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When playing the piano, you can play 4,5,6- well, a lot of notes at a time. On a saxophone or trumpet, you can only play one. How can you come to hear chord progressions when you can’t play chords?
- Learn basic jazz theory, namely chord tones, and what notes any said chord is comprised of.
- Play through different chords, such as C Maj 7th, Min 7th and Dom 7th arpeggios on your instrument. Learn the sounds, and how they differentiate between the respective chords. Learn the differences between the sounds- major sounds happy, minor sounds sad, and dominant sounds largely unfinished, and unresolved.
- Record and test yourself on what the chords sound like. When you achieve a 80+% success rate, then you can probably move on.
- Learn what a resolution (chord 5 to chord 1) sounds like. Playing chord 5 as a dominant, and chord 1 as a major or minor. From here, you should be able to hear 2,5,1′s, 6,2,5,1′s, and any other extended turnarounds similar to thus.
- Learn the most common, and basic, chord changes eg rhythm changes, 12 bar blues etc.
- Listen to jazz songs, trying to hear 2,5,1′s, rhythm changes or 12 bar blues wherever they are.
- Continue to adopt this method for any song you play. This is unless you either start to play piano (recommended for anyone that wants to play jazz to a higher level, as it helps get a firmer grasp on jazz melodic and chordal theory etc) or can consistently hear chord changes for any given piece. The latter could take a lot of time, but if you do not wish to learn the piano at all, it is worth it.
- Playing this (or even just jamming) with a band or with a play-along CD helps a lot, as you instinctively start to hear what the chords sound like when played together. This also improves your improvisation.
- Practise this every day where possible, but you don’t have to treat it like a chore.play over different inversions of the arpeggio, or play the notes in a different order etc.
- Playing the piano makes this whole process much easier, and it also gives you a firmer grip on harmonic and melodic theory.
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from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
So you can already play the Flute but you want to try Saxophone. In case you don’t already know, the two instruments are quite compatible with each other so it won’t be too hard to do.
- Find someone who will lend you a saxophone (your school might have one you can borrow) in case you start and don’t enjoy it. See if you can borrow it over the holidays if you think you will have more time then to practice.
- Try to get your flute teacher to teach you saxophone if he/she can as they will know how you learn.
- If you are learning over the holiday, have one lesson at the beginning of the holidays to get you started off in the right direction and borrow a beginners book (Try ‘Saxophone Basics’ but I’m sure the other ones are just as good).
- Do not practice your flute before your first lesson if you can help it because it will just confuse you.
- Once you’ve got the hang of the blowing and where to put your fingers get your teacher to show you things like palm keys, the octave key, how to play lower notes such as B and Bflat and notes like Fsharp where the fingering is slightly different. These may confuse you a bit because you will have to remember them separately from the fingerings that are the same as on the flute.
- Try to practice as often as possible in the time you have and don’t be afraid to learn new notes/techniques. Although at first you will want to practice flute and saxophone quite separately (eg one in the morning and one after lunch) you will want to practice moving between the two in case you ever have to do it in a concert or something.
- Try to be gentle on your embouchure and tongue because it will be quite hard for them to adjust.
- Do not forget to practice the flute while you are learning the saxophone.
- Once you have got used to the saxophone you can try playing some of your flute music on it but you may have to transpose this a bit.
- If you are finding that you are getting ‘Saxophone related injuries’ (any pain that you think is related to the saxophone) get someone to help you.
- Do not forget how to play the flute while learning saxophone.
- How to Play the Saxophone
- How to Troubleshoot a Saxophone
- How to Remove a Cleaning Swab from a Soprano Saxophone
- How to Assemble a Saxophone
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Learn the Saxophone If You Play the Flute. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
You might know how to solo, and may be very good at it… for a couple of bars. But if it doesn’t go anywhere, the listener quickly loses attention. Here are a few steps to help you avoid this…
- Don’t give the improvisation everything you’ve got straight away- start it simple and relaxed, and give it somewhere to go.
- Try building upon a motif/idea- for example, a simple rythmic or melodic phrase that is repeated, and then slowly altered in a manner which is interesting and sounds good.
- Quote! In other words, reference another song that is in the same key, or you have transposed to be so. Don’t overdo it, you could even just play a few lines from, say, star wars, or a well known pop song.
