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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...
Yeah, the scales are part of my daily warmup routine. I practice them in a rotation going by 5ths since I don't have time to do all 12 keys every day (especially since I'm working 4 scales in each key). Day 1: G D A E. Day 2: B F# C# Ab. Day 3 Eb Bb F C. Day 4-6 repeats the pattern. I then have my weekly lesson on Day 7. Seems to be working well enough for me so far with my limited practice time.
 

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Great thread, all these replies crack me up and inspire me. Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks that Silencer is like blowing through a clogged filter... So I keep blowing.
 

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Yeah, the scales are part of my daily warmup routine. I practice them in a rotation going by 5ths since I don't have time to do all 12 keys every day (especially since I'm working 4 scales in each key). Day 1: G D A E. Day 2: B F# C# Ab. Day 3 Eb Bb F C. Day 4-6 repeats the pattern. I then have my weekly lesson on Day 7. Seems to be working well enough for me so far with my limited practice time.
Regarding the cycle of 5ths, what you're doing is just fine in terms of learning the scales. However, keep in mind that most progressions* move in the opposite direction; the cycle of 4ths:

C F Bb Eb Ab Db F# B E A D G

So if you are playing a pattern around the cycle, that's a more practical direction to take it.

* For example, a ii V I progression: Dmin G7 C, or iii VI ii V: Emin A7 Dmin G7, etc, have root movement through part of the cycle of 4ths.
 

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Regarding the cycle of 5ths, what you're doing is just fine in terms of learning the scales. However, keep in mind that most progressions* move in the opposite direction; the cycle of 4ths:

C F Bb Eb Ab Db F# B E A D G

So if you are playing a pattern around the cycle, that's a more practical direction to take it.

* For example, a ii V I progression: Dmin G7 C, or iii VI ii V: Emin A7 Dmin G7, etc, have root movement through part of the cycle of 4ths.
This is why I run the 1-2-3-5 pattern through in 4ths over and over again and in all octaves.
 

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I'm working on the Adolf Sandole Craft of Jazz Series, Book Two - Journeyman. He has an excellent curriculum for developing harmonic listening skills that work well for monophonic players (like US!). He gives a lot of 8 measure exercises that approach a specific harmonic concept, and then requires that the student play each in 12 keys. Each assignment is meant to take one week. The Journeyman book is designed to take 2 years.

Adolf was the brother of Dennis Sandole who was Coltrane's teacher for many years. I'm looking for people who are down to try shedding some of the Sandole exercises with in the Philly Area. A buddy of mine (bass player) is putting a project together inspired by Sandole's work, with hopefully an Album coming in the next 6 months.
 

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Lately I'm trying to utilize and better understand non-diatonic options during improvisation. Things like altered extensions, borrowing chords from parallel major/minor key, tritone subs, secondary dominants/sub-dominants and diminished passing chords (all of which seem closely related and sometimes the same thing seen from a different perspective)

. Also working on articulation to give lines more fluidity, rhythmic interested, forward motion and emotion.
 

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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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My latest ballad....."Embraceable You" (Bbm) is proving to be a bit more of a struggle than I imagined it would be. I think part of it has to do with the switch from my King Cleveland to the 10M. The M seems to be a lot more free-blowing than the Cleveland, and I tend to prefer the resistance. I'm hoping the smaller piece I've got coming will help. Also, it's a real pinky workout, for me, which I guess is a good thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Update: I recently decided to make a concerted effort to learn to read better. I'm currently working through "Rhythms Complete" by Charles Colin and Bugs Bower.

I also began transcribing Tina Brooks' head and solo on "Street Singer":

".

Time to get off the '****r and hit the shed!
 

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No real change, here. Still working on long tones and trying to get to where I'm no longer trying to chew through my lip, as well as the vibrato exercises. And still working on scales (adding on the Dominant and Bebop scales to the Maj, Natural and Harmonic Min, and Blues) and patterns (particularly the 1-2-3-1-2-3-4-2... / 1-3-2-1-2-4-3-2... / 1-7-1-2-1-2... / 1-2-1-2-3-2... / 1-3-1-2-4-2... patterns for each major scale). I'm trying to get to the Aebersold ii-V7-I book but ugh there's so much I'm already working on, and I have so little time to fit it all in as it is. :-(
 
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