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    you are talking about whole-tone scales. they are learn-able just like major scales and chromatic scales. Takes time and lots of practice. Do one at a time, just like the others so start a few notes at a time very slowly. Ultimately it is just a pattern we learn.


    Thanks Johnny – ultimately its learning the Sax landscape, visualising it, knowing where you are on it, and how to move up and down it.
    In terms of improvising, i’m now trying to remember the singing sounds in my head in relation to the key positions on the sax.
    Which is harder to do than it sounds.


    Hey Johnny – got the killer blues course and loving the daily sax lessons course and working to a goal over the next three months. I know your a busy man but wondering if you have any plans to expand on the blues and do some lessons on how to expand on the blues with maybe some music and tracks to a slowish blues that we could grasp and then build on.


    Yes. I have thought of having some kind of extended tutorials that go along with the concepts of the killer blues course. Improvisation is a big subject and although n]many people “get” it from the course there seems to be others that need more guidance to get going.on this.
    A good step could possible be to take some actual tunes everyone already has and do some studying on them on what the possibilites are, how I would approach them etc. I have to give it some thought. I know from the survey from a few months ago one of the top things from members was to get better at this so I think the need is there.


    We all appreciate that mate. I am sure all the members (incidentally, how many do you have?) would willingly purchase any tutorial produced by you which I imagine takes quite a deal of time to put together.


    It’s about catering to specific needs otherwise it’s just a shot in the dark.
    I don’t mind putting in the time as long as it gets people results.
    I would hope for you guys to chime in with their improvisational challenges which will help me pin-point
    some lessons that will clear things up for you.


    For sure – I think for me, and this is where your website has assisted me personally immensely, it’s about putting the learning steps in chronological order. That was made clear to us all with the recent lessons course so we don’t aimlessly wander through our practice and thats what I think I would like to see with the next waive of lessons.So I have most major scales now playable from memory, some faster than others and most of the arpeggios memorized as well as three blues scales so I feel I’m gathering knowledge and skill. I am just a bit unsure how to start to put all that together to improvise with the blues or even over other forms. Perhaps a demo video (or even another Killer Blues style of book) on how you can use a blues scale over a blues track which I do but it sounds lame most of the time. What are the logical steps to take your playing to the next level once you bed down the above plus all the other variations my teacher has outlined. Minor, M7’s Aug etc etc. I realise there is a lot to learn ahead of us and its easy to get way ahead of yourself but it would be great if you could lay down in some assemblance of order the skill sets to work towards and how you can use them once you get there. I hope this makes some sense…..Perhaps others can put it in their own words to help with the topic.


    yes Dazza makes good sense. I think where you’re at is good for something like this and what I was thinking of where one should be at a minimum; meaning, know all major scales and chords as well as the various blues scales like I teach in the Killer Blues.
    These are the minimum requirements and anyone wanting to get into improvisation is fooling themselves if they don’t fully understand and play these.
    It is easy to get too far ahead of yourself so don’t even think about major 7’s augmented different minors etc because you’ll just get overwhelmed and confused. This is a walk before you run scenario, more likely crawl, walk then run!
    A class situation where everybody is at relatively the same level regarding the knowledge and playability of the above mentioned scales and chords. Just need to figure out the best way to do it.


    be careful what you wish for!
    What do i want?
    1 sound great on the sax
    2 play any sheet music

    Johnny’s sorted the 1st one for me –
    Daily practise routine + lessons one & two of his Altissimo course!

    Theres hundreds of songs out there i want to play, because of my age 56, that limits me to playing from sheet music rather than playing from memory!

    Current estimates show that it takes on average 5 years to master playing sheet music along side the theory!

    I used to write computer software for a living. Most computer languages you can learn in a year, but it takes on average 3 years experience before you become proficient enough. And thats writing/testing software 7 hours a day!

    Lots of us work full time, or have lots of other commitments – so we don’t have the luxury of practicing more than an hour a day. Also other household members don’t want to hear us playing scales for hours – unless there deaf.

    Fortunately for me i have a 1/2 sax lesson once a week where the theory side can be demonstrated. eg how do you play the duration of a quaver joined with two semiquavers? There is a short cut to learning this as well as a lot of other patterns of notes. In sight reading sheet music you can quickly scan a piece of music and learn to recognise patterns of notes and automatically know their durations.

    I read somewhere where someone gets a new piece of sheet music, they sit down for 1/2 hour reading through it, playing it out in their mind in terms of duration, dynamics of notes/phrases/expressions before they pick up the sax.

    What else do i want? i’m also open to any members suggestions of what Johnny could provide next?


    johnny, you placed a post on this category on October 19 2014 at 10:22, you have described exactly my problem, being a little older and neber played any instrument, wanting to play melodies is paramount, I have a lot of the sheet music and backingbtracks on your site that I will play and would love to , but I so neglected the basics. I started the practice exercises and the scales two days ago and will continue to play them. I wasted many hours and months trying to play great melodies that you put on here for us, and have become frustrated because I can’t. And the reason why , is I dontbknow my scales, thank u so much for all u do for us. Vinny

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