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Tim Price Saxophone Lesson




グローバルで、インターナショナルで
ワールド・ワイドな人脈を誇るCMP。

今回は特別にTim Priceさんのサックスレッスンの
掲載許可を独占取得!
サックスだけじゃなく、全てのプレイヤーに役立つ情報です。

なお、このページの情報を無断で複製・転載
することは、ご遠慮ください。


著作権は全てCMPに帰属します。
転載などのご相談は、cmpfunclubの後に@yahoo.co.jpをつけた
アドレスまでメールください。


文中の不適切・不正確な表記など、全ての問題は訳者の責任であり、
TIm Price氏はその責を一切負いません。


だんだん訳して行きますのでお楽しみに!
基本スキル メロディックな即興 サックスのための
Jazz Chords Study

New!

サックス奏者に必要な基本スキル

サックスの演奏と、さまざまな状況に対応できる方法を学び、プロフェッショナル・レベル の能力を身につけるためには、さまざまな要素や技術的な要求を修得する必要がある。
このレッスンを通じて、みなさんが、それらに対する気づきを得ることができれば幸いだ。
以下に我々が修得していなければならない、要素・技術について紹介しよう。

  1. 全ての長音階
  2. 全ての短音階 (ナチュラルマイナー, ハーモニックマイナー, メロディックマイナーの上行形)
  3. ホールトーン・スケール
  4. ペンタトニック・スケール
  5. ブルース・スケール
  6. ディミニッシュ・スケール
  7. 半音階
  8. ビバップ・スケール (ionian add #5; mixolydian add Maj.7; melodic minor add #5; mixolydian b2 b6 add Maj.7; dorian add Maj.7; locrian add Maj.7)
    以上のスケールを 15キー (7つの#系と, 7つのb系、およびC)で。
  9. 全てのドミナント7th, マイナー7th, メジャー7th, マイナー7th b5, ディミニッシュ7th (全ての転回系)
  10. ドミナント7thコードのアルペジオを半音階で
  11. ii-V 進行のコード・アルペジオをルートから。
  12. ii-V パターンを半音進行で。
  13. ii-V パターンを短三度づつ上げていく。
  14. フラット5による代理コードを全てのキーで。
  15. スケール分解のパターン(例 1231/1235/1b761/1b765) - サイクル・オブ・ 5th, 半音, 短三度など、さまざまなパターンで。

必要なレパートリー

  1. 基本的なブルースを全てのキーで。 (例 Bags Groove, Blues In The Closet, Buzzy, Bluebird, Now's The Time, Cool Blues, Straight No Chaser, などなど)
  2. リズムチェンジ(I Got Rhythmと同様のコード進行の曲)を最低でも3つのキーで。
  3. 最低でも3つのジャズ・スタンダード "Donna Lee", "Confirmation"など。
  4. 他のミュージシャンと演奏する。テンポ、コード進行、形式を守り、インタラクティブに。

アーティキュレーションとダイナミクス

ジャズ・サックス特有のアクセント、タンギングの長短, スタッカート,グリッサンド、サブトーンなどを使い分けられるように。


メロディックな即興演奏    

成熟したサックスプレイヤーにとっての究極の音楽的な能力とは、メロディを奏でることだ。

現在の音楽市場の観点からすれば、プロのミュージシャンには、非常に高いレベルの訓練と能力が要求されていると言わざるおえない。
大学レベルでの教員のポジションは限られており、演奏の仕事はさらに限られている。そのような音楽市場において、鍵となるのは成熟した(バランスの取れた)演奏能力だ。

これに対する基本的なアプローチは、なによりもオープンな精神を持つことだ。サックスカルテットはダメ、とかリズム&ブルースはやらない、とか初心者に教えるのは御免だ、とか、ビッグバンドでの演奏はお断りとか、自分自身を閉じ込めてはならない。

Omnibook of Charlie Parker のソロが演奏できるなら、Guy Lacours (28 Etudes)も練習しよう。
これにはオルタードドミナントスケールの練習曲で、私はこのエチュードをレッスンでよく使っている。

生徒のレベルに関係なく使用できる、優れた教材としては、私の友人である Fred Lipsiusが著した "Reading Key Jazz Rhythms"( Advance Music). が必修といえる。

以上のことを踏まえたうえで、メロディックな即興(melodic improvisation)に話しをすすめよう。


基本的なメロディの使い方を学ぶ

音楽はコミュニケーションの一方法だ。
自分のアイデアを人に伝えるためには、共通の言語を使わなければならない。
スラングを使おうと、丁寧に話そうと、散文詩のような表現をしようと、共通の言語の上でなければコミュニケーションできない。
音楽によってコミュニケーションをするならば、音楽的に正しいスペルと文法を使わなければならない。

音楽的なアイデア

音楽的なフレーズは、コードやスケールといった基本的な要素で構成されている。それは会話が正しいスペルや文法の組み合わせによって作られるのと同じことだ。フレーズとはセンテンスのように始まりと終わりがある。これは最も重要な事の一つで、演奏するフレーズは適切なスペースで分けられていなければならない。 また、適切なリズムやアクセントが与えられていなければならない。自分の考えを人に伝える時に言語が必要なように、音楽的なアイデアを表現したい時には音楽的な技術が必要になる。

個人の音楽スタイルにおけるメロディの可能性

演奏者の数だけメロディの可能性はある。音楽の、そして即興演奏の素晴しさとは、自分自身のアイデアを持ってコミュニケーションできることだ。これは人の話しを伝えるのと、自分自身の話しを語ることの違いに似ている。それが既存の曲でも自分の即興でも、自分自身を信じて、自分の音楽的個性をメロディに反映するように学び続けることだ。

録音する

録音によって、自分の音楽を振り返ることができる。これは学習にあたって、最も辛いことかもしれない。録音することによって自分のアイデアを確認することができ、それを発展することが可能になる。良い音楽とは短い時間に出来る限りのアイデアを詰め込むこと(例えば、早いフレーズで曲を埋め尽くすような演奏)ではなく、いくつかのアイデアを関連付け、説得力を持たせるように練り上げることが大切だ。

録音することで自分の演奏を振り返る ことが重要だ。全てのアイデアには始まりと終わりがなければならない。一つのアイデアが終わって、次のアイデアを演奏する時には、それは前のアイデアと関連したものであるべきだ。それがリズムであったり、音であったり、フレーズの形だったりすることもある。また、完全に新しいアイデアに切り替えることもあるだろう。このような点に注意することによって、自分の音楽的な意図を達成することができる。

自分自身の音楽的アイデアとは自分の中から湧き上がってくるもの。それは自分自身の感覚や、共演者との相互作用、さらに自身の技術的なコンディションによって形作られる。 そして音楽的アイデアは学習、練習、演奏を重ね、レパートリーを増やすことで豊富なものになる。

たんにリック(お決まりのフレーズ)を演奏するのではなく、その瞬間を表現することに注意しよう。常に自分が練習したことよりも多くのことを聞き取り、即興演奏の能力を成長させ、拡大させよう。自分が知っていることより、自分が聞くことの方が大切であることを忘れずに!

