Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks,
A follow up on my earler posts, Ive only been playing now for a couple of months and have had sax lessons with a teacher as well. My biggest problem like most beginners is lacking rythm. My teacher said now its not to bad and Im progressing quite nicely. My problem is that Im trying to feel the rythm but I guess Im just guessing the note lengths does that make sense. I can play out simple songs like jingle bells with minims crotchets and semi-breves ect no probs, but Im really guessing the lengths when I dont use a metronome. Now Ive been playing songs with simple quavers and thats no problems but when I get songs like snake charmer ect where you have to do large finger changes on quaver notes with slurs like for example c to high e then back to b and c again, I completely loose my beat and the quavers sound like a crotchet or even a minim. My instructor has told me to slow down my other notes eg crotchets to even a slower time so that way my quavers dont sound out of tune, but that just makes the whole song sound stupid and gets me out of whack even more. I know the notes and I now the fingerings confidently but I just end up getting flustered during these bars. Now if it wasnt for the fact that I notice most decent sax songs are written in quavers then I wouldnt be to fussed, but this is obviously a very important thing to conquer.
Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated
Steve
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
simso said:
Hi folks,
. My biggest problem like most beginners is lacking rythm.
Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated
Steve
First off you can never have "rythm" if you can't spell it
Rhythm
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the spelling lesson, I was hoping for a lesson in sax but maybe someone else might be able to help. Ill go and right rhythm 100 times on the notice board and see if that improves my playing.
Thanks anyway
Steve
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
What I would do is set your metronome and without your sax count just the attacks
For example if you have 2 measures and the rhythm is dotted quarter eighth quarter note quarter rest then next measure is two half notes
You say: 1 and 3 1 3
do this for a while with the metronome on easy pieces and it should help
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
simso said:
Thanks for the spelling lesson, I was hoping for a lesson in sax but maybe someone else might be able to help. Ill go and right rhythm 100 times on the notice board and see if that improves my playing.
Thanks anyway
Steve

I was just messing with you I still spell that one wrong. Sometimes on student's
assignments
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
sonnymobleytrane said:
What I would do is set your metronome and without your sax count just the attacks
For example if you have 2 measures and the rhythm is dotted quarter eighth quarter note quarter rest then next measure is two half notes
You say: 1 and 3 1 3
do this for a while with the metronome on easy pieces and it should help

At this stage of the game you should be tapping your foot also
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Its all good mate, dont worry, the biggest problem with the net is you cant tell if someone is joking or serious because theres no voice or accompianent. I was gone doing up a pic of where my problem lies. Firstly not after sympathy vote, cant tap out a song with my feet becuase I got hit by a car 13 years ago and had my foot fused. But that doesnt mean I cant tap it out with my toes. My teacher hasnt mentioned anything about an outside use of verifing your time, she even wont let me use a metronome in the lesson. As she points out and I do understand where shes coming from, you have to get your internal beat to work naturally without an outside regulatory source if you want your music to flow.
Suggestions
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
even though you cant use the metronome in the lesson you should still practice with it a lot again with and without horn.
Say rhythms so 3rd and fourth measure are in time with metronome:
1 2& 3& 4 1 2 3 (listen for 4 feel 4,but don't say 4 cause it isn't an attack)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Tap your toe. Get an internal rhythm going. Play along with your toe - down, down/up, down/up, down, down, down, downnnnnn. Count in your head - one, two and, three and, four, one, two, threeeeeeee.

Like everything else in music, it takes practice. Don't get impatient.
juan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,214 Posts
i would suggest first playing the exercise staccato and tongue all the notes to get your tongue and fingers together and get the rhythm under your fingers. then play it all slurred in time. when you can do these both well, then try it as written.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,211 Posts
simso said:
cant tap out a song with my feet becuase I got hit by a car 13 years ago and had my foot fused....
Wow, that sounds like a nasty accident. Did you have both feet fused? If not, tap with the other foot. You also might try singing the rhythms first, then play it on the horn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
simso said:
Thanks for the spelling lesson, I was hoping for a lesson in sax but maybe someone else might be able to help. Ill go and right rhythm 100 times on the notice board and see if that improves my playing.
Thanks anyway
Steve
Now that's what I call a good comeback.:D
 

·
SOTW Administrator
Joined
·
26,216 Posts
Steve,

glad to see your progress to minums. The b to c change is tricky because you have to change lh1 to lh2 quick and precisely. I'd put your metronome and isolate the b to c change, giving the metronome the value of a minum. This is called sub-dividing and is very useful. After you get comfortable with a b to c change, try playing the whole snakecharmer tune very slowly with your metronome set twice as fast as you're playing. So the metronome is a minim machine (going 1 & 2 3 & 4 &) whilst your internal clock (or toe tapping, or whatever) is going 1 2 3 4 in crochet time.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the feedback from everyone. I think I need to relax a bit more with my music, the missus tells me that I should compare it to learning to drive a car. You get all this info thrown at you, you learn the basics but your really not a decent safe driver for a few years. I think this is where Im at with my lessons. I might put the handbrake on and go back to basics and enjoy the music more. If I dont use sheet music, I really enjoy what Ive learnt, I can play or improv about 15 songs from memory, but when I use sheet music with new songs Im getting flustered on the simple things like the quaver time periods. My teacher said's I should push through it and then it will seem simple in hindsight, but I still cant make the hand mind connection on the fast moving note changes.
Question for everyone thats been playing for a while, can you pick up the sax and just play some sheet music that youve never played before and it comes up okay or do you need to still rehearse it a few times to get it right. Maybe Im expecting too much
Thanks
Steve
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 &
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
simso said:
Question for everyone thats been playing for a while, can you pick up the sax and just play some sheet music that youve never played before and it comes up okay or do you need to still rehearse it a few times to get it right. Maybe Im expecting too much
Thanks
Steve
For the most part, the answer is "yes, I can", at least as far as playing the correct notes in the correct rhythms and in tempo. The refining in terms of style, expression, etc takes some additional work. More work is required on really fast passages with difficult fingering (this requires work at a slower tempo with horn in hand) or very tricky rhythms (I find it helpful to work these out initially without the horn). However, I"ve been reading notes and rhythms for upwards of 50 years and not only on sax. The lesson here---time and experience are useful!