- Learn a few “tricks” you can use if you run out of ideas half way through- for example, melodic lines or even impressive sounding, simple exercises- for example, the hanon exercises.
- Alter the way you play passages. For example, you could lay back on the beat for effect, or even push ahead to do similarly.
- Listen to many jazz artists to get the idea, and even transcribe some of their passages and use them in your own solos! It’ll sound good to those who don’t know the passages, and you’ll be respected by those who do!
- And, finally, do whatever you enjoy, and whatever sounds good.
- The key is to practise, practise and practise! Play along to some Jamey Abersold CD’s in order to get the idea of what to do, and don’t be afraid to try anything out when practising- better to slip up when practising than when in concert!
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Build a Jazz Improvisation. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
Get Started right away with the book “250 Jazz Patterns“!
I have often had this experience with some of my students; they practice patterns, a study, an exercise or tune, and they get stuck at some point and can’t seem to understand why they can’t get further. They tell me,
“I’ve practiced it 100 times, but I can’t seem to get it into my head”.
I ask them; “What do you mean, get it into your head?”
They respond; “Yeah, I don’t seem to understand what going on here!”
I ask, “Do you hear what you’re playing? If you could hear it, then you can play it.”
The German language has another name for Music. It is also called “Tonkunst” – literally meaning “Sound Art”.
I explain to these students that this indicates that it, Music, has to be perceived through the ears, not the eyes, as it is the case in Visual Art, (painting, sculpture, etc.) nor conscious thinking (Literary Art).
The ears have a way of “understanding” what the eye or intellect do not. You may know the situation, something looks totally illogical on paper - “wrong” notes used int he melody that don’t fit to a chord, or chord structures that you can’t imagine should sound any good – but upon hearing what’s on paper, your eyes tell you that not only does it sound good, but maybe it is the most logical choice to notes or chord. Yes, your brain can deceive you.
Your eyes can deceive you as well.
My favorite hobby is the Martial Art of Wing Chun. In Wing Chun, there are exercises or drills called Chi Sao or “sticky hands”. They are exercises to heighten your sense of touch. Why? Because in a real situation, when you may be attacked, relying on your eyesight alone can be too slow or deceptive. The exercises help you “read” an opponents movements in order to predict how and where he will move next.
Maybe that’s why there’s so much concentration on ear-training in music? Definitely!
Is that the reason why I concentrate on developing melodic / motivic skills rather than relying on chord/scale theories for improvisation? Absolutely.
The Ear Rules!
Everything stands and falls according to what the ears dictate to us. If it looks good on paper and sounds terrible – it’s terrible!
Of course, the verdict is always subjective in nature, and that’s ok. Your ears can only judge based on what it knows – it’s experiences - your musical experience. Heighten your musical experience / awareness and you become a better judge of your experiences and a better performer.
As Thelonius Monk developed his playing and compositional style, to many it sounded he was constantly playing wrong notes. Yet, as he continued to play with the conviction that what he heard was correct and valid, others too, became convinced of his message and music.
Today, most of these sounds are no longer foreign (“dissonant”) to us and we consider them “consonant”.
Heighten your ears, your hearing and heighten your perception.
Buy 250 Jazz Patterns NOW!
This article is a little dated, but I think it’s still good reading.
Here we are in the next Millennium! The music industry continues to evolve and musicians are being afforded more opportunities to create music.
What’s definitely here to stay is the marriage of traditional acoustic music and computers. Whether you’re performing music with a combination of acoustic instruments and electronic instruments (such as samplers and sequencers), solely electronic, or just using the computer to write your acoustic music scores, MIDI (that’s Musical Instrument Digital Interface for those who’ve still shied away from electronics) continues to play an integral role in all of this.
In the electronic perspective, as synthesizers are for pianos, electronic wind instruments are for wind instruments. Over the years there have been many instruments that have sprung up to meet the challenge with varying degrees of success. Starting from the low-cost “toys” like the Casio MIDI sax, to more professional models like the AKAI EWI, Yamaha WX7, WX11 and WX5, and the seldom used or heard of Synthophone from the Swiss saxophonist and computer specialist Martin Hurni.