メロディに関する3つの要素

  • #1- メロディの形
  • #2- ハーモニー
  • #3- リズム

メロディを絵画的もしくは線形で表したものをメロディック・カーブと呼ぶ。
メロディは基本的には音による線(ライン)であり、その線は上下に連続的にも跳躍的にも動く。
メロディックく・カーブは水平方向の動きと垂直方向の動きで形作られる。

メロディとハーモニーの関係は、メロディの各音とコード進行の関係で考えられる。
このような考え方はモード・コンセプトにも対応することができる。
ハーモニーに対して協和から不協和までのさまざまな関係にある音を使うことが可能。

メロディやフレーズのタイム・フィールや音の長さなど、メロディ自身が持つリズムに注意を払うこと。
メロディは言葉のセンテンスと同様に、適切な「間」が重要な意味を持つ。
一つのアイデアから次のアイデアに行く時に、適切な「間」を持つことによって、リズムや、より大きなフレーズの関係を表すことができる。
リズミカルに話すようにフレーズを演奏しなさい。

練習

メロディの持つさまざまな側面に注意を払って練習すること。
上行するメロディーか?下降するメロディーか? どこに山場を作るか?音階的なものか?跳躍的なものか?
拍にそって特徴的な音を使う練習をする。 1小節目を全音符で、2小節目を4分音符で、3小節目を全音符で、4小節目を4分音符で・・・といった練習は非常に効果的。全音符を演奏していても四分音符の連続であるように拍を意識する。

分析

練習しているメロディや曲の分析をすること。その曲のコード進行上で、自分自身のメロディーを作ってみる。


最後に

作曲は音楽芸術の究極の形だ。どんな種類の音楽を演奏していても、そこには必ずメロディがある。自らが経験してきたものが、音やメロディの選択に表れる。表現力の豊かなメロディを作ることが、長年にかけて即興演奏を学びつづけたことのゴールであり、褒賞となる。
Good luck そして、練習でも演奏でも、常にPLAYする気持ちを忘れないように。


サックスのためのJazz Chord Study ~ Major Triad ~

(訳者注:一部の譜面はフラジオ域まで使うように書かれていますが、初心者の方はオクターブ下げて練習してください)


この練習の目的は、全てのキーに対する柔軟な適応力を身につけることと、ジャズで使われるラインに対する知識を深めることである。
最初は 60BPN くらいからゆっくり、かつ正確に始めること。いろいろなアーティキュレーションやニュアンスを試すこと。そして必ず暗記すること!

このスタディはサックス以外の奏者にも、もちろん有効かつ効果的である。


Major Triads

サックスのためのJazz Chord Study ~ Minor Triad ~

Minor Triad




サックスのためのJazz Chord Study ~ Dominanto7th ~

Dominant 7th


サックスのためのJazz Chord Study ~ IIm7-V7 ~

ジャズの基本となる、II度マイナー7thからV度7th というコード進行に対する対応力と理解を深める。

ii-V7
ii-V7



サックスのためのJazz Chord Study  ~ II-V-I パターン ~

まずはキー・トニックの II 度マイナー7thとV度7thから

現在、どんなレベルにある人にとっても、基礎のパターンに戻ることは、耳をクリアにし、頭をリフレッシュするために効果的だ。
次の7種類のラインを演奏し、そのサウンドを注意深く聴くこと。そしてそれぞれを、全てのキーで即座に演奏できるまで憶えること。

Jamey Aebersold Jazz Inc. から発売されている伴奏CD付きの教則本シリーズの Vol. 3, The II/V7/I Progression を併用すると、さらに効果的だ。

忘れないで欲しいのは、このプロセスはあなたの創造性を活性化するためのものであるということだ。
私が書いた音形が、どのように始まり、どのように終わるか、など、いろいろと注意深く研究して欲しい。

それから自らのアイデアにもとづいたラインを作ってみよう。

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2
1
2
1
2
1
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1
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2小節にまたがるメジャー・コード

Two Bar Phrase on Major Chords



サックスのためのJazz Chord Study

 
 II度から始まるJazz Melodic Minor Scale

マイナー7thフラット9thのコードに対して、ジャズ・メロディック・マイナー・スケールを演奏すると、良いサウンドが得られます。
ゆっくりとサウンドを確かめながら練習しましょう。これは譜読みの練習ではありません!

特にハイトーンまで使うように意識して書いてありますが、マイケル・ブレッカー、チャーリー・マリアーノ、ジョン・スタッブルフィールド、アーニー・ワッツ、バート・ウィルソンなど、偉大な奏者は、いずれもハイトーンの技術に習熟しています。

練習はゆっくり確実に!




16th Month page 2


サックスのためのJazz Chord Study
 
2小節にまたがる  II-V フレーズ

この譜面は、あなたがサックスの音域をフルに活用できるようになることを目的に書いています。

ゆっくりと時間をかけて取り組んでください。
最初は60BPMから始めることをオススメします。なによりも正確に!
快適にできるスピードで、アーティキュレーションにも十分な注意を払いましょう。

II-V assignment - ear training

次の II-Vフレーズを演奏し、聴いて憶えてください。
II-V lick
次に、このフレーズをサイクル・オブ・5th(完全5度)で移調してください。 Cの次はGで・・というように続けていきます。
ゆくりとでかまいません。もし、できないの調があれば、そこだけ書き出して見ましょう



サックスのためのJazz Chord Study
  II度マイナー7thフラット5thからV度7thフラット9th (マイナーII-V)


II度マイナー7thの5度をフラットさせたコードは非常に役に立つコードで、ハーフ・ディミニッシュとも呼ばれます。

II度マイナー7b5 からは V7b9 へと動きます。
譜面【2】では最高音域を使うように書いています。ドミナント7b9の音を、コードの上で、どのように使っているか、注意深く分析してください。.

この譜面はキャノンボール・アダレイのコンセプトをイメージしています。
正確に吹けるようになったら、すこしレイド・バックさせてファンキーでモダンなフィーリングを出すようにしてみましょう。







サックスのためのJazz Chord Study
  I-VI7b9-IIm7-V7

このコード進行は、映画音楽、ジャズ、ポップス、BGMなど、日々の暮らしのあちこちで聞かれます。
以下の譜面はサックスの音域すべてを効果的に活用して書かれています。
このフレーズを憶えることにより、あなたのサックス奏者としてのボキャブラリーは、非常に豊かなものになるでしょう。
友人のアーニー・ワッツは、これに似たさまざまなラインを演奏していますので、彼の演奏を研究してください。





 以下、続々と続きます。











































































Following is a step by step, organized way to approach transcribing.

TRANSCRIBING

1. Begin with short forms, simple solos. Prez < Lester Young > is a perfect starting player to study.

2. Look for a tune for which you know the progression when possible, or try to find the progression in good legal fake book.

3. Check your turntable/cassette deck with a piano or tuner to assure proper pitch and key.

4. Tape your selection in order to make re-listen- ing to a particular phrase easier to do.

5. Re-play problem (or fast) passages at 1/2 speed (7 1/2 to 3 3/4 IPS on tape or 33 to 16 1/2 on a turntable). This lowers the pitch one octave and reduces the tempo.

6. It is best to use your own instrument to transcribe with, rather than a piano (unless you are a pianist). It is sometimes helpful to use a piano to solve questions about the harmony.

7. On a sheet of manuscript paper, mark off the number of measures (using double bars to delineate sections if you desire) and write the chord changes above the measures. Use slash marks to indicate where chords fall in measures where there are two or more chords. During this process you should be listening to become aware of the form of the tune, identifying "guideposts" (number of bars in each section, recurring rhythmic figures, recurring phrase patterns, etc.) which might help you as you progress to the "note by note" process of the transcription.

8. On a separate sheet of paper begin your transcription of the solo line. Begin by putting the pitches in each measure or phrase using only note heads; fill in the beams and stems (rhythms) after completion of each few bars.

Be sure to refer back to your chord/form sheet ,knowledge of the harmony might be helpful in identifying " not heard pitches" in the solo line.

9. If you encounter problems in identifying the pitches in order.Many times, identifying the more easily heard pitches in a measure or phrase will make the mystery notes easier to find.

10. Play back phrases or sections at regular speed to check for accuracy; play along with the recording.

11. Play along with the whole solo as much as you can, without the music. If you have used your own instrument to transcribe the solo you will be surprised at how easy it is to play the solo from memory.

Music is our sanctuary. Thoughts on focus and creative purity.

Sonny Rollins stands transfixed: He is 100 percent focused. The goal is defined. The mind is pure. Time stands still. He plays and the world listens.

This is - Purity at it's highest level.

