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How do you do on a daily basis to warm up and for how long? (seeking serious responses)
 

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1926 Buescher TT Alto, 1936 Holton Revelation Tenor, 1954 Holton 271 Bari
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Being a high school player without transportation (meaning taking my sax home every day isn't an option), I usually only have time in the day to play my horn during the school hours allotted. That being said, I have perhaps 5-10 minutes of warm-up time before class actually begins. While I am not anywhere near being considered professional, I am reasonably proud of my ability on the horn. Obviously though i am nowhere near as qualified as many on this board.

Anyway, I start my warm-ups with just that: warming up the horn. For that, I put in a good few minutes of long tones, usually in the low register, to blow warm air through the horn, bringing it up to what I guess is the horn's "average playing heat". In my mind, if you're playing consistently, your horn will be at some higher temperature, even if only a little higher than room temperature. I try to get my horn to that point before trying to seriously tune, which follows my long tones.

After that, I do some octaves for flexibility, as well as to double check pitch.

Then if there's time I'll do one of the triplet/sixteenth note exercises I have lying around at a good clip to warm up my fingers so that when a run comes by I don't feel sluggish. This point is also when I begin to practice my articulations and tonguing speed.

It's a lot to cram into such a short warm-up interval for me, particularly since I know in the back of my head I ought to be devoting more time to specific parts of this sequence. But, I find just doing what I can helps me very much. I always wish I had more time to devote to playing, but that's why I have a free period following my band class.
 

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I shake out and stretch my arms and hands while a I soak a reed in my mouth. Then I relax one hand while I use the fingers of the other to push down on the 2nd knuckle of each finger several times (maybe 64 times for each finger) (
). This gets the blood flowing in the one hand while loosening up the joints in the other. Then I repeat the process with the other hand. After that, I do key-click exercises, practicing one finger at a time on the horn, closing and opening the pad with the first finger in half-notes, quarter notes, 8ths, triplets, 16ths, etc. with a click track or music in the background. Then I leave the first finger closed and move on to the 2nd. The goal is to practice maintaining relaxed arms and hands, moving only the finger you are trying to move (eliminating excess motion from the rest of the arm/hand and other fingers), not lifting the finger from the pearls of the horn when you open the pad, and trying to always move the finger "digitally" (no pun intended), from open to closed and vice versa with no in-between time. This ensures clean technique, no matter the speed of your notes.

After a few months of doing the key-click drill with careful attention, you can pretty much put it on auto pilot and read saxontheweb or watch TV while you do it.

When I finish the key-clicks, I put the reed on the horn, push some air through the thing and BS for a couple seconds, and then hit a long-tone drill. The vast majority of the time, I do the first 4 bars of this one: http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/sax_warmup.pdf
I'll usually throw in some tone matching drills with overtones, maybe play an F scale all on overtones or something.

After that, I play my major scales full-range with the metronome: each one in 8ths and then in 16ths, redoing the ones that are somewhat sloppy several times in 8th notes and proceeding when they are clean in 16ths. Then I do the "Bergonzi chop buster" Mike Cesati posted up here (http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?129832-Bergonzi-chop-buster) in 16ths, starting on high B to high F# and going down through the range of the horn. I finish with scales in 7th chords in 3 variations... just like the regular scales, I practice these in 8ths first, then 16ths.

All told, this is about 1.5 hours if I go through everything carefully, though I may be making noise for only 15-45 minutes of it depending on how nit-picky I'm being (aka how much time I have). This is also my "base" practice routine. If I don't have time for more than this, I still feel like I've done a day's practicing because I've targeted most of my fundamental skills. After this comes sight-reading drills, then slow improv, then improv at tempo. These days I rarely have time for all of that, though the summer should get much better. Sad to say, I feel I get more "advanced" practice on the gig than in the shed right now, so I have to make sure I'm covering my fundamentals at home. Also, after my warm-up is done, if I have to learn tunes for a gig, they may take precedence over all other things. Sometimes I have to bite the bullet and skip the warm-up, too. Priorities suck!

EDIT: uploaded a video to youtube detailing one of my finger drills. It's hard to type out and explain it, but video makes it easy.
 