We’ve come a long way from the first electronically amplified saxophone using a wah-wah pedal or other effects to fully electronic instruments that use saxophone-like fingerings (like the EWI and WX-models) to actual saxophones jam-packed with electronics, such as the Synthophone.
Many saxophonists have experimented with this new challenge in different ways. Greg Osby and Gary Thomas electronically amplified their horns and used Pitch-to-MIDI converters in order to drive synthesizers and sequencers on various recordings with Jack De Johnette’s band “Special Edition” and their own recordings. Michael and Randy Brecker used a wah-wah pedal in earlier recordings of the “Brecker Bros”, and Mike later picked up the EWI with “Steps Ahead” and his own recordings. Concert saxophonist John Sampen has used the WX-7 in specially hired works for the instrument. Saxophonist Chico Freeman used a Synthophone on a live recording while on tour in Germany. Steve Coleman has also used the Synthophone although solely in his home studio for sequencing purposes. I’ve even heard that Branford Marsalis has experimented with it.
Whether you’re considering using one on stage, in the studio or just for fun, there are a few obstacles connected with these instruments, but may be well worth the effort to investigate them.
The Yamaha and AKAI models are what I call “new animals”. They are intended to use saxophone-like fingers but they are not saxophones in any sense. That may please you in the way that you will treat it like a new, unfamiliar instrument. It may bother you because you have to learn to play another instrument and not just let loose and play as you do a sax. The Synthophone is an actually saxophone stuffed with electronics but mind you, it generates no acoustic sounds at all, just like the other instruments. You may like that because the learning curve is a lot smaller. Again, that may bother you that it is a sax because it doesn’t really respond the sax way as a sax does. All in all it is a matter of personal preference which electronic wind instrument may be worth your time and money. They can be expensive.
If you use music software such as Steinberg’s CUBASE, Elogic or CODA’s Finale, you can hook up your “e-sax” to your computer to enter notes into your scores the same way you would do with a MIDI keyboard. Instead of struggling to play a piano solo for your sequencing project, maybe you want to play it with your “e-sax” instead.
I personally have experimented along this direction. I’ve used a Roland VP-70 Digital Voice Processor (in Pitch-to-MIDI mode) with Korg Poly 800 (Monophonic/Analog sounds) and Yamaha TX81-Z (Polyphonic/FM-Snythesis) synthesizers with a contact microphone on my sax bell. This worked very neatly in the studio, but it was a catastrophe on the stage. The problem there was that a Pitch-to-MIDI converter can only process one note at a time. Fine in the secluded cabin of a recording studio. But on stage you get “spill over” from the guitar, the drums, the bass, etc. – too many signals – the VP would just shut down. I had to change programs in order to get it to kick in again. I should have used a built-in microphone, but really didn’t want to have a hole drilled into the neck and I really didn’t want to change necks in the middle of gig.
Anyway, while using an “e-sax” many things have to be learned and taken into consideration. Sounds are the biggest issue in my opinion. I’ve heard many failed attempts at it. The most common mistake of the “newbie” is to use synthesizer sounds that are really made for a keyboard instrument in mind. If you try to play the sound as though it’s a wind instrument, it really sounds terrible. One really has to pick sounds that are more adept for a wind instrumentalist’s technique.
In the musical life of every saxophonist comes a time when a few very important decisions have to be made. Decisions that cannot be put off, nor should if be ignored. These decisions are: “Which mouthpiece should I use?”,” What reed should I play on?” And although it is often ignored but just as important, “What ligature should I use?”
These three objects make up the major portion of our sound and because of that, if things are not going our way these object can cause us some major grief. No only do we find ourselves on the edge of insanity, but we can nearly find ourselves bankrupt! (Well, almost.) Mind you, all of these questions have subjective nuances to their answers but there is some “hard science” to apply to answering these questions.
Let’s start out with…
To answer this question we need to ask ourselves a couple of more questions such as:
Mind you, pre-requisite here is to have an idea of the sound you are looking for! Do you have a favorite artist who has that favorite sound of yours? Do you know what mouthpiece he/she plays? Go for it! Try it!
The list can go on…
Above all, before you go on your search for the ULTIMATE SETUP, set a budget for yourself with exactly HOW MUCH MONEY you want to spend at all. You can surely find something satisfactory regardless of your budget.