The thing Sonny has done aside from being one of the leading jazz masters is reach a level of emotional purity. The same holds true for Trane, Charles Lloyd, Ernie Watts and very many of our favorite jazz players we listen to. When we totally concentrate, we achieve intellectual and emotional purity. We've all experienced it. A moment so focused that we're actualizing full potential. In college, the final exam is tomorrow and suddenly the realization gets through. You stay awake all night, not eating or drinking. Nobody can talk to you; nothing else can enter your mind. You're 100 percent there. 

Has this happened to you? This is the power of concentration. Apply that concentration to your solos...and your study of music and watch what happens. We use only a small fraction of our mental capacity. In professional sports, the athletic difference between competitors is small; winning is 90 percent mental concentration. So to achieve more in life, focus your attention. Extract your latent power and pull the switch. It's  hard to concentrate. The mind wanders all over the place. You must train it. Just as you need to "guard your tongue" in order to not waste words, so too you need to "guard your thoughts" to steer them in the right direction. Get in touch with your mind. What are you thinking right now?  You mind is here, not anywhere else. If the room is too hot or too cold, it doesn't matter. You couldn't care about sports or politics or finance or anything else. You are only aware of the task at hand. The music is front and center.

 Life pulls us in many different directions and it's hard to stay on track. As creative artists and students on a path to creative pursuits we must adopt this thinking to reach our goals. Remember when you first learned how to drive? You couldn't handle any distractions. If someone started chatting, you'd ask them to be quiet. It was full focus on the road ahead. Now think of all the activities you do while driving: tuning the radio, planning your day, talking on the phone, enjoying the scenery, looking for a parking space -- and driving the car, too! This skill does not happen overnight. Like juggling, before you can coordinate three balls, you first need to know how to catch.

To develop concentration, choose one thought, focus intently, and work it through. We are what we think. Surround yourself with great music. Listen to something daily to get the sounds and artists message in your inner ear and mind. Try to expand past your set of players you listen to. Try to learn about past masters like Don Byas or Lucky Thompson. Check out Sonny Rollins in 1951 with Miles Davis. Then- listen to "East Broadway Rundown." Inspirational yes? Oh yes! Buy some Bud Powell recordings. Make it a point to understand who Wardell Grey was. Sing some Gerry Mulligan solos. 

Listen to all you can. Our ideas and surroundings dictate reality. Intellectual purity means sorting out your ideas. Distinguish which are true and which are false; which make sense and which are foolish. Then clear your mind; filter out the "garbage" so it doesn't get mixed into your brain.

 "Life is precious." Your music should reflect life.

  Just as you need purity of mind, you also need purity of heart -- "one emotion at a time." Different emotions can invade at the wrong time, and if you're not clear, you'll get pulled in too many directions. You are the master of your mind. Intensify your will and pull your mind where you want it to be. Get a hold of crippling negative emotions and block them out. Our goal, of course, is not to be devoid of emotions, but to control them and apply them appropriately. Use "tunnel vision" to connect with your deepest emotions on music, practice and creative developments.

  Once you have a goal... you need to get psyched up and focused. Everyone needs a cheerleader, and there is no better (or more readily available) cheerleader than yourself. Try giving yourself a pep talk like a football coach: "I'm going to accomplish today. I'm going to concentrate. I'm going to search for truth and nothing will stop me. The next person who gives me a piece of wisdom, I'm going to listen, appreciate it, think about it, and apply it."

Make your goals real. You only have a short time to achieve everything you want in life. Start now and give it all you've got. Music is our sanctuary.

Albert Ayler said.." Music is a healing force."  

Sonny Rollins said.." Music is an open sky ".

Tim Price said.." TOTAL CONCENTRATION IS A WAY TO WISDOM !! " 

  - Apply yourself to the task with single-minded dedication.

 - Incorporate what you've studied into your behavior.

- Contemplate one idea at a time and clarify it to the fullest extent.

 - Link your emotions to your goals.

- Success depends largely on the intensity of ambition.

-   You are the master of your mind. You must train it to focus.

- Block out insanity. And- in this world today..we are surrounded by insanity in many levels. Block it out as soon as it appears.

Have fun with your music-hope this helps some of you. 

What is CREATIVITY?

Creativity is the bringing into being something which did not exist before, either as a product, a process or a thought. Right? So let’s apply this to ALL levels of saxophone playing, thought and improvisation.

You would be demonstrating creativity if you:

· Played something which has never existed before.

· Reapply an existing lick or concept into a new area musically.

· Develop a new way of looking at something (bringing a new idea into existence).

· Change the way someone else looks at something.

We are all creative every day because we are constantly changing the ideas which we hold about the world about us and our relationship with it. Creativity does not have to be about developing something new to the world, it is more to do with developing something new to ourselves !!

When we change ourselves, the world changes with us, both in the way that the world is affected by our changed actions and in the changed way that we experience the world. It’s a thought process. It’s past a mouthpiece change..it’s a MIND SET.

Some, call it conception!

Creative Thinking and Saxual Mind



Creative thinking is the process which we use when we come up with a new idea. It is the merging of ideas which have not been merged before. New ideas are formed by developing the current ones within our minds. This evolution HAS to be brought on by practice. ( smile)

Ongoing creative thinking is the continuous investigation, questioning and analysis that develops through education, training and self-awareness. Ongoing creativity maximizes both accidental and deliberate creative thinking. It is a quest for improvement which never ends. It is an acceptance of and a looking for continuous change that differentiates between ongoing creativity and mental inflexibility. Ongoing creativity takes time and practice to become skillful. Ongoing creative thinking soon becomes an attitude not a technique.

The first step to take is to learn the creative thinking techniques so that you can use them deliberately to come up with new ideas. You will then be at an immediate advantage to those who do not know how to use them. You should then practice them to increase your skill at ongoing creative thinking. With practice you may even find it unnecessary to use specific techniques because you may soon have too many ideas without using them at all.

Dealing with your Reed

Reed quality is important when playing and is important in its interaction with the mouthpiece. Along with breath support and embouchure, it is responsible for pitch control and the quality of the sound produced.

The fibers running through the length of a reed create the high partials in a sound. If there are excessive fibers, they may contribute to an edgy sound, or poor quality of sound. So, the pith between the fibers slightly dampens the high partials, but if excessively pithy, the sound may be somewhat "fuzzy."

Many other factors contribute to the quality of sound produced by a reed, including the maturity of the cane. This is indicated by the color of the reed. Cane is seasoned for two to three years after it is cut and must have reached maturity, but not entered its natural state of decay. The amount of seasoning of the cane and the shape and dimensions of the reed also contribute to the quality of sound.

Choosing a good reed takes practice and experience. Comparing the grain of your favorites reeds against ones that don't play as well, and looking for differences, is a good start. When purchasing reeds, check that the color of the reed is a golden yellow color. Look for obvious flaws in the reed such as chips or splits on the tip. Hold the reed up to the light and look for a reasonably well-defined heart. The grain should be relatively even throughout.

Buy New Reed Routinly

Every four to six weeks, replenish your supply of new reeds. One approach that most can afford is to buy one or two boxes every month. Get in the habit of doing this; make it a regular routine. Date the boxes when you receive them; then store them. Use your oldest reeds first; your newest reeds go to the back of your personal supply. Never again will you have to order reeds in a panic, only to discover your supplier is out of stock.

Select and prepare new reeds regularly. Many players look for a good reed only when they desperately need one. Then, panic happens. The result: you won't find one. A better approach is to be in the routine of regularly trying and adjusting new reeds. Keep six to eight working reeds on hand. Routinely eliminate those that no longer play well; add in new ones that are acceptable to you. Do this even if you have no performances scheduled--you want to be in the habit of maintaining a supply of good reeds. Once every week or so, eliminate the poorest reed, and add a new one that seems to have potential. Note: "eliminate" does not necessarily mean "throw away." You can deselect a reed from your current group of six to eight preferred reeds, and store it for later re-evaluation. It may play better in six months, when the season--and humidity--changes.

