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MrBlueNote! I gave you the first half dozen pages of the Sequence Project last year!!! Did you ever look at that stuff? Did you ever work out the Circular licks/Sequence over a pedal point on page 9? I heard some gitar whacker quote that sh!+ over the blues the other day... I laughed so hard!
I looked at it. :mrgreen:

No doubt it will be very beneficial for me to practice that stuff, but I'm still working on more basic things right now - scales, arpeggios, actually playing in tune, and how not to sound like I'm farting through the horn. The three note game and the sequences you were kind enough to share with me are something I plan on working on when I feel ready.

Great review of the Blues Fest, btw. My Dad and Uncle were in town, so I was busy doing fam stuff, but your posts always inspire me to get back into the shed.
 

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I've just finished mixing down a 2 cd thing we recorded in Brooklyn 3 weeks ago for a new boxed set of my work which I will issue in about 2 months; we have one session in the can with Ken Peplowski, another with Steve Swell and Bobby Zankel, Randy Sandke and Lewis Porter; and a women's project with Lisa Parrott. 5 cds of new stuff recorded in the last year, plus another 2 of reissued things I did from 1992-2010 with Marc Ribot, Doc Cheatham, David Murray, Julius Hemphill, Roswell Rudd, etc. The recent Brooklyn session is from a oddball Trane thing we did at Lincoln Center a few months back called A Love Supine: A Dixieland Love Supreme.
 

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Just finished memorizing Four Brothers.....We thought it would be fun to stand out front without music. That will be Sunday night.
 

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Let us/me know how that camp goes for you. I graduated UMSL in 1980 and played in Bob Kubans band among others. goos luck K
It went pretty well. I had to play in Paul DeMarinis' combo, so no pressure ;-)

Great experience and I got a lot of great feedback.

It was a little weird playing with a rhythm section that was collectively younger than me but not in an uncomfortable way.

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Good bait in 12 keys through the cycle. Transposing Coltrane’s in a sentimental mood by ear. Working major arps thru the cycle in various ways - using bill plake’s patterns for inspiration today.
 

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Sonny Rollins Omnibook. If it's possible, I believe he's underrated. The guy could weave in and out of tonal centers like no one's business. I'm learning a lot (I hope).
 

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1) Getting down the Major, Nat. Minor, Harm. Minor, and Blues scales in all 12 keys across the full range of the horn (the Blues scales in some of the more extreme keys still trip me up).

2) Patterns for Jazz, both the as-written exercises, and playing with the recommended ascending/descending exercises (I'm currently on the Major 7th chords).

3) Long tones. In particular I'm working on the vibrato exercise from Taming the Saxophone.

4) Preparing Misty for an audition in August (supposed to play a prepared piece of minimum 32 bars).
 

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(the Blues scales in some of the more extreme keys still trip me up).
How do you define an 'extreme key?' If by extreme, you mean difficult, here's a little tip: No key is more difficult than another, but some are more unfamiliar if you avoid them. So you're on the right track playing all those scales and exercises in all 12 keys!
 

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I remember Paul De Marines. I took a lesson from him before I escaped St Louis. I brought an omnibook to the lesson and played a couple of parker solos for him. He said just learn the book by memory and you'll get improvisation. I didn't but he was right. I'll never forget some guy from north texas saying the same thing. Learn two or three pages out of the omnibook by memory and you'll play well. Today was lots of diatonic arpgeggios, V7s in all inversions, and alt scale V7 b5 resolving to I minor. Big deal in the last month was getting everything to MM 60 for 16ths. (actually 120 but feeling the 60 pulse) so thats fast. Some stuff good, some a mess. But im gonna fight until I get it right K
It went pretty well. I had to play in Paul DeMarinis' combo, so no pressure ;-)

Great experience and I got a lot of great feedback.

It was a little weird playing with a rhythm section that was collectively younger than me but not in an uncomfortable way.

Sent from my LGUS997 using Tapatalk
 

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How do you define an 'extreme key?' If by extreme, you mean difficult, here's a little tip: No key is more difficult than another, but some are more unfamiliar if you avoid them. So you're on the right track playing all those scales and exercises in all 12 keys!
Yeah, mostly on the more uncommon keys that you never, ever see on alto (B, C#, F#, and Ab in particular). Which also have a friggen' ton of sharps and flats. :p
 

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Yeah, mostly on the more uncommon keys that you never, ever see on alto (B, C#, F#, and Ab in particular). Which also have a friggen' ton of sharps and flats. :p
Are you speaking concert B, C#, etc, or 'alto key?' And never say never, but please let me know if you are speaking of concert key before I comment further on how rare those keys are.

