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hey all...

in a few weeks im going to wood shed for 7 weeks parker style :)
my question is how do attack modes, etc, in an economical fashion that is musical...
do i worry about working up to 120 on each scale (take much longer for each key etc) or do i get it all to 80 first (which won't take as long)....

can anyone suggest a good practice of scales routine so i can get through a few of the keys on the holidays
 

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thirds

I'm sure every saxophonist has practiced some sort of personalized scale routine in their career. Just one suggestion: you could break them into thirds-do ascending thirds, then descending, then alternating, then reverse alternating. Remember, when you get to the top of the horn don't reverse the direction of the pattern just because you're coming down. Once thirds are mastered, try the same in fourths. Don't increase the metronome setting until you can play the entire thing evenly. Go slow and thorough-stay relaxed. :)
 

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..and then combine 3rds and 4ths in the same exercise. ;)

ALSO-

While you're practicing these scales through different intervals, think about how you can integrate some of it into your music. Otherwise, you're just practicing scales as a muscle reflex. It is always a good idea to have a plethora of ideas that go beyond the linear conception, so utilize these intervals that you practice for something melodic.
 

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If you want to be an improviser, I think it is important to split your practice between technical work (learning x scale/pattern perfectly at x speed) and improvising music. Even better, combine the two as much as you can. The more you can hear what you are doing as an expression, as music, the better you will get at playing music. The more you hear what you are doing as reproducing a pattern or scale, the better you will get at reproducing patterns and scales.

As you are learning each scale, pay attention to it as an expression of music. Each note has specific properties that lead you to the next note. Each scale feels a bit different. Pay attention to how it feels when you play each note, and when you stop at each note of the scale. Once you have the basic scale under your fingers, make every time that you practice it an exploration and an improvisation. Make melodies using the notes of that scale. Try playing it in different rhythms, grooves, tempos. Repeating notes. Different intervals. Explore the scale while varying different musical parameters (articulation, dynamics, timbre, etc.). This will help you learn the scale as a tool for improvisation, rather than simply as a muscular pattern.
 

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Thank you Tom and Pete. V helpful. :)
 

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Tom Hall said:
If you want to be an improviser, I think it is important to split your practice between technical work (learning x scale/pattern perfectly at x speed) and improvising music. Even better, combine the two as much as you can. The more you can hear what you are doing as an expression, as music, the better you will get at playing music. The more you hear what you are doing as reproducing a pattern or scale, the better you will get at reproducing patterns and scales.

As you are learning each scale, pay attention to it as an expression of music. Each note has specific properties that lead you to the next note. Each scale feels a bit different. Pay attention to how it feels when you play each note, and when you stop at each note of the scale. Once you have the basic scale under your fingers, make every time that you practice it an exploration and an improvisation. Make melodies using the notes of that scale. Try playing it in different rhythms, grooves, tempos. Repeating notes. Different intervals. Explore the scale while varying different musical parameters (articulation, dynamics, timbre, etc.). This will help you learn the scale as a tool for improvisation, rather than simply as a muscular pattern.
I could not agree with this more. As as an improviser you must be careful of muscle memory. When I first began to improvise I played a lot of scales because I was working on scales. You will play how you practice. If you want to sound like Parker, transcribe Parker. If you want to sound like yourself, just improvise freely and try to just play what you are hearing. You might sound terrible for a while but that's okay.

You are what you eat.
 

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check out the first chorus of Joe Henderson on Softly...under The Blue Note Years or Larry Young's Unity (1965) for a very swinging example of thirds.
 
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