Rotate the reeds you play on. You will lose some of the flexibility of embouchure so necessary to successfully performing on a variety of reeds. Rotate your reeds in the course of a day's practice; practice on two or three reeds instead of just one.

Find a reed's best playing position on the mouthpiece. Each reed has an ideal position on the mouthpiece. Sometimes, a slight change in the positioning of a reed on the mouthpiece can have a dramatic effect on how it responds.Also try moving the tip of the reed slightly to the left, or right; this subtle angling of position can offset an imbalance in the reed and cause it to become significantly more responsive.

Storing your reeds. A storage container should do more than simply protect the reed from damage. A good storage system will minimize reed warpage by reducing variations in humidity, allowing little or no exposure to outside air. Thus, make certain the reed container has good closure. To eliminate mold, some containers have salt and/or carbon granules present. The storage device should also minimize potential warpage by allowing the air inside the reed case to contact both the top and bottom surfaces of the reed. Air naturally contacts the top surface of the reed, but what about the bottom? In many reed cases, this is accomplished through use of a grooved surface, upon which the reed rests. Thus, both the top and bottom of the reed is in contact with air, promoting a uniform drying process. If only the top surface (i.e., the vamp) of the reed contacts the air, it dries at a different rate than the bottom surface, and the reed warps.

Rejuvenating an older reed. Well-used reeds can possess a build-up of material which clogs the pores and fibers of the reed. This adversely affect reed performance. Reeds in this condition can be soaked in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes to cleanse them.

Ray Pizzi turned me on to using POLYDENT. The denture cleaner- and it works like a charm. You'll know it's working: the foaming process is easy to see. Don't expect miracles here; the reed will not be restored to a "like-new" condition. However, you can expect a few more days of reliable use after this treatment.



Adjusting Reeds

Always make small adjustments. Always remember: when you adjust a reed's dimensions, you are working with extremely small tolerances. Adjustments affect thickness, contour, and balance. Thickness: removal of a seemingly small amount of cane may actually represent ten, twenty, or thirty percent of its total thickness, depending upon where you are working. Therefore, changes that seem quite small are actually quite signficant. Contour: remember that your adjustment always affects the shape of the reed in two ways: the taper of the reed from the shoulder to the tip, and the convex curve of the reed from side to side. These shapes should be smooth, and free of any sudden "dips." Even the smallest break in either curve can have a negative effect. Therefore, always work with the idea in mind to preserve these two shapes. Balance: a reed is out of balance if a point on one side of the vamp is higher or lower than the corresponding point on the opposite side. You may well have to remove some cane to bring a reed into balance. However, if a reed is already balanced, the removal of cane from one side may necessitate the same adjustment on the other side.

Keep a light touch. No pressure, just the weight of the knife; just the weight of the hand if using sandpaper or reed rush. Never press. The material removed should resemble dust. Think twice before you scrape...once cane is removed, it cannot be restored. A great book to find is Kalman Oppermans book on adjusting reeds.



Basic Adjustment

Get the bottom of the reed truly flat. If the bottom of the reed is warped, it will not create a true seal against the various elements of the mouthpiece, and the reed will not respond properly. To see if a reed is warped, wet the reed and lay it on a piece of glass. Gently tap one shoulder of the reed. Does it rock back and forth? If so, the bottom is warped. To reduce or eliminate the warpage, lightly sand the bottom of the reed on a file, or on sandpaper placed on a piece of glass (or plexiglass). Here's one reliable technique: wet your index, middle, and fourth fingers--this helps to hold the reed--and place them gently on the bark and vamp. Sand in a circular pattern, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Use three or four clockwise motions, followed by three or four counter-clockwise motions. This use of this circular technique is important, because if the reed is sanded only in one direction (say, using a repeating back and forth motion) there is a tendency to sand unevenly by creating additional pressure with the fingers at the end of the stroke. Important: Do not press. If you press, the result can be that you will actually exaggerate the warpage. While sanding, keep the reed tip off the file or sandpaper; the thinness of the tip prohibits this type of sanding. Sand only for a brief time, and then test for warpage again by laying the reed on the glass and trying to "rock" it by touching one side. With some reeds, you cannot totally eliminate warpage.


Balancing the Tip

A balanced reed tip will vibrate fully, and thus realize its potential to produce sound. Here, the concept we work with is that the reed, in and of itself, produces no sound. It works in conjunction with a mouthpiece--your individual mouthpiece--to produce that sound. Therefore, the reed should be balanced through the use of a playing test. Set the reed on the mouthpiece; for convenience, you can hold it in place with your left thumb. Turn the clarinet to the side, so your lower lip closes the right side of the reed; then blow an "open G." The sound you hear is created by the left tip of the reed. Then, reverse the process: turn the clarinet so that your lower lip damps the left side of the reed. When you blow, you are hearing the right tip. Compare the sounds. Is one vibrant, the other stuffy? If so, lightly scrape the stuffy side, from the tip itself back about a quarter inch. Repeat the process. Continue this cycle until you get a good match (in clarity of sound) when you listen to each individual side of the reed's tip. Take your time...remove the tiniest amount of cane (remember, only "dust"), and then try it again. Your patience will pay off.

Try not be overly concerned with reproducing reeds to meet the exact dimensions of a model reed. This concept, while sound in theory, can yield disappointing results if relied upon too heavily. When adjusting reeds, remember: every reed plays differently, regardless of our best efforts at perfect duplication. Even if we use one of the many measuring, cutting, or grinding and sanding devices currently available, these devices can only attempt to reproduce a reed's dimensions. They cannot respond to the density of an individual piece of cane. The density of the cane has a direct effect on its ability to vibrate. Thus, two reeds of identical dimensions may play very differently from one another. This is one of the reasons why reeds from the same box can vary so much. When making fine adjustments, focus on achieving a smooth blend of the reed's two basic contours--the taper from shoulder to tip, and the convex curve from side to side--as opposed to trying to reproduce a set of specific dimensions. Look at the reed. Does it appear to have a high spot? If so, try to blend that spot into the overall contour. The elimination of a high spot can dramatically affect the reed's performance.

Try the reed first. If it plays, don't do anything to it! If the reed gods of chance and good fortune hand you a fine reed, my advice is to play it! Don't change it--just add it to your selection of six to eight preferred reeds, and spend the extra time practicing.

  • Any reed work has to be practiced to experience improvement. Devote about twenty minutes a day to it; gradually, you willachieve results. And, you will still have time to get all your practicing done.
  • Reeds are deceptive; the feel of a reed often differs from the sound of a reed. Make sure you are listening to the reed, as well as feeling its responsiveness.
  • Do your reed work at the end of your practice session, rather than at the beginning. Remember: your main focus is to practice the music. Work on one or two reeds only, after your day's practicing has been completed. Spend the majority of your "shed time" practicing the instrument, as opposed to working on reeds.

Last but not least..some old school ideas here. Many players advocate a carefully laid out routine involving a cycle of wetting and drying the reeds prior to extended playing. Those players who recommend such programs most assuredly find them successful. For many years I followed such a routine, but no longer do so. I find that having six to eight reeds on hand, and rotating them--playing two or three in the course of a practice session--is, in and of itself, an effective "break-in" routine for my newer reeds.

My experience tells me this: there is no "best" brand of reed. Knife, sandpaper...use what you personally prefer. Where to adjust for specific results? I wish there was a formula, but there isn't...at least, I haven't found one that seems to work consistently.

Keep in mind. Buy new reeds routinely. Work on them regularly. Keep a set of six to eight reeds available. Rotate the reeds you play on, using two or three during a practice session. Add a new reed to the rotation every week or ten days, and eliminate the poorest one. Find the reed's best playing position on the mouthpiece. Store your reeds in a container which minimizes warp-age. If needed, give an older reed a boost by cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide.

Make small adjustments. Keep a light touch. Focus primarily on the two fundamental adjustments: make the bottom flat, and balance the tip. Devote the majority of your time to practicing ; work on reeds only about twenty minutes a day. It's what you do with those twenty minutes that can make all the difference.


