- This topic has 8 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 6 months ago by Anonymous.
February 2, 2016 at 12:55 am #31799Anonymous
What i find astounding is the lack of activity in this forum.
This is activity to improve your sound, finger technique & rhythmn.
Forget about wasting time comparing reeds, mouthpieces and thinking if i change reed or change mouthpiece i’m suddenly going to turn into Kenny G or John coltrane….. experimentation is fine, but not obsessive experimentation.
If there is something stopping you from playing by all means change the setup. But when you change the setup don’t expect cast changes in sound, just expect different changes in ease of playing.
Just imagine a band master standing around in front of the band waiting for little johnny to decided which reed to put on his mouthpiece, or waiting for little johnny to ferret around in his rucksack trying to decide which mouthpiece to play with, or even better little johnny asking everyone around to help him make up his mind. lol
JF’s daily practice routine will do all this for you, that you wont get from changing reeds, mouthpieces, cork grease, cleaning cloths, neck supports, playing with your partners dentures, changing glasses, dressing up in a different outfit, turning down the backing track, having a rant likd this… and going on smd on and on.
You will come to a point like i have, that you feel you have outgrown JF’s dsily practice routine.
Thats when you start to branch out into specific areas of playing, then you can start to incorporate specific practice routines to develop these areas.
This is the forum that i would like to hear more about what specific daily exercises people are doing? & why they are doing them?, and is it a waste of their time? or are they benifiting from it?
Your average kid with a sax, cant afford another mouthpiece, has to make do with the same box of iffy reeds – he still comes out top, better than me!
So come on.. what secret exercises are guys/gals doing that is the real improvements for your playing? and dont give me – playing with a metronome , i’ve heard that one before.
Perhaps JF you can bring out some more advanced daily sax exercises for us?February 2, 2016 at 4:12 am #31800DazzaParticipant
Hey sxpoet, I have been doing some things on a regular basis now that are starting to pay dividends. I make a point of picking any song with a nice melody and try to play a few bars by ear just humming the first two notes and finding the rest by ear. For instance, I was listening to Keith Urban’s – “You’re Not Alone Tonight” in the car on the way to my practice room at work which has a nice guitar intro (a great Aussie country rock singer that I actually went to high school with in 1981 – 84 though I never got an invite to the wedding!) and as a warm up worked out most of the verse and the chorus on the sax which was really cool. I was amazed at how I seemed to sense the intervals and wasn’t really focused so much on the name of the note but “feeling” for the sound. In another instance on the weekend I have been playing Auld Lang Syne in the key of C and happened to play two notes in succession and by chance recognised them as the first couple of notes of the tune but starting on a different note putting me in G and proceeded to play the entire tune in that key without any notation. This was freaky! I was just able to play the tune from start to finish by feel. I often practice by finding a pop song that I can work out the root note of and then just play around using the Pent scales doing little riffs etc and this is really cool fun. This is obviously helping to develop my ear and is leading into the skills needed for improvising I imagine. The structure of what i am doing is pretty ad-hoc and I have been wondering if JF may have a methodology around this type of exercise to take it to the next level. A bit of what I have been challenging myself with lately……..February 2, 2016 at 4:59 am #31808Anonymous
some good points there Dazza!
So this helps you to stay better in time with a track. Its equivalent of days gone by when players used to listen to a track, then sing in time to the track, and listening out for track changes while keeping the singing in time, and then getting the sax out and playing in time with the track changes (could be chord changes, of drum changes) ie if you hear the changes then you csn feel when you get behind or ahead, sort of keeps the head counting more accurately in time? Sort of playing in time to the singing in time to the track?February 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm #31831johnKeymaster
Really great to see such enthusiasm guys. The whole sax playing thing is a lot of different things that must come together. and just like the daily practice routine, we have to spread it around evenly, can’t just work on technique. some people like to labor over reeds, others (like me) can’t be bothered. I have sax player friends who have a drawer full of mouthpieces etc. incidentally, having a great mp still won’t help if all your reeds are unplayable.
But I hear you sxpoet. I don’t know how many people that bought the Daily Routine actually worked through it properly and for how long. I was hoping there would be some discussion in that forum about it and eventually I’d put together a 2nd one to vamp it up as necessary.
This will eventually get done anyways cause I have to assume there are enough folks who have been working on it and are ready for that next step.
Speaking of which, Dazza, you mentioned some stuff there that could be worked into such a routine. anytime you work something out. see if you can do it in another key… start easy like a whole tone higher. transposing a short lick up a whole tone is easy cause you’re just playing one tone up. but keep going with other keys. the biggest drag is to learn something that works for you and then when you’re with others to try fitting it in they’re playing in a key you haven’t worked the ideas out in. so this is the main reason to do it…the other is it also develops your ear.
ear training, fingering technique (which is really mind technique), sight reading, creating a bigger sound, articulation…..
