You already play sax but want to improve

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So you've had some lessons, played for a while. Maybe you're playing in a band. maybe you have a couple of grade exams under your belt. What next?

There's always room to improve. That's the thing about learning the saxophone, it's a continuous journey, a life-long mission, to master the instrument and be granted the Freedom of the Sax.

Firstly there's always more technique to develop - those niggling split tones, unwanted squeeks, sharp top notes, difficult low notes, tricky fingerings. it's amazing what we get used to and put up with. But all that can change.

Next let's look at what you already play.
Do you want to play jazz but can't get off the stave?
Do you play everything by ear but can't read a note?
Does your mind seize up at the thought of theory?
What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?

Let's look at the whole lot and make a plan - a lesson plan and a practice plan. Exams are always an option - ABRSM, jazz or classical, and RIAM. They help provide structure. But maybe you're already pretty focused on what you want and have plenty of self discipline :)

Let's for now concern ourselves with the major scale. Eight notes. Pick a scale. OK - C Major.

How can we use this to start making beautiful musical shapes in space? We start with simply going up and down, in perfect tempo, slow or fast.
Then we move onto the second note. D, and play the Dorian mode, listening out for melodic possibilities as we go, a whole new harmonic world. and so on, moving up the notes of C major, through all 7 modes.

Hmm where next? So many branches of this tree to follow. let's take some patterns and run them through

Starting on C
1324 3546 5768 798
1321 2432 3543 4654 5765 6876 7987 8
2132 4354 6576 8798
3124 5346 7568
1353 2464 3575 4686 5797 8
1357 2468 3579 4680 579,11 68,10,12 79,11,13 8 etc

Now make up some of your own. Or move to another mode
Make yourself go to the upper and lower limits of your sax. By the time you've done all this you know C major and all associated modes (don't worry about the names) inside out, drunk or sober.

If you have good swinging practice backing tracks to play with and keep time with use them. If you don't, buy some!

Have fun!

  • I teach from home (or a fixed venue)

Daytime, Week days

HOW LONG: 1 Hours

LEVEL: Intermediate

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