Keep Vibrating and Good Luck!






The Jazz Saxophone Player's Chord Workout
Scales (C,F,Bb,Eb,Ab,C#,F#,B,E,A,D,G)
Pencil In Scale Speeds / Erase and Record NEW Speeds Weekly!
Half Note
Quarters
Eighths
Sixteenths
Major
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
       
Chromatic (Build from low Bb to high F)
Bb B C C# D Eb F F# G Ab A
       
Whole Tone
1 2 3 #4 #5 #6 OR 1 2 3 b5 b6 b7
       
Diminished
1= (1 2 b3 4) #4= (1 2 b3 4) OR Whole-Step Half-Step
       
Pentatonic
1 2 3 5 6
       
Blues
1 b3 4 #4 5 b7
       
Ascending Melodic Minor
1 2 b3 4 5 6 7
       

Chords (C,C#,D,Eb,E,F,F#,G,Ab,A,Bb,B)
Pencil In Chord Speeds / Erase And Record NEW Speeds Weekly!
Half Note
Quarters
Eighths
Sixteenths
Major (CMaj,CMaj7,C)
1 3 5 7
       
Dominant (C7, C9, C11, C13)
1 3 5 b7
       
Minor (Cm, Cm7, Cm9, Cm11, C-, C-7, C-9, C-11)
1 b3 5 b7
       
Half-Diminished (CM7b5)
1 b3 b5 b7
       
Diminished (Co, Cdim)
1 b3 b5 bb7 OR 1 b3 b5 6
Minor Exercises
(Whole Step Motion—Two Measures)
by
Tim Price
This Minor Exercise is a study in whole step motion via minor chords.
Study the shape and use of my intervals and note choice… and then write
some of your own. Get together with a chord player, like a friend who plays
piano or guitar, and try this. The goal of this study is a nice flowing Be-bop
type tempo (at least quarter note = 120 or more).
Remember, at [2] on the second page… Work on your altissimo. This is the
place to put it to use. Listen to players like James Moody, Von Freeman,
George Coleman to hear this whole step motion in action.
Till next lesson—work hard and strive for tone…
~ Tim Price
Modern Minor Phrase Shapes
By
Tim Price
This is the kind of shape guys like Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, or Woody Shaw
might use. Again… study my use of the intervals, where and how I used them… then
start writing some of your own based on mine.
Bird-ology Study on “Anthropology”
This is from Rhythm Changes on Bird’s head to “Anthropology”. 1st 4 bars, 2nd
A section of his first chorus. Check it out!
Tim Price
Bird-ology Studies to Improve Time,Phrase Lengths, and Intensity Levels
By
Tim Price
With this lesson, we will start to get into my “Bird-ology Phrasing Studies” to improve
time, phrase lengths, and intensity levels.
For starters, on these “Bird-ology Phrasing Studies”… I have begun with the first four
bars of Bird’s third chorus on “Donna Lee”. Try to get EVERY key as smooth and connected as
the first key. Once you get into this, try to pick some Parker four bar phrases and do what I did
here, BUT… by ear. More studies like this are coming in future lessons.
NEXT… is a II-V7b9 study using Dorian Mode to full diminished scale. Take each
section and memorize it. Your goal, tempo-wise, is qt note = 220 or faster.
Good luck and work hard,
~ Tim Price
Jazz Chord Studies for Saxophone:Majpr Triad
By
Tim Price
The goal of these chord studies is flexibility in all twelve keys and a
greater understanding of shapes within a jazz line. Start slowly, about
quarter note = 60. Experiment with various articulations. Also try to
memorize these studies.
This month, Major Triads:
Jazz Chord Studies for Saxophone
By
Tim Price
The goal of these chord studies is flexibility in all twelve keys and a
greater understanding of shapes within a jazz line. Start slowly, about
quarter note = 60. Experiment with various articulations. Also try to
memorize these studies.
This month, Minor Triads:

Jazz Chord Studies for Saxophone
By
Tim Price
The goal of these chord studies is flexibility in all twelve keys and a
greater understanding of shapes within a jazz line. Start slowly, about
quarter note = 60. Experiment with various articulations. Also try to
memorize these studies.
This month, Dominant 7th’s:
A Long Look At The Blues (Part 1)
By
Tim Price
Everyone loves to play the blues. In this lesson, I’ve taken an in-depth approach
to give you all some information, new ideas, ear training, and fresh approaches to this
form.
#1 is a favorite blues lick of mine by the great blues sax player Noble “Thin Man”
Watts. It’s on a dominant 7th chord, and it’s a four bar phrase. Check it out! #2 is 68
blues licks and phrases in various keys, tempos, and styles.
Play through each “lick”. Listen to how it sounds. Get so it just jumps out of
your sax. Then… after you play through all of them, go back, and pick your favorites
and start to learn them through all the keys. Try one lick a week to get started. Once you
get into it, pick some more out that appeal to you and do the same. This can be a never
ending study, so take you time and have some fun.
Remember…the blues is a must to have together no matter what bag you’re
playing. Many master jazz players are great blues players, e.g., Gene Ammons, Coltrane,
and Sonny Stitt.
Many great rock sax players have strong blues roots. Listen to early guys like Lee
Allen and Red Prystock.
OK—This should be some big fun… get started now.
See you next month—with Part 2!
Tim Price
Rhythm Changes!
By
Tim Price
OK… It’s time to get started on this now that we just worked on Blues.
What I’ve done is developed a study on “Rhythm Changes” (based on the
standard tune “I Got Rhythm”) in a different fashion. We’ve got three choruses here in
the key of Bb. I’ve got to say to you all now, please do NOT use this study as sight
reading. It is developed to open your ear to some rhythms, shapes, and harmonic colors.
Check out players like Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis… he played Rhythm Changes in
keys like Db, Ab, or D concert. Once you get into this study, take some four bar phrases
of mine out to study as I did in past lessons via Bird-ology.
Also start learning some heads on “Rhythm Changes” in other keys. Don’t play in
concert Bb all the time, OK??
“Rhythm Changes” need to be fresh and open. Experiment! Try different feels,
too. Try the [A] sections Latin, and the [B] sections Swing.
Keep your ears and minds open… Jazz is not a rote art form!
Till Next time—
Tim Price
Jazz Chord Studies
for Saxophone: ii-V7
By
Tim Price
The goal of these chord studies is flexibility in all twelve keys and a
greater understanding of shapes within a jazz line. Start slowly, about
. Experiment with various articulations. Also try to memorize these
studies.
This month, ii-V7:
(ii-V7)
tarting on the Tonic of the
II Minor 7 Chord
By
Tim Price
I’ve taken a basic study and then moved it through six steps. Then I included one
of my own based on a variation of some of the first six.
I think it’s always good for all of us to go back to a basic pattern study to clear
our ears and refresh our chops. Look at all six shapes. As you start to hear the line, go
back and write something of your own based on mine.
Remember—writing stuff down speeds up YOUR learning process. Get together
with a playalong CD and put these to use.
Remember… I’m giving you this to activate your creativity. Study my shapes
really carefully… listen to how the line starts and stops. Then…try some of your own.
Hope this helps.
Tim Price
Dominant 7th Phrase Shapes—Full Range
By
Tim Price
Listen to the line variation from Section A to Section B.
More… Bird-ology phrase studies.
Bird’s famous four bar phrase on “K. C. Blues” through twelve keys.
Dominant 7th Madness!
By
Tim Price
Look carefully at where my root, third, and seventh are here, plus what follows them.
The use of some nice intervalic groupings in the eighth notes make this line flow in a
modern, yet funky way. Try it on Jazz as well as various Rock and Pop styles.
As you get into it and it starts to lay under your fingers… then write some of your own
using my idea.
Check it out, and groove hard.
Blues Scale Matrix on II-V Jazz Lines
By
Tim Price
Study and look at this one closely. It’s a simple, yet effective technique to use.
Tim Price

" Communication and Imagination "

Using your intuition and feelings when improvising is most important be it at the most advanced level or just a basic beginner. To thoroughly approach this as an art form and something that has deep meaning is most important. The masters when they played, be it Johnny Dodds or Sidney Bechet or Bud Powell on through the greats like Wayne Shorter or Charlie Mariano all came from a very deep place. At times, this place is something that you must go to in a natural way. Nothing cosmic about it, it's almost like a trance. It's almost like when your telling someone a story and you close your eyes and you're taking them somewhere with you. Art Pepper wrote a song about this called "The Trip." Stan Getz called this frame of mind the "alpha state."

