July 21, 2015 at 8:05 am #22997
Hi everyone. I have been talking to Johnny about our practice routines for some time now. He suggested I put mine up for discussion. We can all learn from the others on the site. So, here I go with mine. 1, Johnnies half hour to start off with. I do an hour of it during my day. I do all the major scales over and above the basic routine. 2, Mouthpiece. Some days are better than others? 3, Tunes I have music for. Many kinds. I like the stuff I grew up with! It’s only Rock And Roll, but I like it!!! I have a Kloss Book. 25 daily lessons. My long tone work comes in many forms. Johnnies and then using every note our horns can produce! I have not figured out Altisamo yet. 4, Listen to sax tunes. You tube can be very helpful! You have to watch wasting time however? I stop the video and try to copy what I hear. This is pretty much it for me. I try to do at least 2 hours a day. I have the time. Being retired, yeah!!! I do have the time, however things do get in the way. Such is life! I think that I may be the oldest guy on the site? 72. Started 5 years ago with many long breaks from practice. Never played before that. My biggest problem in memorization of tune music. Major pain for me. I read and know all the notes out of my Mark 6! But why I can’t memorize the tunes is beyond anything I can figure out? Don’t stop playing folks! It is the best thing you can do! TimJuly 21, 2015 at 8:46 am #23000Anonymous
Very good Tim!
for me its practice on Tone, finger technique, sight reading, aural practice, learning songs & studying music theory! not to mention using youtube to listen to sax pro’s giving advice.
But i’ve started doing grades at 57 it gives me something else to work on!
i have a very wide appreciation of music from classical to anything type of music you can think of, i’m not stuck in one type of music eg like jazz or blues etc..
where i live everyone is into modern day music, sax players are more or less influenced by what their teachers are into etc..
But its nice to hear your exercise routine is very familiar.
Glad to see you bringing things up for other people to get included in, to me the blogg tends to have little groups of people discussing things amongst themselves – but that’s normal social ettiquetteJuly 21, 2015 at 12:31 pm #23012
JB: Good stuff! I also do silent playing. Forgot to mention it. I do do more than R & R too. I have so much music, it’s hard to list it all. I do try to keep an even schedule. It helps from losing your attention. Concentration is very important. I’m real good at not staying on track. Never was too good of a student. Just wanted to do stuff, as in, looking out the window at school to see what was going on around me. Hey, it all worked out! 37 years looking out the window going 600 miles per hour at 37 thousand feet!!! Too much fun!! Hang in there! You younger guys got time to get real good at this! TimJuly 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm #23014Anonymous
lol one of my uncles was a radio operator in the raf in the 2nd world war, and they had to bail out of their plane over the english channel!
Not my cup of tea old chap! What?
i was on holiday in Lincoln in the country side, and i was standing outside, and heard this thundering noise slowly approaching miles away, i couldn’t see anything and it got louder and louder as it came closer – it was deafining – then it passed overhead – it was a world war 2 spitfire , it felt like the ground was shaking when it went over head – now i can understand what those kids felt in the 2nd world war when they were in the fields and the planes were going out on bombing raids!
somethings you just can’t imagine it until you feel it!July 21, 2015 at 10:34 pm #23031Abe SloanParticipant
Thanks for sharing. I also am a retired graybeard at age 75. Have been back with the sax about 3 months now which is long enough to dispel the embellished memories of what I could do years ago. It is great to have the so much time to practice and a budget that allows for lessons. My practice schedule allows 2 t0 3.5 hours a day as the summer heat here keeps me in the house instead of out in my wood shop – the other hobby. My basic practice is like yours- mouthpiece, long tones, scales – and occupies about half of my practice time. Materials I use include the Klose Exercises, plus Scale Studies, Chord Studies, Reading Studies and Berklee Practice practice Method, all from Berklee press. Even though I started college with a music scholarship won in an amateur contest, I could not read music. I was able to imitate all I needed at that level after hearing it a couple of times. I have been told that this is probably because I have the gift of dyslexia, which in short means that the path of least resistance into my brain is through my ears, not my eyes. This also required increased memory development. So I am hoping to be able to read well enough to audition for our community band in the fall. I am also hoping that internalizing all those various types of scales and associated arpeggios will get me past being able to only imitate simple melodies toward real improvising. Guess we all have our major pains. But, he effort seems to yield much more than just the ability to make pleasant noises come out of the other end of a horn.July 22, 2015 at 6:24 am #23034Anonymous
The 1st 6 months when i started learning to play the sax, i was quite happy to work through a learners book with my teacher,
then when i got to the end of it, i wondered what to do after that.
