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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm coming into my senior year in high school and I really want to make the district and all-state band. My junior year I made all-county but I got first-alternate at district on alto sax. Friends of mine who are music majors highly recommend taking private lessons. The issue is that I'm unable to legally drive and won't be until after the district band auditions are held. What practice method/ routine would you recommend me doing.

The requirements for District Band are:
Concert D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db and Chromatic scales
Selected Studies for Saxophone- Voxman A Major Andante
Sight-reading

I have all the major scales memorized and half of the natural minor scales memorized. I practice almost everyday with long tones, overtones, articulation exercises with metronome, and etudes from the Selected Studies book.
 

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If you have funds but no wheels, plenty of people teach by skype, Tim Price, Greg Fishman, etc, but if you have
no funds and no wheels, that makes it more difficult:), where do you live?
 

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There are online lessons..people using Skype and things like that. I'm no expert since I have never looked into the details but they are available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I currently live in Cameron, NC, which is close to Fort Bragg. The lessons available are all in Fayetteville, which is at least a 45 minute drive. I also have no funds either. :(
 

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I have all the major scales memorized and half of the natural minor scales memorized. I practice almost everyday with long tones, overtones, articulation exercises with metronome, and etudes from the Selected Studies book.
Make sure you understand the specific requirements (range, tempo, articulations, the order of key signatures) with the scales.

I coach students every year for Florida's equivalents of these ensembles, and I've judged the auditions several times in my local district. What I see far too often is a complete meltdown in sight reading. Make sure you're working on that every single time you practice.

Other than that, identify your weak points and make them stronger.
 

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The issue is that I'm unable to legally drive and won't be until after the district band auditions are held.
Does your band director offer free private lessons at school? You can progress far studying with a non-saxophonist, if he/she is a competent musician. Alternatively, can you get a ride to lessons?

The requirements for District Band are:
Concert D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db and Chromatic scales
Selected Studies for Saxophone- Voxman A Major Andante
Sight-reading
Practice your scales slowly and make them sound beautiful. Can you acquire previous years' sight-reading material? If so, study and practice these examples to identify similarities and potential pitfalls (first sight-read each exercise, then analyze your playing and fix your mistakes). Practice the étude slowly and focus on nuance and musicality; memorize it. Perform it for others and ask them to criticize your playing (e.g. your band director, other musicians, your family, your friends, your foes, etc.).

I have all the major scales memorized and half of the natural minor scales memorized. I practice almost everyday with long tones, overtones, articulation exercises with metronome, and etudes from the Selected Studies book.
It sounds like you're off to a good start. Regarding études, perhaps sacrifice breath for depth. That is, focus on the single étude required for the audition. Listen to your own playing and identify what could sound better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Make sure you understand the specific requirements (range, tempo, articulations, the order of key signatures) with the scales.

I coach students every year for Florida's equivalents of these ensembles, and I've judged the auditions several times in my local district. What I see far too often is a complete meltdown in sight reading. Make sure you're working on that every single time you practice.

Other than that, identify your weak points and make them stronger.
I'm great at sight reading. I have to say my weak point is tonguing high D to F with the sound projecting fully/
 

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Perform it for others and ask them to criticize your playing (e.g. your band director, other musicians, your family, your friends, your foes, etc.).
Post a recording here. You'll get all kinds of feedback.
 

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No local teachers? Set up your own studio and charge $60 ph.

But seriously: posting a recording here isn't a bad idea at all if you've got the hide of a rhinoceros (which would be a good thing to develop if you haven't). Also, there are some very perceptive and experienced listeners here for all styles of sax music.
 

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One of the things I did when I was in highschool....I just didn't give a crap about the competitions..I took my time and worked the hell out of my sound. I couldn't afford a teacher other, so I just read what I could online, hung out with some of the cats from the local college (william Paterson uni) and soaked what I could. For a long time I just did long tones for damn near 5 hours a day. My advice is, F the whole competition thing, just work on your own thing and when you go to a competition, then let it be showing where you actually are as opposed to you worked for this competition. Same time, I don't feel that I'm that good anyway, hence the 5 hour thing.....
 

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One of the things I did when I was in highschool....I just didn't give a crap about the competitions..I took my time and worked the hell out of my sound. I couldn't afford a teacher other, so I just read what I could online, hung out with some of the cats from the local college (william Paterson uni) and soaked what I could. For a long time I just did long tones for damn near 5 hours a day. My advice is, F the whole competition thing, just work on your own thing and when you go to a competition, then let it be showing where you actually are as opposed to you worked for this competition. Same time, I don't feel that I'm that good anyway, hence the 5 hour thing.....
I'll agree that it isn't about competition. However, such events do allow you to meet other great musicians that you would not have met otherwise, and this is a great way to learn in of itself.

If you're looking for quick advice fast, post a video of your playing on Youtube, and link the video here. There are a ton of people, on the forum, who would be willing to help.
 
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