Whether its experienced in dreams, altered states, or simply sitting in solitude, the artist must be aware of the visionary realm. In Buddhist culture and other forms of spiritual thought, this is called the "third eye." It is the sixth in the series of energy centers in the body known as Charka. The sixth Charka contains and controls knowledge, intuition, and perception. Inherent to any of these philosophies of the "third eye" is recognition and attention paid to the source of human creativity. This human creativity can be one of the deepest subconscious forms of communication in the world. Opening your thoughts to the unknown realms of your own imagination. Many times musicians inquest to unlock the force behind this theory of the eye has shadowed their colleagues throughout ancient history. In my humble opinion, the subconscious travel that one can take studying Buddhism or any of those particular forms runs a very strong parallel to the stunning body of work of many jazz saxophone players.

How many times have we witnessed a player deep in a trance way beyond the environment he is in, whether it's a club, or a concert or just in a corner practicing? He's in another space for sure! What I have experienced is a kind of network between the people improvising (a mental network you could say) where many are connected and there is a kind of dialogue going on without any words being spoken.Like the great bands of Miles Davis or Wayne Shorter or John Coltrane.

I'm pretty sure that many times, a person sitting cross-legged in deep meditation is in the same spiritual space as a tenor sax player behind a bar with a screaming organ trio and his eyes closed...playing from the deepest spot in his soul. What I'm getting at here is nothing cosmic or nothing too whacked out...what I'm trying to bring your attention is music needs all the imagination from an individual it can get. When unconscious-unspoken communication, traveling at the speed of thought, becomes the only or at least the truest form of communication, you just know everything is clicking just like it should ... the energy is like a ball and bounces around through glances and body comunication.It is awesome, it's the inner spirit of your mind in it's highest form.

At this point in time in jazz, everything seems to be published and everything seems to almost be written down. We are in a great educational state. But where are the people who are really reaching within and trusting themselves to their own creative muse? This is the element that I am addressing here. As a student of music, take some time to think about using your intuition. As Bird said, "First you master the music, then you master your horn, then you forget all that shit and just play!"

We need to keep that in the front part of our minds and make that a slogan similar to the many people who look to their "third eye." As you see, I'm trying to point out a parallel in creative paths. It's not easy. But it is easy when you bring it into your own consciousness and try to practice these aspects. Sure, licks, lines, inversions, and all that good stuff is of paramount importance. But let us not forget to keep the magic in the music.
Give all that you have and you shall receive more than you can imagine experiencing when playing jazz!

Your gratitude empowers others to play even better. Remember fear destroys the souls ability to create. So start now and use the power of love to encompass all your decisions so fear has no room to exist in your life. Remove fear from your thoughts and you remove and limitations. All is illusion and all illusion is yours to control. So be connected. Everything happens for a reason. Chance is limited to a coin. Decision is limited to free will. We are limited to our decisions.

So decide to burn and get down with the music you love. Decide to bring something to the music.

The word is ~ imagination !!

Articulation 

Some basic insights 

To establish the feel of a good attack,put the tongue on the reed, about 1/4 inch back from the tip of the reed.Give or take a bit depending on your comfort zone.

 To start the tone, build up wind pressure against the tongue and say the syllable "tee". Saying the syllable "tee" when starting the tone keeps the tongue arched. The consonant "t" starts the attack. The vowel sound "ee" maintains the arch and minimizes the distance for the tongue to move.

Only the tip of the tongue actually moves!!! Please remember that.

The tongue should be released from the reed precisely with the start of the air. Compare the sensation to the water in a garden hose being released. The water pressure doesn't stop when you release the nozzle; so, your wind doesn't stop when you start your attack. The attack is only established when there is continual pressure of air against the mouthpiece with abdominal support. The tongue acts as a valve, releasing and stopping the flow of air through the instrument with the pressure remaining constant (like the garden hose).

 Try this;

1.  Whisper: "he, he, he, he" repeatedly on quarter notes.
2. Change the syllable "he, he, he, he" to "tee, tee, tee, tee."
 

Your tongue should be near the roof of your mouth and the tip of your tongue near the tip of the reed. Work with only the mouthpiece and barrel; try to achieve a crispness in each attack. Concentrate on moving only the tip of the tongue, tonguing about 1/4 inch back from the reed tip.

 Also keep in mind; Practice at slow, manageable tempos at first. Practice "driving" your fingers ahead when you are aware they are late. Avoid the temptation to "slam" the fingers down as it cause unevenness and tension in playing. Fingers must move the same distance, slightly above the keys. Articulation will develop with time.

 Try not to do these things;

-- relaxing the air at the end of a note;
-- "gushing" air at the start of each note;
-- undefined attacks due to using an improper syllable starting the note.
 

Care should be taken on entrances to make sure the tongue and air start simultaneously. A big, full sound is more conducive to good articulation than an unsupported tone. No noticeable throat motion should be evident. If the throat is moving it usually means you are using too much tongue for each attack.

Practice does not make perfect.
Perfect practice does.
Do your best when practicing.
Don't just "practice" for the act of practicing.

As Sal Nistico told me many times.. " When you practice work. When you play..PLAY. " 

Hope this helps. Work hard!

