Home Alt Forums Saxophone Lessons 30 day challenge

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    Ok, i like this challenge. I’ll start tomorrow and record a video of very first attempt and then after 7 days i’ll repeat and record again and so on to the end. I’ll also write down of how much time i spent on practice every day. Let’s see if this can help me to play glissando properly.

    Good luck to all who will join on challenge.



    good for you Simon.
    well, it will help with a lot of things but playing that smooth glissando is definately one of them and something you can actually use in your song performances.


    Good for you Simon, i’ve only been playing nearly 6 yrs now, and i spent last year working through various techniques one of them the use of glissando’s.

    I found with glisandos, once you can play a glisando starting on a key, when you try a glisando on a new starting key, i ended up relearning how to play the glisando on each new key.

    To play a glisando in a major or minor key, helps if you can run up and down the major or minor scales with ease, as well as chromatic scales.
    Finaly the most frustrating thing with glisandos, you need to know all the alternative fingerings – some glisandos including fall offs are near impossible to play without using alternative fingering.

    thirty days is enough to master the basic technique of a glissando, but relax when trying them, months later and they will sound more natural.
    Bearing in mind there are a lot of different styles of playing glisandos, my favorite is to hold the first note a lot longer and then fall down quickly – the difficult bit being ending on a quieter note.


    Ok, here is first video. Recorded with phone-sorry for bad quality. After few days of practicing i’ll record again.



    excellent! Top tip, when you can play something with ease, like you’ve just demonstrated, don’t spend lots of time going over and over easy exercises, this will hold you back in the long run, from improving your technique. ie your playing wont improve.

    Clearly you can go up and down the sax from the bottom keys to the top keys, do this in the altissimo register (up to altissimo C), and when going up and down, make sure you use alternative keys for Bb, C, D, F# etc..

    You gain more from spending a lot of time practicing recorded exercises that demonstrate you struggling to play them properly.

    Here’s a useful exercise which you can do in any of the 12 major scales, to show ease of scale playing.

    eg C major scale

    1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 1 7 1 8 1 7 1 6 1 5 1 4 1 3 1 2 1
    2 3 2 4 2 5 2 6 2 7 2 8 2 7 2 6 2 5 2 4 2 3 2
    3 4 3 5 3 6 3 7 3 8 3 7 3 6 3 5 3 4 3
    4 5 4 6 4 7 4 8 4 7 4 6 4 5 4
    5 6 5 7 5 8 5 7 5 6 5
    6 7 6 8 6 7 6 8
    5 6 5 7 5 6 5 7
    4 5 4 6 4 5 4 6
    3 4 3 5 3 4 3 5
    2 3 2 4 2 3 2 4
    1 2 1 3 1 2 1 1

    try that starting on Low C going up to mid C.
    Then repeat starting on mid C going up to High C.
    Then repeat on High C going up to altissimo C.

    Try and play these three exercises in the following three different ways.

    1st way – put the sax down, close your eyes, try and visualise in your mind and play the exercise in your head, and try and see in your imagination what sax keys you are playing with your fingers. Try and see the exact position of the sax keys on the sax, and see what all your fingers and thumbs are doing for each note.

    2nd way – put the sax down, and pickup a very long ruler or wooden coat hanger and repeat the exercise pressing down on the ruler with your fingers. ie practice your fingers using the ruler instead of the sax and make sure you are lifting up and down the correct fingers. this exercise will show problem areas with your fingering.

    3rd way – play the sax.


    Hey James,

    I’can’t play altissimo C. Highest i can go is G sharp altissimo. But Altissimo is another story. My goal is to play chromatic scale smooth and at much higher speed. Yes, i know all of the fingering on sax or most of them, but i never put alot of practice time in chromatic scale. And as i would like to play full sounding glissando, i think this challenge is perfect to push myself to put more time in chromatic scale, speed, smooth fingering. So let’s see what can be achieved in 30 days. P.s.:Playing on recording is max speed i can do without skipping notes at this moment.
    Appreciate for your comment. Thanks.



    Hi Simon,
    if you are playing a glissando on a music sheet, don’t automatically assume you will be playing a chromatic glissando every time. Lots of the time you could just be playing a major scale glissando, also there maybe flats or sharps or naturals in the measure containing the glissando – so the glissando may contain them. Sometimes the keys you decide to play in the glissando may not sound nice and distort the melody – in which case you will have to miss out a few keys in the glissando. rule of thumb test out the glissando with a hearing test.

    The speed of the glissando can also dictate the practicality of how many keys you can possibly manage to play in the measure, without losing your timing.

    all good fun.

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