support Tutorials CDs PPT mouthpieces

Another lesson?

Zugzwang

Member
Messages
678
Locality
United Kingdom
In December I was able to persuade a lesson out of someone who isn't taking students - just to look at things I can't explore myself e.g. embouchure faults, things I'm unaware of.
I had a pretty scary lesson - he didn't have any corrections to give about my embouchure or tone (he had me play facing front and side on), but then got me doing scales to a metronome through the full range of the horn, (including giving me new fingering for top E, F, F#) in crochets, quavers, triplets (never got to the semiquavers)! I knew my timing is rubbish, but that proved I can't chew gum and walk in a straight line. Then moved onto (¿diatonic chords?) chord building on every degree of the scale.
He sent me away with 4 sheets of tone/ interval/ timing exercises to do "daily, in all keys", and said if I wanted another lesson I'd have to have it in January, because after that he didn't want to teach.
Sorry for the long preamble, my question is:
Should I try for another lesson, because it may be my last chance? On the other hand, What's the point? It'll take me months to correct the faults he's shown me already. (I think I'm getting worse :eek:!)
PS follow up question: why does anyone do a weekly lesson?
Thanks for reading this far.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,390
Locality
Just north of Munich
Yes, have another lesson. If nothing else you can measure progress. Sounds like the teacher has told you everything you need to work on, but it's a lot in one go. And maybe work on it progressively.
 

OldNotGrey

Member
Messages
109
Locality
Surrey, UK
If you felt you got valuable instruction and advice from the time spent with him/her, in addition to being provided with all the exercises, then I would be inclined to take up the opportunity.
With regard to frequency, I think it comes down to personal circumstances and value for money. If you are able to practise frequently and can make progress, then once a week might suit you otherwise you might consider every two weeks to be more beneficial.
 

Peaches

Member
Messages
129
Wow! Sounds like it was intense! I take weekly lessons since I started playing as a true beginner 2 years ago. Even though it's frustratingly slow for me ( I wish my teacher pushed me more but that's not his style...laid back cool musician type). Since I have made good progress I keep going. I joined the community band and bring the music in to play with my teacher which is helpful.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Café Supporter
Messages
3,568
Locality
The Malverns, Worcs
OMG... I'd be looking for another teacher!
I have 1hr weekly lessons.
We play duets, I play solo, she gives me studies to work on, offers advice on how to improve some features...
Your lesson sounded like a physical to join the Marines!
 

Tiberius

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,062
Locality
England
In the early days of scuba diving, all the instructors were ex military men. They were used to the concept of 'beasting' and most used to 'boast' of the fail rate of people taking their courses. The 'best' instructors were seen to be those who had the highest drop out rate. Along came PADI and others who decided that it really didn't need to be like this. Given adequate training and time, the vast majority of people are capable of learning to scuba dive.

Now, the point is, nobody is saying that this is a 'better' way of learning. Define 'better'? But I still hear and see teachers today saying that the 'best' way to learn saxophone is to spend time only on such intricate details as tone, or timing, and only move forwards when you have that perfect.

I'm not a music teacher, but I still think this is wrong. It's wrong because, like the early days of scuba, it's just going to mean a lot of people are going to 'drop out'. sure, you can point to the successes and say, look, this method has taught these people and see how good they are. But what about all those who stopped? Most of them could have learned, given a better environment to learn in. Sure, they might not have reached the heights of those who learned through the more proscriptive means, but they will be able to play.

I've no interest in learning by 'beasting', I've tried it and failed, but my current teacher is more laid back, he appreciates how and why I want to learn and is happy to teach at my pace, and to keep it interesting at the same time.

If you want to learn in that regime, that's your choice, but it doesn't have to be the only way.
 

Alice

Psychedelic
Messages
5,579
Locality
Kent
It doesn't sound very joyous in my opinion and the teacher has also made it clear that he doesn't want to teach. You haven't said why that one was your only option so take a further look around for somebody who does want to teach. Whilst you're doing that, make use of what you've been taught so far and practice it.
I would love to have weekly lessons but simply can't afford it. My teacher is well worth it though, but I find it hard to keep up anyway because I am completely green when it comes to music theory and the saxophone itself. What I was being taught in my first year of fortnightly lessons however has held me in good stead. I can continue working on those exercises and catch up. It's down to me to make that effort so that the next time I ask for a lesson I haven't gone backwards.
 

Zugzwang

Member
Messages
678
Locality
United Kingdom
Gosh, thanks all, um, an object lesson in how different things can sound to others. I don't think it was "beasting" or beastly - I think the teacher was giving me everything I could get out of an hour lesson. I was v. nervous, but probably didn't show it at all, and no reason to think he's not a gentle sweetie to some shaky 12-year old.
My question was simply about showing up without having nailed whatever it is one was shown in the previous lesson.(for any value of 'nailed').
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
27,049
Locality
Cheshire UK
I suppose it depends, why you haven't nailed it? Lack of time lesson may not be needed, struggling with something go back :)

Or if it will keep you motivated and you think you'll get something out of it then go back...

