Saxophone Forum


by Sunyveil
(11 posts)
9 years ago

I need general advice

So I'm a sophmore in high school, I've been playing saxophone for 3 years, and have practically decided that I want to spend my life on it, primarily in classical music. I would appreciate advice because I *don't* have a teacher. I had one, but he was a college student in the area and left to another college. In my 3 years of playing, I've done only around 50 exercises, needless to say, I have not gone through the discipline to practice exercises. On the other hand, I recently won an audition for 2nd chair in my county honor band (w00t), and musicians at my school generally look up to me. I have played pieces such as the Eccles and Creston sonata, as well as Tableaux de Provence and Improvisation et Caprice. I am currently working on Concertino de Camera, I've had it for about 4 days and I can play most of it pretty well (haha yea right). Does anybody have any suggestions for me, no matter how vague?

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  1. by Elke
    (10 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: I need general advice

    Hi. I'm one of the moderators for this forum and have taught all ages from elementary to college saxophone. You definitely want to find a teacher who plays classical saxophone. Besides just learning technique exercises (much of which you can do on your own), you need someone to guide you through proper interpretation and very fine subtleties in the literature. Much can be learned studying etudes. I think this is vital to really learning about phrasing and interpreting what's on the page. There are so many other sublteties that cannot go neglected... exactly how you should articulate various styles, basic articulation techniques, embouchure, tone, breathing... for all of these you really need a critical ear that knows exactly what to listen for and what to tell you to do differently.
    Elke Overton

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  2. by Sunyveil
    (11 posts)

    9 years ago

    continued

    oh, and any suggestions on exercise books would be nice. I have one, but it doesn't seem practical or effective to me thanks

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    1. by Bibimbop
      (53 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: continued

      Try to establish some kind of technical routine for yourself... Which should include, but not limited to: Scales and patterns, long tones, tuning exercises, overtones, articulation exercises, etc. Some books that will help you with that: Les Gammes- Londeix Daily Studies- Teal Daily Studies- Kynaston Top Tones- Rascher Voicing- Sinta Next comes etudes. Etudes do work on certain physical technique, but also musicality. They should challenge how your interprut music, as well as build your technique. Etudes should be challenging, but don't spend more than a week or two on an etude. 2 etudes a week (slow/fast) I think is a good routine. Here are some suggestion for someone of your age/level. Etude books: 48 Famous Studies- Ferling Slected Studies- Voxman 24 Petite Etudes Melodiques- Senon 32 Etudes Melodiques- Senon Etude Expressives- Amellar Good luck with your playing, and establishing a good routine. Here's something I think works (and I know some people will disagree), but when you practice it should be divided into three parts: Scales and Technique, Etudes, and Repertoire. Each one of these areas should be practiced for the same length of time. Don't practice Ibert more than you practice your scales, don't practice your scales more than your etudes. That's not my method...it's Londeix's, and it works.

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  3. by johnsonfromwisconsin
    (767 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: I need general advice

    Sunyveil, I gave up on becoming a musician early, probably even before college, if I remember. Despite the fact that music was what I was the best at, I looked at my prospects realistically and decided that they weren't good, especially as a classical saxophone player. It's probably easier to break into a professional sport's Hall of Fame than to make one's living exclusively as a classical performer on the saxophone. Now, many people have made a living off of music and the saxophone by doubling as a performer, or by teaching. I would suggest getting another instructor to help hone your technique toward the allready crouded field of playing excellence, and then broaden your horizons toward performing or teaching. just my 2 cents

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    1. by Mlenox
      (36 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: I need general advice

      Hi, Get a private teacher. It is best if the private teacher is a classical saxophonist, but you would do well to study from any accomplished teacher who has an understanding of the saxophone. Enjoy

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      1. by mroland153
        (13 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: I need general advice

        You seem like you are playing a lot of good literature, and you said that you got second chair which means there is someone that auditioned better than you. Just talk to them, see what your peers are doing and maybe incorporate some of their routine into what you are doing.

        Reply To Post Yahoo!


    2. by kelsey
      (802 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: I need general advice

      You sound like you are doing great, but If playing classical saxophone is your career choice it can be very limiting. I know my saying this will be very unpopular with those who are classical sax players. But If I were you, I would keep playing sax as a secondary instrument and change to flute or clarinet as your main performance instrurment. I play jazz saxophone and play flute as my classical instrument. I was a professional jazz saxophone player before I ever took up flute. It's not that hard to change over if you have a good background in classical music, and don't mind the hard work. I would suppose your plan is to teach music on a college level. As a college teacher you could teach sax as well as your other major classical instrument. No matter what anyone says, sax is a jazz instrument. There are wonderful saxophone players that play only classical but they are very limited as far as performance.........Kelsey
      Barry Kelsey

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      1. by selmer 4evr
        (309 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: I need general advice

        BOOKS LACOUR STUDIES ANY BY LONDEIX MECHANICAL EXERCISES-( excsrcises mecaniques) LONDEIX THE STACCATO- BONADE

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        1. by MavisDavis
          (21 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: I need general advice

          I'd suggest a private teacher. They help so much, and lend thier considerable skills at your disposal. I'm a sophomore in high school as well. Once I got a private teacher, my skills soared, because of the direction he gave me. GOOD LUCK

          Reply To Post Yahoo! AIM