Steve, I tend to get a little lost in your verbaige, and I don't know if I'm understanding your problems or not. So right back at you with the verbaige!

You seem to be struggling with two separate but related areas here. First, rhythms---counting, note duration and placement. These can be worked on without your horn in hand; and perhaps should be worked on in this way. If you can hear in your head what the rythmic patterns should sound like, then you know where you are trying to get to, as you work out the fingering sequences.

Second, fingering the correct notes in a timely fashion. No substitute for repetition and more repetition. IMO, it's Ok to read and play pages and pages of notes, in different keys and different combinations, and with lots of accidentals thrown in until the fingering of them becomes very automatic, without worrying too much about note value or speed. You want to be at a place where the correct fingerings flow from the page to your fingers with little conscious effort on your part. That takes a long time, but once it's there, it doesn't go away very easily.

And when you are putting them together, set the metronome to a place where you can play correct notes at the correct place. Foot tapping, toe tapping, whatever is very much a matter of individual preference. I'm a "tapper", but generally inside my shoe or barefoot in summer rehearsals, after one of my choral directors nearly had apoplexy when he had a whole chorus of "tappers" on risers---think of the reverb! The difficulty with tapping, of course, is that, unless you have an external "beat setter", it's all to easy to slow up or speed up according to the difficulty of the passage, a luxury none of us have when playing in ensemble.

Your wife's car analogy is a good one. When you don't have to think about where the clutch and brake are, or how to find first gear, reverse, etc. your driving can become smooth and pretty effortless. The object in both driving and making music is to get to the point where essential elements of the process become more or less automatic; then, in playing your saxophone you can turn your focus from finding notes to making music. And there is no substitue for practice and repetition to get there.

The mantra--patience and practice.

Best regards,
Ruth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
hakukani said:
The b to c change is tricky because you have to change lh1 to lh2 quick and precisely.
Hope this helps.
this piece looks like a good candidate for the side C, the right hand is not very busy anyway (other than the F,D and E);)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks for all the info, altoruth your spot on with my probelm, "fingering out the notes in a timely matter" thats spot on to what my problem is. I can clap out a beat and tap out a beat, I can play the notes, play the slurs, play the alternative fingerings but I cant put it all together in a "timely fashion". Im pretty happy with the answer and response being practice and time practice and time. Only reason for this is at home I play with a metronome in my ear and at class I dont, my instructor saids Im getting it fairly well, but within myself I feel like its just a guessing game how long Im holding the notes, and Im male so multi-tasking is just out the door, doing three things at once (fingering the note, reading the note, breathing the note) is enough without then trying to count a time period in my head such as "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and". I think you get the idea. Okay time to do some more practice
Steve
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Okay a follow up and then Im after a bit of advice if I may, When I first started prior to a teacher 2 and a half months ago, and from the advice given by people on this board I powered through the learning stage and within a couple of weeks could play every note and read sheet music which I had never done before. I acknowledge my rhythm was very very lacking. Ive just finished my 10th lesson and after all that am not very happy, I feel that if anything I have just sat at one point for the last 10 weeks. My rhthym has slightly improved but thats about it, and I think thats because Im now aware of what I was doing. My teacher I believe was merely going through the motions. I had a mate who knows how to play the sax give me some pointers today, my previous teacher saids that when I read my music I must mentally say the note in my head and mentally finger the note plus mentally count out time, and then play the note plus read ahead for the next note so that way Im prepared for it and terminate the note with my tongue with just the right pressure ect ect, the only way Ive been able to keep a time or rhthym was with a metronome at home because there was just to much happening. This worked well until I started doing quaver slurs and quaver note changes, it just all started to fall apart and Ive been on this bit now for 6 weeks. My mate today said to stuff all of that forget saying in your head what note it is forget trying to count time forget trying to read ahead and most of all forget the metronome. His theory as you guys have pointed out to me is play the bloody note and say in your head as your playing t te ot ta-ar. One lesson with him and I can play a song record myself and play it back alongside a metronome and be in rhthym with the metronome. Just goes to show how much can be achieved with the right teacher for you. Now my old sax teacher is great with my wife because they both play the clarinet, but a lot goes to be said in getting someone to teach that actually plays the instrument for there own personal enjoyment. Only thing now Im spewing about is Im 10 weeks behind, ahh well a lifetime left to catch up.
Okay that was my blurb, has anyone else got some recommendations for simple time counting on things like this, recommendations.

Thanks steve

PS especially recommendations from hakukani and alto ruth you guys have been spot on everything for me
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top