and would appreciate your help very much.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I am a part-time player too (don't make a living playing sax). My goal for practice sessions is to have focus, as I am easily distracted. I divide up my time and make sure I hit on a few major (to me) things: overtones, long-tones, a technical goal (scales, chords, whatever I am working on in lessons at the time), guided improv (with play-alongs, or specific scales/ keys centers, etc), learning tunes and playing for fun (MOST important to me). I always try to record the playing for fun time, a lot of ideas have come from that time. When I have extra time I work on other things like altissimo playing, working on reading skills...

When life is too busy, and I only have a few minutes to play: I focus on tone production first unless there is something specific to work on for my lesson that week.

It will probably take a while to get a tight routine together, but time management is important. Especially if you only have limited practice time. I have gone as far as making weekly practice grids with times (yes, I have used a countdown timer!) for each activity...timer goes off: stop where you are and move on.

As for learning scales: They are the foundation for everything we know as music...It probably wouldn't hurt to get a few down?
 

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i practice from the book my teacher wants me to use. "Essential Elements Tenor Saxophone Vol. 1" along with that i practice long notes and scales, until i get it right. sometimes it takes 20 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour. i also have loads of influences, like

Kenny G
John Coltrane
Thelonius monk
and many more. listen to the work of the musicians you admire then, take tips from them and they're songs and practice them.
 

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It sounds like you have a good thing going!

If you wanted to change your routine... It would depend on whatever aspect of your playing you consider a weakness. If you broke that down... I'm sure there are lots of people who will help you out! Good luck
 

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Oh and for scales learn them all! Major (and all the modes of the major scale) as well as Harmonic minor from memory. Obviously this takes some time... Maybe focus on one major including all it's modes per each week.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your advice.
@swperry1
You are right, it is so difficult when you have only one hour and should get out as much as possible out of it. That's why I do not play scales and all this stuff, I'd rather play the tunes. But probably that is a huge mistake from my side.

@saxophonistben
I have never seen this book, probably its a good idea to find a good book and follow it. My influenes are probably Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, and many more atually.

@csgagnon
Thank you. I decided to be make a kind of journal of my sax journey (Which I hope will keep me motivated). I may create a separate thread and write down everything there :) thanks for inspiration ;)
 
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