Jx
 

Zugzwang

Member
Messages
678
Locality
United Kingdom
Oh lack of time, no question, but the door is only open for another week or so - that's the conundrum
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,702
Locality
Victoria BC Canada
Just to be clear, one cannot teach anyone anything. One can only show.

Sounds to me like @Zugzwang has lots and lots to concentrate on. Timing is far more important that notes.

Depending on how much time you have to practice each and every day you might consider getting what you have been shown up to a reasonable level and if you are the type of person who does well with regular smaller dose lessons save your money and find a good tutor to work with.
 

Zugzwang

Member
Messages
678
Locality
United Kingdom
Oh dear, let me redress the balance by saying he offered me a play on his beautiful sax, and encouraged me when I demurred …clouds parted, angels fluttered their wings,
…then I had to give it back. The action on the Yama is like Whack-a-Mole by comparison, never mind the What did you expect?s
Boy I sounded good :p
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
8,016
Locality
Bristol, UK
I don't understand why people think the teacher was bad. It sounds to me as if he knew he would only be giving one, or possibly two, lessons, so he provided the pupil with a lot of practice material to be getting on with for the next few months. My teacher has given me loads of stuff to look at (e.g. the Klose exercises and the Londeix book) but there is no expectation that I will have mastered it all by the next lesson. This seems fine to me for an adult pupil. It might be different for a child.

My advice would be: if you thought you got a lot out of the last lesson (i.e. if it was scary but useful), have another one. If it was just scary, find another teacher.
 
Last edited:

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,024
Locality
London
The timing to get exercises ready must be realistic.
There are exercises that will stay with you forever, but a bunch of scales on the metronome is quite time consuming (remind me to tell you about semiquavers). If he expects you to have them ready in a short time it is pretty unrealistic.

This said, he might give you good stuff for you to practise in future.
 

brianr

 
Messages
1,281
I had a pretty scary lesson

but then got me doing scales to a metronome through the full range of the horn, (including giving me new fingering for top E, F, F#) in crochets, quavers, triplets (never got to the semiquavers)!

I knew my timing is rubbish, but that proved I can't chew gum and walk in a straight line.

Then moved onto (¿diatonic chords?) chord building on every degree of the scale.

He sent me away with 4 sheets of tone/ interval/ timing exercises to do "daily, in all keys",

and said if I wanted another lesson I'd have to have it in January, because after that he didn't want to teach.

Should I try for another lesson, because it may be my last chance? On the other hand, What's the point? It'll take me months to correct the faults he's shown me already. (I think I'm getting worse :eek:!)

it is always difficult advising someone who we know very little about, in terms of current levels of ability

But, as a generalisation I see 2 things to comment on

1) if your timing isnt good, address that directly and in a targeted way. NOT by having you try to do it whilst doing loads of technical stuff in all keys daily. Yes, your timing may get better, but as not as much or as quickly if you narrow things down a bit, and focus on the timing element as your main thing for part of each session.

for example, you may well struggle with fluency in F sharp major. which means that you are having to think about/deal with that . you cant possibly be giving the time element the attention it deserves.

Too many students try to deal with too much in a practice session, and end up nailing NONE of it.
I did this too for years and now get much more out of my practice by focusing on a much narrower thing.

2) again, depending on current level, doing "interval exercises daily in all keys" may be overload.
and then if he has added in Diatonic 7th chords in all keys as well !!!!
Overload is not the way to progress. sensible choosing of correct topics is.

WAY too much to expect you to nail by the next lesson.

Im not knocking the kind of stuff he is talking about. These are essential fundamentals for all aspiring jazzers to get together...JUST NOT ALL AT ONCE.

So, i would suggest that another lesson with this teacher is not needed AT THE MOMENT.

Why not contact him and say you loved what he talked about, but feel that you need more time to absorb it, and get the stuff together.
It sounds as if he would just go over the same stuff anyway. And even if he were to add more. What is the point of overload.
if he sees that you are keen enough, he will still be there in 6 months for another lesson.
Dont be thinking that it is now or never. If you wave money under his nose in 6 months, he will be there.

Happy to make some timing suggestions in a private message if you wanted to explore that.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,390
Locality
Just north of Munich
Talking about Yamahas, there are posts somewhere about the springs being set hard. Probably by @Ads. Get a tech to lighten them if you can. Will make a big difference.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,721
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
One way or another, I have a lot of experience of being a music student - singing, viol, cello, sax (we won't talk about bass guitar). I think if my interpetaiton is correct, that he gave you a load of stuff for the simple reason that it sounds like he's retiring and not planning on doing more, so he probably threw everything at you on one go?
There's plenty of good advice above. I'd agree about having your sax given the once over - Yamahas are usually very good, the ones I've tried have been.
I'd particularly agree about picking a narrow focus for attention at any one time. Note sure where you're based, but you would probably benefit from a few regular lessons - say every 2 or maybe 4 weeks for a few months and see how you get on?
 
Top Bottom