More II – V7b9 via Cycle of 4th’s Lines
By
Tim Price
This employs full use of your entire horn.
The Minor 7th chord to the Dominant 7b9 by now should be familiar to you.
Isolate the parts you like and adapt them to tunes you know.
Tim Price
V7-Moving Through
Cycle of Fourths
By
Tim Price
This V7 study is the most fun legally you’re going to have!
This study uses the cycle of fourths movement, along with some fun usage of tritone
substitution. The first measure is Mixolydian to tritone substitution. The second measure
is a full diminished scale—this exercise rotates this way throughout. At [2] we start some
new ideas.
In this study you’ll memorize almost as you play it… it’s that much fun. Go slow to
start, about , so you can get all the harmonic goodies in your ear.
~ Tim Price
We welcome Tim Price as a new columnist to Sax On The Web. Tim Price is a Selmer
Clinician , professional musician, jazz journalist and author. His books " The Cannonball
Adderley Collection", " Hot Rock Sax ", " Great Tenor Sax Solos" are all published by
Hal Leonard.
A Private Lesson with ......Tim Price
Being a well-rounded saxophonist and making the most of your ultimate musical
skill, which is the melody:
Let's start with looking at the market place today from a professional standpoint. I feel
your training and education must be at a very high professional level. There are few
college-level teaching positions and sometimes even fewer gigs, so our key in the
marketplace is being well-rounded.
One of the basic approaches to this, I found, is keeping an open mind. Don't shut
yourself off to saxophone quartets, rhythm and blues gigs, teaching beginning students,
or playing in big bands. By doing these and embracing many styles musically, you will
start to develop skills that are as diverse as they are vital to your survival.
If you can play the Omnibook of Charlie Parker solos, you should also work with
Guy Lacours (28 Etudes), which all are on altered dominant scales. I use it a lot in my
teaching.
Another great book for sight-reading which I feel all students, no matter what
level they're at should be checking out, is my buddy Fred Lipsius' book called "Reading
Key Jazz Rhythms," published by Advance Music. This book is a must!
Those are some key things to consider before I start my main topic of melodic
improvisation below.
Learning to Use Basic Melody
Music is communication. In order to communicate your ideas to others, you must
speak the same language. Whether you choose to speak with slang, proper English, or
beatnik poetry, there are certain spelling and grammatical conventions required to talk
musically.
Musical Ideas
When musical phrases are constructed of basic elements such as chords or scales,
they are organized into ideas and sentences much the same way that speech is just a
combination of spelling and grammar. Phrases, like sentences, have beginnings and
endings. This is one of the most important aspects. We separate our phrases with space
and pauses. We punctuate our ideas with accents and rhythms. The tools and tech of
music are there to help us express our ideas in much the same way language helps us
speak.
Melodic Possibilities Within Personal Musical Style
There are as many melodic possibilities as there are people to play and hear them.
The beauty of jazz and improvising is that you should be able to communicate your own
ideas. That is the difference between reciting someone else's story and telling your own.
Learn to believe in yourself and let your own musical personality enhance the melody.
Whether it's the melody of a tune or your improvisation.
Tracking
Tracking is the ability to listen to yourself. This is one of the most crucial things
in melodic playing. Tracking is the ability to identify your own ideas and build on them.
Music is not the combination of as many different ideas as possible in the shortest
amount of time, (e.g. playing a lot of notes fast and all over the place) but, the flow and
elaboration of a few ideas in a logical and coherent manner.
The secret of tracking is to listen to yourself. Again, each idea should have a
beginning and an end. Pause and listen to your last idea. Your next idea should be
related to the last. Whether you repeat a rhythm, note, shape, or even stop and begin with
a new idea, this will help you to direct your lines and phrases into a specific area.
What you will hear coming out of yourself will be your own musical ideas. They
are shaped by your feelings and the interactions of the people you are playing with, as
well as your technical condition. All this will grow richer as you study more and practice
harder and learn the repertoire.
The secret is to create in the now, and not simply play all your memorized licks.
The more you practice, the more you will be able to hear, and your abilities as a jazz
improviser will grow and expand. Remember, what you hear is more important than
what you know.
The Three Aspects of Melody
#1- The Melodic Curve
#2- Harmony
#3- The Melodic Rhythm
The melodic curve is a melody's linear or graphic structure. A melody is basically a line
of notes that can move up or down by step or by skip. It can be primarily horizontal or
very vertical in shape. The melodic curve is the horizontal and vertical shape of the
melody.
The melody- harmony relationship refers to the relationship of the melody note to
a chord progression. This aspect of melody corresponds to the concept of modality. The
melody notes we use should have varying degrees of consonance or dissonance within
the harmony.
Melodic rhythm refers to the length and time feel of the melody and the phrasing.
Melodies tend to sound like sentences and tend to have pauses in between ideas. The
pauses and space between ideas can also be a form of rhythm as it defines the larger
pattern of the phrase relationships. Play in phrases. Try to use speak like rhythms.
Practicing These Concepts
Try to create melodic-type exercises by focusing on different aspects of the
melody. For instance move upward or downward. Create a climax. Work deliberately
with scale-wise motion or skips. Learn to play into the beat with pick-up notes. A
terrific exercise is to play the first bar as a whole note, the second as four quarter notes,
the third as whole, the fourth as four quarters, etc. Hear the exercise as a series of pickups
to the whole note target notes. This melodic movement can be called "playing into
the beat."
Analysis
Analyze your melodies and tunes you are learning. Create original melodies over
the changes in melody over the tune you are playing on.
Final Thoughts
Melody making is the ultimate art of music. No matter how far out or far in, or
what kind of music you are playing, there must be melody. Everything you know and
hear goes into your choice of notes or melodies. The creation of an expressive personal
melodic style is the long-range goal and reward of studying improvisation and
musicianship. Good luck, and remember...when you practice work and when you
play.....PLAY !
Thank you,
Tim Price
(Tim teaches in New York City and Pennsylvania. He can be contacted for clinics,
masterclasses, private teaching , gigs, and concerts by e-mailing him at :
TEP251 SAX@AOL.COM . )
*Major Thirds Moving In Whole Step Motion
Through #5 and b5 of Dominant 7th Chords (Full Range)
By
Tim Price
Check out the Major 3rd Study with your Band In A Box, or just comp the chords
and play the line (and parts thereof) over the chord.
This is a very in and out type sound used by many modern players today. The
chord opens at the b5 or #5. Go slow, listen and remember… you’ve got to play it
against the chord to hear it.
*More Bird-ology!
Bird-ology phrase study on “Ko Ko”
Now… This one is fun… You’ll all know the spot in Parker’s solo from where
this came.
Study “Ko Ko” and then try some phrases like this on your own.
Tim Price
Rootless Major Chord Shapes
By
Tim Price
This is a perfect way to open a chord and make the chord more modern. Listen…
study and write some of your own based on mine.
This works fine on other chords, too. Go back… take some of my basic studies
and try this root-less approach. Start simple.
Bird-ology Study
On Bird’s Famous “Now’s The Time” Lick
This is the Dominant 7th of the Blues and a great exercise through 12 keys.
Till next time—
Tim
POST BOP STUDY ON BLUES
By
Tim Price
FIRST PLAY THIS… then analyze how the notes in the chord
relate to surrounding notes… this will help you shape a solo of your
own on blues… post bop style.
THEN… Write some of your own based on my example!
(This study is based on Joe Henderson’s “Isotope” blues changes.)
~ Tim Price
Dominant 7b9 Lines…
And Minor 7th Phrase Study
By
Tim Price
Dominant 7b9… This Dominant 7b9 phrase works nicely as a tasty legato
phrase.
Minor 7th Phrase… This minor 7th phrase shape is loaded with open intervals.
Study how I used the 4th’s, 5th’s, and 3rd’s. Then write some of your own based on mine.
Remember—writing stuff down speeds up your learning progress. Try these
over the chords so that you can hear how they gel within the chord.
Have fun—
Tim Price
Bebop Idea Moving Through
Major 7th Chord
By
Tim Price
This major seventh chord bebop line carries harmonic interest and a nice
intervalic shape.
Listen to the line as you play it. Study the intervals, shape, and harmony of
it. Then start to write some of your own major seventh lines based on
mine.
Start with the part of the study at letter [A]. Try all tempos and use some
phrasing you like.
At letter [B] we employ the full range of the saxophone. You must get out
your fingering charts and isolate the hard parts of the line until you get
this. Hard work will pay off! The only way to play “off the horn” is to study
it and put it to use on an idea like this. Take your time.
~ Tim Price

Book Review

by Tim Price

Practice Like the Pros By Sue Terry


Sue Terry's new book "Practice Like the Pros" is a great book for all saxophonists. Being a long time fan of "Sweet Sue", the aspect I always dug about her was the amount of information/knowledge she dealt with musically. She is a multi-talented lady who plays from the hip. She's combined the university and the street in her conception.

This new book from her is positive proof that she can create that vision into education as well. Sue Terry stands tall as a musician, author, and saxophonist. The book and two CD set offers a hands-on look into practice routines of some of the hardest working saxophonists in New York.

Each player brings something special to the plate. The explanations given by the players are easy to understand and put to use. No stone is left unturned. The text includes some of the best exercises relating to technique, tone and saxophonistic musicianship that are available today.

I've been using this book to stimulate ideas and directions for many of my private students. It's an easy to use text with excellent examples for any level student or player to draw from. I've had many students improve greatly from just studying one chapter from one of the" pros". The written explanations in the exercises and the CD offer verbal and musical examples by each of the 20 saxophonists.

First of all, I think that one of the things I really dig about this book and the musicians -- in fact, the main thing I like about it -- is that the musicians involved, are in it for the music, and have a certain kind of -- I'm going to say it slang-wise -- a certain kind of cool-vibe quality, an informal kind of quality. Straightforward, very cool people. These are the kind of people you can talk to, you can understand and most of all...LEARN FROM. That vibe that is something I really value. That's the beautiful thing that Sue Terry has brought to this book. The sharing strength of each "pro".

