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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys new to Sax and just learning was just wondering late at night n stuff when you cant really play when flatmates /neighbours are sleeping... would just fingering the Scales/songs and pretending to blow help u learn and get more fluent??? or would it lead to bad habbits in the long run?? cheers guys
 

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Since a large part of practicing involves committing fingerings to "muscle memory" through repetitive motion, it's actually a good time to do that. In order not to develop bad habits though, you have to be sure to work slowly and be very precise. Since you won't be able to hear any mistakes you might make fingering-wise, it's important to keep it slow to avoid committing all of your mistakes to muscle memory as well. If you're new enough to the saxophone that you aren't sure about the fingerings without listening for the mistakes...it could indeed lead to bad habits. The more times you play a wrong fingering without realizing it...the more times you're likely to make the same mistake in the future. So I guess it depends on how comfortable you are that you can actually guarantee practicing the fingerings silently without mistakes. If you think you can do that...it's great exercise for those late night hours.
 

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I'll help you out here, even though I abhor your avatar.

Silent fingering of scales, licks, arpeggios etc, won't hurt. A large part of what we do comes down to finger memory and programming patterns into our brain and fingers. For those of us living in apartments, soft or silent practice is the only way to avoid eviction.

At some point however, you need to find time in each day to play long and loud. You have to develop your sound via long tones. You have to develop your dynamic control. You also have to work on the connection between your ears and fingers etc.

As long as you're sensible with when and where you practice you'll be fine.

Best of luck and I hope you can find a new non violent avatar soon. :)
 

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I don't get the whole UFC thing either.... it ends up with two near naked blokes cuddling on the floor bleeding.....
 

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I don't get the whole UFC thing either.... it ends up with two near naked blokes cuddling on the floor bleeding.....
If two consenting adults want to beat the snot out of each other, so be it. My problem with it, is that as a father with a teenage son, it glorifies violence.

But anyway, back on topic, you can quite easily blow just enough air through the horn to hear which note you're playing without actually producing a full sound. One of the benefits of playing silently, is that precisely because you aren't worrying about your sound, you can focus on relaxed clean fingering.
 

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Best of luck and I hope you can find a new non violent avatar soon. :)
Not to derail the thread (although I think the question has been answered), but this reminded me of something. A while back I played a gig at a bar where they had that &*^% kickboxing or whatever it's called, happening on a large flat screen TV over the bar right in my line of sight. I couldn't help but notice it while I was playing and man it was the most idiotic thing I've ever witnessed. Two nut cases beating the hell out of each other and everything seemed to be 'legal' aside from biting (maybe). It kind of made me sick to my stomach. I eventually tuned it out, but who would want to watch that crap??! Luckily the bar now only has hard rock and C&W bands, so my band won't be playing there again.
 

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...who would want to watch that crap??!
Since we're already derailed...I might as well add that it takes all kinds. As repulsive as it may be to most of us...a lot of people apparently enjoy watching **** fights and dog fights too. More than a few similarities between all of it...except that the humans usually live to fight again...the animals don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Thanks For the help guys,sorry if my Avatars offended anyone...Mixed Martial Arts (UFC) is a big part of my life,and Ive been studying MMA and Brazilian JiuJitsu for a few years now and I see it for the technically Complex Art that is MMA..a combination of Wrestling,Boxing,Judo,Jiu Jitsu,Muay Thai...all traditional Arts that have been practiced for hundreds of years,and Not for some Human **** fight many think it is.....while I do agree the very early fights were a bit much with little to no rules and many out do watch just hoping for a blood fix..many changes have been made over the years and rules implimented to make it much safer and is now the Fastest growing Sport in the world, It has also taught me some great life skills,Discipline,Physical Fitness and many of the practitioners at my gym are your everyday Joe from all walks of life..Nice Clean Cut,Friendly People..Lawyer,Psychologist,Teachers,Computer techs are just some of the people there and we even have a lovely bunch of girls who train the sport also...Not Just Shaven Headed Tattooed Musclebound Morons I'm Assuming you'd picture doing so

I Hope this doesn't get taken wrong...I'm not trying to offend anyone,I'm just passionate about it and get annoyed when people stereotype me and my peers...Just like you would I assume when someone takes your art of Saxophone,that you have spent many years studying and learning all the little intricate things...and then calls it crap elevator music....Ive only been practicing for a few months and it annoys me when my work buddies use that tired line!! :p....hahah and who would've ever expected a MMA fighter would play Saxophone?? :p

Anyways I made the avatar as a little fun with some friends...But this is not an MMA forum,and Im not gonna change your views on the art with just words...So I will Change it and get back to the Saxophone talk :)

sorry once again if Ive offended anyone
and thank you for the Help :)
 

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It could have been worse, you could have said you liked Kenny G. Then the wolves would really have set upon you!....

Welcome to the forum. Stick around - lot's of knowledge to be had here.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
lol if you mean G for Garret...hahah yeah I love him bahah Gorelick is a different Story :p.
actually alot of my girl friends upon hearing I'm learning Saxophone respond with "oooooo I love Kenny G!"
 

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You work at night? I can relate to that. If not on the night shift then why aren't you also sleeping? There is a noise ordinance here where I live but sure would prefer the luxury of practice anytime day or night. Related activities without disturbing neighbors is stuff such as practice rhythm by simultaneously tapping your foot and softly clap your hands together while softly vocalizing "ta, ta, ta, ta." Seriously
 

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Hmmm.... I liked the other avatar better. Can you try something else. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
nah I dont work at night I Usually practice in the afternoon after work,just for later at night when I get home from training and everyone is asleep
 

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In that case consider working on the other half of the equation by developing your "rhythm chops."
 

