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I need help forming a practice schedule

#1
Hi!

im a Bari Sax player, a junior in high school, I've been playing for 5 years (soloing for 3 months), and I need help forming a practice schedule. What I usually do is practice scales for 30 minutes, improv for an hour and a half and then learn new techniques ( overtones, altissimo, slap tongue) for another half hour, and finally improv for another hour and a half. I'm having difficulty improving on my soloing, especially soloing over different chords. I'm also having difficulty with playing faster than quarter notes without losing time. What can I do to get better as a soloist and a musician? Any advice would be great thank you!
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
#3
Get a saxophone teacher. That's the best way to improve your playing, and focus on the areas you want to improve on. It will also correct all those areas that you don't even know you have developed bad habits on: things like incorrect embouchure, fingering techniques, etc. etc.
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#5
Transcribing solos is a time honored way to learn to play jazz. It is even better (I believe) if you don't write it out, but learn to play the solos by ear. There are some great bari recordings by Gerry Mulligan, Ronnie Cube and others. There are some good software programs like Transcribe that enable you to slow the music down and work in sections.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
#6
Here is a link to a PDF sheet that a developed for my students that helps explains what a good solo "looks" like, and the components that go into it. This might be helpful to start you off.

When you say you're practicing scales, what are you using to do that? A book? Stuff you found online? It makes sense to learn scales systematically. Is that what you're doing? Or are you jumping around all over the place? For example, by doing some major, some diminished, some blues, and some of the minor scales, but not learning--better yet, memorizing--all of one type before going onto the next?

When I first learned the scales and chords, I used a combo of books--since that was pre-Internet ;) --but the books my instructors used are still staples today: Joseph Viola's Technique of the Saxophone Vol I & II Scale & Chord studies. These are also available through Amazon.com.
 
#7
A book called linear transitions by John Cooper. I'm memorizing the major scales and going on from there. I'm going from g and working my way up by half steps
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#8
Here is a link to a PDF sheet that a developed for my students that helps explains what a good solo "looks" like, and the components that go into it. This might be helpful to start you off.

When you say you're practicing scales, what are you using to do that? A book? Stuff you found online? It makes sense to learn scales systematically. Is that what you're doing? Or are you jumping around all over the place? For example, by doing some major, some diminished, some blues, and some of the minor scales, but not learning--better yet, memorizing--all of one type before going onto the next?

When I first learned the scales and chords, I used a combo of books--since that was pre-Internet ;) --but the books my instructors used are still staples today: Joseph Viola's Technique of the Saxophone Vol I & II Scale & Chord studies. These are also available through Amazon.com.
You mean a "good" solo isn't playing 3 choruses of straight double time as loud as you can play??? :wink:
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#9
I do a mean version of the solo from John Cage's 4'33".
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
Staff member
Administrator
#10
You mean a "good" solo isn't playing 3 choruses of straight double time as loud as you can play??? :wink:
No, that's an excellant solo... Yah... Sure it is... :emoji_smile::emoji_smile::emoji_smile::emoji_smile::emoji_smile:

That's what I cover in my more advanced classes called: How to not get the audition, and the job for sideman. ;-) :tongue:
 
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