You can hear every one of them is an educated -experienced kind of person who does not hold airs and does not come on strong and have an attitude. To me, that's a very endearing quality to this book, and something that should really help the sales of this book as well.

Another thing that's interesting here is the organization principle. Each artist has the ability to project, making you as a learner think ahead, to imagine what you're playing could be like if you applied these lessons. E.g.- what will the music sound like if I do this? These are very practical things that are making this book so unique!

A student has to be able to imagine what things are going to be like and project and not be afraid to try and apply it. The" pros" make that a walk in the park here. The way each artist speaks and plays makes you want to try the given material. But I also think, beyond the way one does what they do, you have had to be organized. I also dug that about the "pros" approaches here.

There's no way that you could amass this kind of information in the sense of being able to spit it out in a spontaneous way without being organized in some fashion. The way each person focused on their lesson is a lesson in FOCUS in itself! That alone makes this a great text for professionals and educators from the study aspect.

A quality you see among these musicians, a quality you can glean from all of these "pros" is a great sense of organization. I found that inspiring. If you own a saxophone you need this book, it's that easy!

Thank you Sue Terry for creating such a vivid and inspirational product. You sure are an inspiring lady who is leaving your mark on the saxophone world.

Keep on Sweet Sue!

.

Sue Terry is someone I have great respect and admiration for as a person and as a creative artist. Her playing will uplift your soul. She plays with vision as well as grease and burn. I consider her a fountain of inspiration as well. Sue is one of the most vivid alto saxophone players on the scene today!

I urged Paul Coats to get in touch with Sue so everyone on could learn from her and enjoy her as I have for years. At The Hartt School, she was a protege of saxophone great Jackie McLean. Sue also gigged with Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Wallace Roney, Dr. Billy Taylor, Walter Bishop, Jr., Mickey Roker, Chaka Khan, George Duke, Hilton Ruiz, Dr. John, Mike Longo and Dianne Reeves to name a few.

Please welcome one of my favorite people and musicians to this forum. I hope everyone enjoys her as much I do...because Sue Terry is the real deal.

Check her out-
Tim Price

.

The Secret of a Good Sound

by Sue Terry

Recently I was in Washington D.C. doing a residency for the Kennedy Center. One of the groups I coached was the award-winning Walt Whitman High School Jazz Ensemble. Director Chris Allen said to me at one point: "There are only two kinds of players that practice longtones. Beginners, 'cause they can't play anything else, and professionals, because they know how important longtones are."

It's so true. Every teacher tells students to play longtones, and every student thinks they're the most boring thing in the world. I mean, what's interesting or fun about holding out one note for a long time?

First, let's talk about what longtones are good for:

  • Strengthening the embouchure.
  • Improving breath control.
  • Improving tone quality.

It's obvious that beginners need to strengthen their embouchures, because they don't have one yet! Likewise for breath control. But why should someone who's been playing, say, a year or longer play longtones? Answer: to improve his or her tone quality.

Sounds like a good idea. Wouldn't every sax player like to have a great sound? How do you get one?

First, realize that every single tone has many aspects, or levels, to it. The three basic categories are:

  • Main tone, the "edge" sound (most obvious to the ear)
  • Shadow tone (same pitch as the note you're playing, but in the background)
  • Overtones (high-pitched whistling or buzzing tones floating above the main tone)

Many players focus only on their edge tone, in fact they may have never practiced listening to their shadow tone or their overtones. That's too bad, because discovering and listening to those other levels of one's sound is one of the most interesting things about music.

Play your longtones against a wall, so you can hear the sound bouncing back at you. Listen deeply to each tone. The shadow tone sounds almost like an echo of the main tone. It's a very plain sound; it wouldn't be very interesting by itself. It's as if you took a black crayon and rubbed lightly on some paper. The color would be grayish, wouldn't it? Then you take the crayon and rub hard over the gray, and it comes out black. But the gray color is underneath that, making your black even richer and fuller. That's your shadow tone.

You'll notice that as you approach the curve at the bottom of the bell, the shadow tone may start to deviate in pitch from the note you're playing. It may go as low as a minor third below. This phenomenon is due to the abrupt change in direction of the airstream as it follows the curve of the horn, and it may help you to become aware of the shadow tone.

Now play your low Bb against the wall. Chances are you will hear the octave + 5th F sounding faintly as well; this is one of the most easily heard overtones. The saxophone has many overtones in its timbre. It's fascinating to discover these aspects of your sound that you may have never noticed before! Regarding the overtones, all musicians should be familiar with the overtone series; please consult other sources if you are unfamiliar with it, as it is beyond the scope of this article to explain it adequately.

So to conclude, play your longtones against the wall, listening closely to them. Play them for five minutes every practice session. Be a "sound scientist", and dissect each tone with your ear. If you don't hear any shadow tones or overtones immediately, don't worry. As you focus your attention on listening to your sound, in time these aspects of your tone will begin to stand out more.

By the way, the overtones and shadow tones are what give players their different sounds. Each player's ear draws him or her to a preferred emphasis on one of these tonal aspects — all you have to do is follow your ear. It's also important to listen to professional players of your instrument, both live and on recordings. Your ear needs to be "lured" towards a good sound from outside yourself, as well as inside yourself.

To quote Chris Allen again, professionals understand how important longtones are. A pro sound is like a beautiful healthy plant, and longtones are the water. You stop watering your plant, and no matter how healthy it is, it will slowly die.

So remember, five minutes of longtones a day keeps the blues away!

© 2002-4 Sweet Sue Music

Analyzing Tunes

by Tim Price

The goal of our studies in all these areas is the ability to improvise appropriately and with expressive melodies on all kinds of tunes, be they standards, pop songs, jazz vehicles, rock & roll tunes, or originals. An easy way to develop this facility is to study the tunes you want to play directly. Listen to them on CD's, get them in your head by repeated listenings. Through that kind of analysis and saturation, you will understand and use all the theoretical concepts that have been brought to your attention.

LEARNING THE TUNES

Start with a fake book you have. Pick a few tunes, let's say three. Memorize them.

Next, a great way to insure complete mastery is to transpose them to different keys from memory. If you're an alto player, transpose them to the tenor key. If you're a tenor player, transpose them to the alto key. As you work on tunes, notice their structure and form. Do not simply play from chord to chord. Learn to think and hear the harmonic movement. Listen for two bar sections, four bar sections, eight bar sections, on through sixteen bar sections. By doing this, you'll be building your repertoire of standards of tunes that are commonly performed and tunes that you like that you can play. You can play gigs by knowing a lot of tunes. You can also lose gigs if other musicians discover your weakness.

TUNE ANALYZATION

Work on understanding the harmonic movement and observe the melody the composer uses. As you repeatedly use the skills of analyzing something, you can grasp the nature of a new tune at sight. Knowing these structures can help immediately in your musicianship. You want to be thinking about form, the key, the chord function, what chord scales you will be using, and most importantly, learning the phrasing and musical punctuation of the melody. Is the tune AABA or ABAC or some other nonstandard form? A Cole Porter tune or a Gershwin tune most likely is going to be AABA. A Marcus Miller or Keith Jarrett tune might have a different form. Look at your key signature!!

Look at the last four measures of the tune. Look for the common harmonic patterns. Double-check and make sure there's no modulations. Then determine the functions of the chords. How do they move? Look for the substitutions if there are any. Look for the II, V, I's, and then determine what chord scales, blues scales, and pentatonics you are going to be using. Be very careful of tensions and tunes with modality.

Last but not least

Know the melody inside out. Listen for the phrasing that you want to use to put your personal stamp on this melody. Observe the bridge and how things develop throughout the tune. Now, start improvising by paraphrasing the melody. Gradually begin using your guide tone lines, chord changes in arpeggiated fashion, and various scales, licks, and lines that you have under your fingers. Develop some style of your own on the tune, and most of all, be creative. This is supposed to be fun!

 
  
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