A ton of sharps or flats may be more difficult to read, but they aren't more difficult to play (for ex, a C# or F# is just as easy to finger as C & F natural).
 

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Are you speaking concert B, C#, etc, or 'alto key?' And never say never, but please let me know if you are speaking of concert key before I comment further on how rare those keys are.

A ton of sharps or flats may be more difficult to read, but they aren't more difficult to play (for ex, a C# or F# is just as easy to finger as C & F natural).
Yes, I mean transposed (20-odd years of only ever playing an instrument in Eb, with occasional doubling in Bb I naturally think of the major key before concert).

And yeah, I realize the individual fingerings are easy, but for me it's uncommon patterns I'm not used to playing. And occasionally thinking of weird names like Cb and having to remind myself, "Oh wait..." Ab - Cb - Db - D - Eb - Gb - Ab just looks ugly in my head, and jumping Eb to Gb feels awkward under my fingers. Working them definitely helps (and that's why I'm doing them) but it definitely is taking me both physical AND mental shedding to get it down.
 

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Yes, I mean transposed (20-odd years of only ever playing an instrument in Eb, with occasional doubling in Bb I naturally think of the major key before concert).
Ok, got it. Those keys (on alto: B, C#, F#, Ab), aside from the last one, are actually common, especially if you ever play the blues or R&B with a guitar player. Transposed to concert key, those keys are: D, E, A, B, respectively. D, E & A are all commonly played keys. Guitarists regularly play in E and A. If you ever go to a blues jam, you better have E and A (again, concert) down cold. But you'll also need many of the other keys as well.

As to a blues scale like Ab-Cb-Db, etc, you can use the enharmonic spelling in your head (Ab-B-C#, etc, while fully understanding that 'B' is the b3) if you find it easier to visualize. Eventually you won't have to think about each individual note at all, which is where you want to be. It all gets easier with practice, so you're on the right track.

By the way, even if you never play in the key of B, you will encounter B chords in other keys. And various licks & patterns based on that chord, as well. So yeah, you need to practice and learn to play in all 12 keys.

p.s. Just to get a bit pedantic, when you say you are thinking of the 'major key' it took me a minute to figure out what you mean. "Major key" usually means the tonic center is in a major key, such as "C major." Yet you seem to mean the alto key. It's really important to get this terminology straight when trying to communicate, simply to avoid confusion.
 

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Yeah, blaming that on the band directors where I went to school. Every time they went to tune us they asked us altos to, "Play your G major" so it's just kind of stuck and old habits are hard to break. :p
 

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Just spent 4 days at the 31st annual Waterfront Blues Festival here in Poortland, Orygun. They say it's the biggest festival west of the Mississippi. Maybe Chicago is bigger and the Heritage fest in NOLA is for sure. Over a 100 bands, 1000 musicians, 4 stages... right downtown, in a big natural grass bowl facing the river, with views of snow capped Mt. Hood in the distance. 10 minutes from home. Unreal great weather, spectacular views of the river & bridges, scantily clad women dancing. I poured on sunscreen and still got a nice tan!

It was great to take some days off from my routine. Yesterday I had to take a day off from 4 days of getting baked inside and out. Can't wait to pick up the horn again. Got my horn out and strapped on a reed yesterday, but took a nap instead. I have been going to this thing since 1987 and survived two 5 day festivals! 4 days is about the maximum any music fan can take. On paper it looks like fun, back to back to back great artists! But it takes an amount of energy to pay attention, listen and experience an hour performance.

Most if not all of the sets were on fire and the emotional climaxes that many of these artists ended their performance with, would leave any music fan fulfilled. Normally I would would walk out of a club or concert, thinking wow that was great, and get to digest what I experienced. But here you turn around and there are at least two other stages starting up again. There were a few name-brand groups that i just couldn't get to, and some bands that I only watched half a set, then went off to another stage to see something I didn't want to miss.

End of the first 10 hour day I was already sonically abraded and emotionally pummeled. The last days line up was packed back to back great shows. You would think that it would be hard to burn out on listening to music, but I ODed. I didn't drink anything but water, brought a bunch of good food... just to survive! Like I said, I had to take a day off to nap yesterday.