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I do a couple of long tones to get comfy with the reed and my sound and pick a scale or chord that I feel needs work.
I do Kelly Bucheger's ( member hereon sotw) routine with the scale , playing all the triads usually not in triplets but in eight notes which gives it a nice rythmic displacement of the triads.
I use Rascher's book to , pick one type of chord or inversion and play it all over the horn.
In fact that is the only book I really seem to use lately.
 

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Some very nice stuff here--thank you for posting the question and to everyone else for responding. DanPerezSax I love that you posted a video to illustrate what you were talking about. It definitely makes a lot more sense to see it.
 

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Warm up routine for the 'Busy Mom'....

Wet reed while assembling instrument.
Adjust reed on mouthpiece.
Run through the Bb concert with thirds and arpeggio once.
Dig in to what ever HAS to be worked on for that concert/show.
Feel lucky if the practice session lasts at least 20 minutes. :)
 

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First I run a chromatic scale from low Bb to high F and back down to make sure there are no problems with the horn I'm playing. Then I like to run all major scales the full range of the horn up and down. then the diatonic 7 chords up and down for each major scale. I usually alternate this around the circle of fourths and chromatically day to day. Then I start working on the project for the day, what ever that may be.
 

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Ok. My serious answer is I check tuning in three octaves and do a quick run with a g# in to catch a sticky pad. That's it. Showtime.
 

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Ok. My serious answer is I check tuning in three octaves and do a quick run with a g# in to catch a sticky pad. That's it. Showtime.
LOL. Sounds like my gig warm-up. I try to make sure I've practiced all my stuff during the day before a gig, but sometimes that doesn't work out. On a gig, I'll wet the reed, maybe do my finger warm-ups, visually check G#, Eb, C#, etc. and run some sandpaper through the sticky ones, blow some random notes, and that's it. I HATE hearing guys shed before a gig.
 

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My serious answer is I just start playing, working on whatever it is I want to work on at the time. The warmup happens naturally, no matter what I play. One caveat is I won't start in immediately on something that has been giving me a lot of difficulty; rather I'll play something that I can get around on the horn. If you're asking about warming up for a gig, it's usually just making sure the reed is wet and the horn is working properly. I'll run a few phrases over in the corner of the club.

My less-serious answer is a question: Is that you in your avatar? :)
 

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Personally I think apart from some long tones and scale warm ups checking all pads are OK most of the warm up and preparation is in the mind. It sounds hippyish but when you focus the mind, clear it of everything and become nice and relaxed that's better than any warm up exercise.

Practice is a different matter, that's where you do your technical work, but warm up before a gig is more mind over matter. You've done all the other stuff in the shed, time to clear the mind and let it flow.
 

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Here's my warm up exercise. Basically, I go through the entire range of the horn to loosen up. Sometimes I can get the dog to sing more than she did on this video.
 

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It really depends upon the day. One thing I've noticed is that my sound is better and more even when the neck of the instrument is quite warm to the touch. Until then it's best to just play through her until that happens. And no, laying it in the sun or by some element of heat is not the same lol.

Harv
 

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My warm-up is more mental than physical. I usually start the day with a 30-minute ride on the exercise bike while I run the melody and chord changes through my mind in as many keys as possible to whatever tune it is I plan to practice later. That helps me center my focus, which to me is the most important element of warming-up. Beyond that, the sax, embouchure, and fingers warm up in the first few minutes of practice, as long as I don't have to go on the reed search.

Randy
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Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
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Short Improv ~5mins
Overtones 10 mins
Misc Bach (Violin/flute partitas) 15 mins
Overtones 10 mins
Chromatic Scale in 2nds/Maj3rds 15 mins

Warm-up done....
That's the first practise session of the day...
 

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Dan Zinn has a great PDF of the warm ups tech stuff he gives his kids to play. 32 pages. Plus he suggests how to allocate your time. K
 

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first i start out with practicing my longtones, starting on middle Bb and going down in the Eb apreggio. I do this full range, and when i get back down to middle Bb again, i do it on the F# arpeggio. I do this full range and then do the Bb arpeggio. After i'm finished that, i do the same exercise, only this time I bend the note as much as possible at varying speeds. After I'm done that, I practice the overtone series both normally and also with the note bending. this takes me about 15 minutes, and my tone has significantly benefited from these exercises.
 
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