i found playing songs didn’t realy develop technique as they often covered a limited range of the sax.
Also they didn’t focus on improving how you sounded.
Which is where i found the daily practice helpful as it focused on these areas!
Now my tone sounds ok, and i don’t fumble around the keys as much i spend less time on these areas!
However i do think practice sessions (ie not the ones where you are learning a specific song) are very similar to physical exercise workouts!
If you go to a gymn, a trainer usually works out an exercise plan based on your current physical condition! As you improve physically your exercise plan changes – i think the samething spplies to the sax?
I’m currently trying to work out a new exercise routine as i feel doing the same routine after a while stagnates – i’m trying to create some sort of rhythmn practice routine, one that trains you to be aware i am playing in timeJuly 22, 2015 at 11:12 am #23044
Abe & JB: Thanks for what you guys have said! Hmm? I’m not the oldest!! Yeah!!! Abe, you have a real gift! By ear. Johnny is amazing. I read, I can give you every not out of my sax. Memorizing tunes is where I have big trouble?? Who knows what is going on with that?? If one can’t have it down pat!! you fail because you will falter because you go blank. Go figure? I can’t. After the time I have put in, I should be able to play all the scales from memory. I can’t. Maybe half? I have to think about what I am going to play. Not good. Should be automatic at this stage of playing! So, never give up!!! JB: I have a friend that lives by me that flew in WW2. He is 91. In better health than most. I know if I parked a P-51 at our airport, he could jump in and fly it with no problem! I think we all knew where we were when we were 19 to 21 years old?? Try this. Bill went into the US Army Air Force in 1943. Was in combat 6 months latter. On his 16th mission, was shot down bay a Folk Wolf. Had his 20th and 21st birthday as a guest of Hitler. Long story for here. He came out real well and flew for the Airlines till he retired in 1982. Practice time in 2 hours for me!!!! TimJuly 22, 2015 at 12:43 pm #23052Anonymous
Tim – i can understand the memorising problem! At My age i have the same problems. I made the decision years ago not to waste my time learning every song from memory, theres too many songs i like, so i’ve stuck to playing sheet music instead. Playing sheet music has its own set backs, but if you’ve played a sheet music song several times, after a while you start skimming through it with out realising it.July 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm #23065
JB: True on skimming. I do have a problem when I don’t know what is coming next. That said, My firs teacher told me to look ahead a few bars. OK, now I have to walk and chew gum at the same time??? LOL So, as I said before, Bits and pieces. The parts I know are fine. When I come to the end of those? I mess up. So, as you said read the music. I know Johnny does it when he is recording some times. But, can you imagine, he memorized Take Five in the morning and recorded it that afternoon without the music. What a gift!!! Just think of this? Johnny started playing when he was 17 and was playing pro when he was 19! Amazing!!!July 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm #23072Anonymous
i can believe that, some people are naturaly gifted, i watched a chinese lad , who started to learn the piano when he was 12, in 2 years he completed his grade 8 piano exam, i’ve watched him play all the concert piano pieces by bethoven, bach, mozart , chopin really fast complicated pieces with the greatest of ease, he’s only 15. All that stuff would take the average kid about 7 to 8 years to get to that level and at that level they would still strugle to play piano pieces by the great masters
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