I will be giving it some more thought.February 2, 2016 at 10:06 pm #31833Michael BishopParticipant
There’s some fantastic points being made here for sure. Johnny, I often wondered how many members will buy a new premium course that you release, start it, and actually finish the whole thing successfully, from beginning to end? It seemed like there were so many members who jumped onto the Improvising with Major Scales when you released it with a flood of posts questions about things they we’re learning. But after awhile, that aspect of the forum went dead, like Sxpoet is bringing out here with with your daily routine course. Can’t help but sometimes wonder do they buy it, come across something that is difficult, and then just stop the course altogether? It would be cool to see more activity in these parts of the forum like Sxpoet is bringing out, to see who folks are coming along with these courses. What you teach just plain works, but from your perspective I would think it would be very difficult for you to guarantee results for everyone because you have no idea who is going to follow through with the whole course, from the very beginning to the very end? Speaking strictly for myself, I felt really bad about not being able to jump on your new Major Scale course when you released it–kind of made me feel like I was really lagging behind everyone LOL–but I was totally focused on the Killer Blues course and I’m SO GLAD I made that decision to FIRST complete Killer Blues. Man, talk about BIG rewards! I like how Sxpoet put it above how he talked about feeling someone has outgrown the daily practice routine, as that’s how I’ve been staring to feel with Killer Blues. I started with Killer Blues in October of 2014–that was 17 months ago and it has been a part of my practice every single time I’ve pulled out the Sax for the last 17 months. I’ve been really focused in taking every ounce of it in that I could, really putting forth an earnest effort to understand what you’re teaching, pull this stuff out and play it freely v.s. fooling myself into thinking that just memorizing exercises, lick/riffs was enough. In light of the stuff that my new Sax instructor has me working on right now, those are also indications that I’m about ready to move on to your new course. Sxpoet and Dazza: Thanks for bringing out these great points 🙂February 3, 2016 at 1:01 am #31841Anonymous
excellent Michael – your main point is about being commited, finish what you start out.
Coming back to the main point, Are there not anythings things in your daily routine that you do or have discovered that have or have not improved your sound, technique or rhythm – Dazza raised some good points .
In your main point Michael, perhaps people who have bought various courses, need to speak up,
the reasons why they have given up a course or put it on hold. If there is something technically holding them up, they need to raise it and have it addressed – a good exsmple was the major scale improvisation course – people raised questions and JF responded by adding extra stuff to the course. So theres no fault on JF’s side.
In terms of courses,
the daily practice routine – i do a modified JF routine every day
the altissimo course – i work on modified JF routine every day using exercises from older masters
the major improvisation course is on hold – reason priorities due to time constraints
the blues course – on hold, very low priority, i need to improve on other areas first.
Then theres Grades that i am doing that take overall priority.
In terms of commitment, its not just a commitment of diving into one course and completing it. Most of these courses are a lifetime commitment – Even though i have gone through the daily practice routine & the altissimo course from start to finish, i will still be practing parts of them for many years to come — for this reason it is better to take on more courses at the sametime – do little bits of each course on different days if time is a premium!
JF – great to hear a follow up course is in the pipeline. The overtone practice i find has improved my volume & smoothness a lot.
But come on we need to hear more things that people do that have or have not improved sound , fingering , rhythm – it can be anything from a specific exercise or a sheet of music …
And above all if you have given up on a course for reasons other than not finding the time – raise them !! It’s your money, your sax playing future at stake, not mine.February 3, 2016 at 3:06 am #31845DazzaParticipant
One more thing I have realised, and now recommitted to undo, is the straying away from a structured practice. I am kicking myself now for spending so much time the past two months learning and playing Xmas carols and other tunes. I realise I have lost valuable practice time meandering and sure, my tone and skills have improved but I will never know by how much further I could have advanced if I’d stuck to the daily routine and the improvising course and altissimo lessons. I will though because in another two months time I will have the proof as I am going to make these a new priority each day. It’s so easy guys to lose focus and not stay committed to the goal and the basics when you are learning on your own. Thanks xpoet and JF for the thread topic and comments which prompted a self health check for me anyway. Talk is cheap so here I go!February 3, 2016 at 4:58 am #31846Michael BishopParticipant
@ Sxpoet: My main point, or at least the point I was trying to make, was when looking at the lack of activity in this part of Johnny’s forum–like what was brought out–and wondering why that’s the case. There’s a variety of reasons why that might be the case, and one of those reasons could be because of not finishing what we started, like I mentioned in my comment above. But maybe there are members who have finished too and have “outgrown” it too? That could be a reason also. In any case, it would be great to hear from other members for sure/see more activity.
@ Dazza: That’s what I was trying to say above, staying committed to a goal. When we buy one of Johnny’s courses and stay committed to a goal, we say to ourselves that there are very specific things that we’re going to work on v.s. practicing things at random. Structured practices & staying focused like you said help us make huge strides, good for you to see that and respond! 🙂February 3, 2016 at 7:35 am #31849Anonymous
In terms of improving and not stagnating and going round in circles – from tips i have picked up from talking to seasoned players, who have kept the spark in their playing over thd years –
The most important & recurring point that every seasoned player had made is –
Variety is the spice in keeping on the course of improving – in other words when you get the sax out everyday Don’t do the samething every day – it is the worse thing you can do, you will become bored & loose sight of your main gosl, your goal will drag out months longer than you expected, there will be days where no improvement is felt. This will then have a Negative effect on everthing else in your sax playing!
What these guys say – variety, variety, variety – dont trap yourself into just working on the same thing for months on end.
To keep the spark in playing, they divide their daily sax playing into 3 or 4 areas .
1 – do the difficult learning parts first while the mind is fresh.
2 – then do the follow up exercises where you could be practing what you learnt days ago, but need to master and improve on.
3 – the MOST important and last part of the dsily sax playing!!!!
Finish off with a great jam session – just unwinding and playing along to your favorite tracks!!!
they all say you must do number 3 at the end of every routine – it puts you in a positive frame of mind when you have finished!
It is far better to finish enjoying something you have done, than finishing thinking Jez i still need to do a lot more work on this crap!! and then go away feeling miserable for the rest of the day fretting about it. This i a real downer when you start the next day.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.