Saxophone Forum


by threetenors
(18 posts)
8 years ago

Patterns

Hi, I was just wondering if anybody has any good scale patterns that really helped them when they were learning to play / improvise. I'm getting pretty bored of the few that I know, and I know that there are endless possiblities, but I was wondering if there are any paricular ones that are really good for the technique... Thanks

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  1. by Linky
    (26 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Patterns

    I personally don#t use them. I don't see what they can possibly do that playing music in general can do. Transcribe a solo or improvise. Try to forget about the notes, and the theory and just listen to your sound and the expression. You will naturally know what pitch you want to play next, so find it on the sax and there are your first two notes, keep doing this till you develop a theme and voila, you have improvised a melody and now you can expand on it with all sorts of little tricks like inverting it, changing the rhythm, changing a couple pitches, modulating to different keys, all sorts. the less notes you start with, the better you'll be at the end. Restrict yourself to three notes (any octave) and spend an hour improvising on those three notes. It's easily done. If you've run out of ideas within 20 minutes you aren't listening. You can fill a minutes by playing the same thing over and over with very slight rhythmic alterations and expression and it stays interesting. Start with C F and G, (I, IV and V roots in C) Then move on to their triad tones C,E,G F,A,C and G,B,D. Then you can add in the b3, b7 and you've probably already spent a month improvising and came up with hundreds of your own personalised little patterns and licks.

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    1. by threetenors
      (18 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Patterns

      Thanks for the advice Linky, I think I see where you're coming from... That sounds like it would help a lot, and be very benificial when trying to create a melodic solo. I was refering to patterns simply from the technical aspect, wanting to get a better technique, and have a better grasp on the key signiatures. Thanks

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      1. by Linky
        (26 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Patterns

        Yeah purely from a technical point of view you can't fault learning patterns, but most people find it's boring and they don't focus as well. Playing a piece in a key signature does exactly the same job, but it's more fun as it's melodically nice (hopefully!) and you can practise other things at the same time such as keeping an even tempo, playing to a metronome or backing band. I find patterns to be pretty much obsolete in every aspect. Though they do work for some people, if they didn't we wouldn't be being taught them.

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    2. by allstar997
      (3 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: Patterns

      I don't know if I would go as far as to say that patterns are obsolete. For many people they are a good way to gain fluency in all keys. Also, they can easily be turned into melodic material or motives or used however you like as far as improvising goes. Anyways, I'm not sure which common patterns you know already but here's a few basic ones that you can play in all keys or through the chord changes to a song. 1-2-3-5 or 5-3-2-1 1-2-3-4-5-3-2-1 1-2-3-1 or 3-2-1-3 also any sort of arpeggiating is helpful 1-3-5-7, 7-5-3-1, etc. If you're really looking to go nuts you can try playing all the different ways that you can arrange 1-3-5-7 (or any other pattern for that matter) 1-3-5-7, 1-3-7-5, 1-5-3-7, 1-5-7-3, 1-7-3-5, 1-7-5-3, etc etc Hopefully that gives you a little good for thought.

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