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I'm sorry if this question sounds stupid...i know scales are important, but more importantly is to "understand" them rather than "memorizing " as i had read in this forum/.... wat do u mean by understanding a scale? How do u apply it in saxophone playing? My teacher always tells me to play scale like it's music...what does it mean?
 

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There is another thread somewhere around here on scales, but the search feature isn't so great, so I will glafly chime in. :)

To play something musically is to play more than just the notes. 'Phrasing' is playing the shape of the line... if you are playing an ascending line of notes it is common to increase the volume as you reach the peak of the scale and decrease the volume as you go back down.

You can also apply lots of different articulation patterns to your scales, such as slur two, tongue two (tee-ah tu tu, tee-ah tu tu...) or tongue one slur three (tu tee-ah-ah, tu tee-ah-ah...)

For me, 'understanding' a scale means knowing which tones are the color tones (the tones that give the scale its particular sound) and knowing the notes that 'resolve' to the color tones. By resolve I mean going from F to E in the Cmajor scale. This is the familiar "ah-men" sound.

Etudes are useful in learning difficult or unfamiliar fingering patterns, playing in all keys, and especially for working on articulation and dynamics... the stuff that makes music sound musical. Think of scales as stretching your body before excercise; think of etudes as various workout or yoga routines. As standalone activities they may be boring or monotonous, but they all lead to a more healthy body and life. :)
 

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Scales of course are essential study,all future studies,performances,will call on a fluent understanding,of scales. scales,to chords,basic theory,modes.the early work is very important,foundation for continuing study,its all work,with the basics in place the reward will be exciting,getting to see how the music is put together,a good teacher is key to this.a step at a time,and certainly people on this forum will help.its a lifetime of work, enjoy.......
 

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Wendy said:
wat do u mean by understanding a scale? How do u apply it in saxophone playing?
we live thru our eyes, it's work to learn to trust the world thru our ears.
paper music folks get all caught up in laws and dress codes.
to understand music means to be comfortable hearing and recognizing, then, just as you think and speak, bring a musical thought into manifestation.

it starts here...you can recognize a cat meow, a dog bark, a car horn without seeing it, and that sound gets a brain reaction without having to filter thru the red tape of the intellect process...doing those note patterns is supposed to gain the same ability as recognizing a cat meow...then you shape your mouth and push air and you mimic a cat to everyone's amusement.

if you hear a cat meow and can't figure out what it is yet, then try harder or quit on cats. if you're playing all kinds of scales and not gaining recognition and mastery, go back to cats.

I think it's cruel not to be honest.
 

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modre said:
we live thru our eyes, it's work to learn to trust the world thru our ears.
paper music folks get all caught up in laws and dress codes.
to understand music means to be comfortable hearing and recognizing, then, just as you think and speak, bring a musical thought into manifestation.

it starts here...you can recognize a cat meow, a dog bark, a car horn without seeing it, and that sound gets a brain reaction without having to filter thru the red tape of the intellect process...doing those note patterns is supposed to gain the same ability as recognizing a cat meow...then you shape your mouth and push air and you mimic a cat to everyone's amusement.

if you hear a cat meow and can't figure out what it is yet, then try harder or quit on cats. if you're playing all kinds of scales and not gaining recognition and mastery, go back to cats.

I think it's cruel not to be honest.
um, what?
 

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Rowka said:
um, what?
you hear a flurry of notes and recognize it as a 4ths pattern or a diminished pattern...and then you regurgitate it right back at them instantly as if you were conversing in your native tongue...hopefully you have something intelligent to contribute beyond musical masturbation.

you tend to play what you practiced, so the trick is to stay fresh and chase the ideas that run thru your head rather than tired worn patterns.

next question?
 

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thanx ehrgie, thanx for Jim Snidero reference, it will definitely help me
 
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