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Hey Tapout...no offense taken here from the avatar, and I apologize if my generalizations and comparison to **** fighting offended you in turn. I confess, my comments were influenced by the very *few* cage fights I've seen on TV, and those seemed to be much more about two guys simply beating each other to a bloody pulp rather than any form of recognizable martial arts. I do have friends who have gone quite far in the martial arts of one discipline or another, and I know they take it very seriously, if not spiritually. Your explanation of what it means to you is more than sufficient to make it clear that it's not about the "blood sport" for you. So again...my apologies for generalizing as I did. Still a little more brutal than I would want to watch...but then again...I did have the privilege of playing ringside (with an Army jazz band) for a Muhammad Ali exhibition match back in the days when he could still fight, and I rather enjoyed having him knock some sweat on me from the other guy's face...(almost better than an autograph).

So anyway...it's all good. Keep up the practice...silent or otherwise.
 

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..Mixed Martial Arts (UFC) is a big part of my life,and Ive been studying MMA and Brazilian JiuJitsu for a few years now and I see it for the technically Complex Art that is MMA..a combination of Wrestling,Boxing,Judo,Jiu Jitsu,Muay Thai...all traditional Arts that have been practiced for hundreds of years....
That's a whole different thing. Nothing at all wrong with Martial Arts. Those are highly developed disciplines and while they may enable you to kill with your bare hands, they are more about physical and mental development, than beating someone up for the fun of it. I have friends who are very much into Jiu Jitsu. What I saw on the TV show was about as far removed from martial arts as you can get. Much more like a barroom brawl...

No offense taken, and welcome to the forum, tapout.

Back on topic, there are a lot of other 'silent' things you can do to help develop musically, even without the horn in your hands. Run a tune you are learning through your mind, while tapping your foot or a finger to keep the beat. Mentally recite the cycle of fifths, or a chord progression, or a series of scales, etc, etc. I do stuff like this when I wake up at night. It eventually puts me back to sleep, but I think it probably is helpful at some level. There's a recent thread somewhere on here about visualization that covers this topic somewhat.
 

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I've never tried one and don't know how well they work or what anyone thinks about them, but there is this gizmo called the E-sax Practice Mute that more or less wraps around the horn while you play. It contains most of the sound while you listen to yourself with earphones. Again, I know only that they exist and some folks who can't play loud much apparently use and appreciate them. But they are pricey! Welcome to the world of sax playing and the dreaded GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)!

And no problem with the MMA, it's just been shaped by a less than flattering public image because of a relatively few nut jobs and the promoters who get behind "blood sports" of all kinds. I did martial arts as a young man and my brother is a 7th degree black belt in Hop Ki Do. There will always be a market for savagery, mostly people who have never been blooded. I shed enough of my own and other people's blood in my wasted younger years to know it for what it is. It's the character of the practitioner that makes the art what it is, not the art itself. ANY contact sport can be an arena for brutality, not just martial arts. End of sermon. LOL! I try not to take myself too seriously most of the time, Tapout.

Welcome to SOTW, a great lot of folks with vast and useful knowledge. Good luck and keep playing!
 

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I liked the other avatar better too. This one looks so ... tame.
I do not see no problem with blood sports, martial arts, Kenny G or many different religions and parties. There is enough planet for all kind of people.

Silent training ... is kinda boring me quickly.
There is nothing wrong with going through the motions slowly and silently. I do it all the time too - for practicing a run or lick I already played before for refining it, for getting the timing spot an, or to smoothing out a fingering issue.

I tested a friend's e-mute and I liked it a lot. If I did not have the opportunity to play freely 2-3 hours during daytime I'd get one for sure for playing in the evening or night hours.
All the moves, and most of the sound are there. You'll miss out on the bottom a bit as there is just not enough space inside for the bottom end to sound fully. They cost a bit though.
 

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Unless you get bored a lot less easily than I do, I can't imagine doing the silent thing often enough or long enough to become fluent at anything. Can't hurt, though.
 

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It takes a lot of mental discipline to practice away from the instrument (or to practice without making any sounds) but you may improve faster by doing this in conjunction with normal practice.

"“With the use of visualization, the mind actually teaches the body and the mind remembers what the body is more apt to forget. The mind visualizes what the body does in multi-dimensional fashion. It practices the fingerings and the notes, it hears the sound and the content, it feels the intention, the emotion, and the nuances of what is played. The body then follows suit. The body teaching the mind is actually a backward process and for this reason through the use of visualization we are able to learn more quickly. Wherever you have a difficult time mentally is where you will encounter problems playing on your instrument. Work it out mentally and you will no longer have these problems. With practice, whatever you are able to visualize you will then be able to play” - Jerry Bergonzi

Being an MMA fighter I'm sure you know a lot about mental discipline and focus. If you play jazz, this is an article about practicing visualization.

http://jazzadvice.com/visualization-for-jazz-improvisation/

I would add to this article that not only visualizing notes but also imagining the sound of your instrument playing the notes would go a long way... As Bergonzi describes. There are a lot of parallels between this concept and what Rascher describes as "the ear of the mind".
 
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