A couple observations; There are a bunch of horrible saxophone players working in touring bands. Sometimes it's embarrassing. I mean I feel bad for them to get up in front of a huge audience and suck. There were just as many horrible guitar players too... sorry I won't go there. It seemed to me that best 5 or 6 sax players were all local PDX cats. The worst set was the closing headliner, George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Talking to blues fans, everyone was really excited to see these guys. I saw George Thorogood at Fillmore West in '69 or '70... and I thought he was a horrible joke back then. The noise that they made for the "intro" to the first tune was not recognizable as being musical or even in a key system. All I could take was a couple songs. The first tenor solo was so lame and obnoxious, I had to leave! I went to see Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. As I walked away, Old George, finished destroying and tune said; "I'm so full of Bull S&!#... that sometimes even I don't believe it!" At least he is honest.

There ain't no party line a Chubby party! haha They were just crushing it, with hundreds of people on a real dance floor. The first dozen or so years, I didn't know anything about Zydeco or the Cajun and Creole culture. I didn't really like Zydeco, it all sounded the same, but six years ago I heard Chubby and some other Louisiana Road House bands like Cory Ledet & his Zydeco Band, Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express and Dexter Ardoin and the Creole Ramblers. Seriously Badd juke-joint groove merchants!

One of my favorite "touring bands" was a group called Motet, whose groove intensive set really seemed to connect with the audience in the same way, but in a modern funk genre. Still, there were local musicians featured in combinations that we don't normally see at gigs... who I would stack up with any of the national touring groups. We are so lucky to have a great music scene here. Please don't move here though.

Dan... our buddy Keith Ridenhour, started a thread a couple years ago, about playing root third seventh in every key, in different combinations. I used his idea of playing C E Bb (C7), in some kind of rhythmic package... for two beats or four beats... mix up the order of notes, invert the intervals. You know, up and down chromatically, around the circle both ways, up and down in whole steps, minor thirds, major thirds.

I remembered you talking about transposing licks and motifs into every key... you said, short or shorter motifs are easier to learn and play, easier to put into general improvisational use... than some convoluted four bar Breckerism. I don't remember if Keith called them 3 note games, or if it was me sheding on the pedestrian over-crossing over the interstate. Man, I can make all the horrible noise I want out there, and watch the automotive circus. haha

Three notes is pretty short. I guess I could think of a two note motif... but wouldn't it just be a tritone? ... because any other intervals would just sound consonant, parallel and not "progressive", as in function towards resolution. Unless that is a sound color effect you want to paint with.

I want to say; Listen to my Chris Potter bootleg, that I made at Kuumbwa Jazz Center a couple years ago... ALL will be revealed... as it was to me. haha Dood, I know YOU have ears!

Where do I start to explain? When the bottom fell out of the real estate market during the depression, I lost my contracting business, cabinet shop, house, garage full of toys, guitars and horns. So, right now I stay in a pretty cool place. It is small, so that most of my "Stuff" is in deep storage. I don't have to take care of anything so I can travel, go and come back whenever I want. I'm living on $1,100 a month... not that high on the hog. As long as nothing goes wrong, I can fake being normal.

So, i broke a rocker arm on my 44 year old truck coming back from a jam in the middle of the night two weeks ago. My engine is in a hundred piece and am waiting on my machinist to rebuild my head. It will prolly run for another 44 years... I won't. My crappy cell phone died, one thing after another has disintegrated in slow motion right in front of me. So far this year, one of my friends has passed away every month. Just got another e-mail in July... Hey, did you hear about Henry? You know it's not good when they start like that.

I'm typing on the 3rd nice MacBook laptop that someone has given me. None of them will run a current browser, so they will only load pages from sites with no flash players or old software like this forum. Can't load Facebook, craigslist and the worst for me is I can't get to NoteFlight. I have been transcribing my notebooks and writing tunes online, because it's free. It's cool because it will play back what I write.

I wish I could get to NoteFlight, so I could post links to my notebook examples and sequence stuff... you should be able to hear the notation with their player. A writer friend bought a new MacBook Air, but for some reason it is not working out, so she got different machine. I'm supposed to inherit the new Mac, but like I said, truck is in pieces or I would have a computer that will let me work online.

I have begun to write examples of ways to sequence any kind of scale, and ways to "manufacture" patterns/motifs used to sequence. It came out of conversations with a guitar player i grew up with, who has lived in London for 40 years. i got tired of him asking me; "What are you working on?" So I tried to go back to remember how I got to where I am now. I'd just bury him with page of examples...

