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      This is a tip that i picked up a few months ago, and the reason behind it’s importance had to be explained to me as initially i thought it was just a waste of time, but turns out it is a vital exercise for training your brain to count at a consistant speed.

      Like overtones, there is a reason for playing them at three different volume levels – soft, medium and loud. Because you can hear the difference, it’s more obvious that you need to strengthen different breathing controls etc.. when playing different levels of loudness otherwise the note may break up or may go out of tune.

      My approach with learning sheet music was learn to play it at a slow metronome speed, then increase the metronome speed until i could play it at the backing track speed or music sheet speed.
      Then after that i would always practice it at same performance speed.

      What i recently discovered was that method of practice which is vital for when it comes to performing, doesn’t fully address the training the brain clock to get used to playing the same timing intervals between each tick tock. So you might find the counting one two etc could be too early or too late or of varying in intervals.

      The solution, once you’ve mastered playing a piece at performance speed.
      Like the overtone practices, you must practice the same piece at different tempo settings, from very slow, slow, fast etc. This also applies to practice along with backing track at different speeds.

      To start out, i didn’t realise by changing the backing track speed why my timing sometimes fell apart, even when i could play it at performance speed, hadn’t practiced developing my internal counting clock properly.

      The only way round it, It is to practice training the internal brain tick tock clock to stay in interval time by practing the same piece at different metronome speeds or backing track speeds. Turns out this also helps with overtone practice sessions


        Good post sxpoet!


          Hi Mel,
          If you ever get the chance to have lessons with any top sax player, grab it . It can be like being in the magic circle, not only can they develop your potential more constructively from years of experience, they can let you into their little tips that you wont find in books, that may or may not work for you.

          The teacher i use has lots of experience in teaching jazz,blues, classical and rock n roll improvisation. Unfortunately some of the work, is way beyond my level, and would hours and hours of practice.

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