MrBlueNote! I gave you the first half dozen pages of the Sequence Project last year!!! Did you ever look at that stuff? Did you ever work out the Circular licks/Sequence over a pedal point on page 9? I heard some gitar whacker quote that sh!+ over the blues the other day... I laughed so hard!

This "bury them with material must have backfired"... my friend never really worked any of the stuff out... after I spent hours trying to organize the material for him. I guess he realized pretty quickly that you have to actually shed this stuff for it to pay off. It's all in one key, so it's up to you to transpose. Too much like endless work unless you have a reason to add the material to your internal melodic/lick library.

Another thing is that I'm in this for the long haul. I don't particularly want to work as a musician or even perform... got it our of my system in my 20's. I learn, experiment and understand how to apply things at my own pace. I'm pretty happy as long as i get to play every day and chop away at tunes. My friend probably thought... wow, it's going to take me a year to learn each page!!!

Which was probably about right. The thing is... I sent this stuff to him ten years ago... like I gave MrQnote pages last year... have you finished Page 1 yet Bub? In ten years he could have worked my first ten pages out. I did.

I think the reason I failed, was not getting Git Wacker to understand the reason to work out sequences, is not to learn impressive lines... but to open your ears up... make your mind's ear identify intervals autonomically. I'm hoping someday soon to catch up to the things I'm writing in my notebook and working on right now, entered into NoteFlight notation.

So regarding the tritone pairs and triad pairs; it's a compositional device that you want to know about. Not the nuts and bolts of the patterns and their variations. Patterns is patterns is patterns. They sound like patterns... just like playing Breckerisms make you sound like some fool who worked real hard to sound like Brecker. The "Glue" that holds that patterns together is sequences, and the trick to making melodic lines that don't sound like obvious patterns, is a working knowledge of what I would call functional devices.

As in Slonimsky, play pattern forward, retrograde, inverted and retrograde inversions... then sequence those variations of the pattern using any kind of scale or scale/chord... finally if you have enough space in time like a one chord funk groove... sequence the sequences.

That's the $100 sax lesson right there Bubba! Give me some time to get on NoteFlight.

I'm working on being poor... and living a life money can't buy. I stand on the over crossing where thousand of people who are driving to work on the freeway see Tenorcat playing the horn...
Anybody mind if I upload the Encyclopedia Britannica to this post?

So many bad sax players you'd almost think you were at a blues festival, right?

Never swore by woodshedding. Seems the best way to make playing a chore or bore yourself with it. Playing along with Band-in-a-Box, or just reading fake book melodies and varying the keys works for me (Bb, C, and Eb books all played with tenor/soprano and alto). Last things I want be playing and listening to are scales or dim and 1/2 dim runs. I hear that enough when I go out to dinner clubs.

I practice long tones, low volume (ask me about my sax mute), and vibrato for a few minutes just to relax and establish control. Then I play tunes I want to hear that day.
 

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Giant Steps. Note for note. I'm getting old. Of all the things I really want to do before I die, I've actually started this project and staying with it. Made it my New Year's Project. Got about the first 65 bars of the first solo fairly clean at about 132 bpm. I know there are many here who can play it cold. It's going to take me months and months more. It's no big deal and doesn't mean anything to anyone else, but it is improving some aspects of my playing in general. And occasionally, just occasionally, some parts sound just like record. Really. And I think - "yeah." That is all.
 

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Yeah, blaming that on the band directors where I went to school. Every time they went to tune us they asked us altos to, "Play your G major" so it's just kind of stuck and old habits are hard to break. :p
I understand. However, if they were asking you to play the note "G" on a sax, the term 'major' is meaningless. Unless they are asking for a G major scale or chord arpeggio. I know, more pedantry. But, to stay on topic, whenever working on something, it's important to know exactly what you are doing, at least most of the time.

Anyway, be sure to keep working on all 12 keys, even the ones you think you'll never play in. I guarantee you when you get up on a bandstand at a jam sometime and you have one or two 'weak' keys, the first key called will be one of those.

One tip that is very useful is to learn the scale degrees for all 12 major scales by assigning a number to each note (for ex, in C maj, C=1, D=2, E=3, F=4 etc). To the point you can immediately recall every scale degree in all 12 keys. For ex, the '6' in C is an A, or the 4 in F# is B, the 7 in A is G#, etc. Using numerals in this way will make transposing much easier and also help visualize intervals and other relationships. Yet another thing to work on...
 
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