All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Beginner More questions this time breathing and fingering.

What

Member
Messages
314
Well, I finally got my sax. found an inexpensive Legacy TS 750, that some good things were said about it, and it felt like a good fit for a year or so while I save up for a more professional model.

So far i've only had about an hour with it, enough time to work out basics like how to blow to produce a sound and mess with the keys. Nothing I produced could probably be considered a note by any definition, but I loved it. It was like being with an old friend. Nothing like what i've felt with other instruments i have dabbled with over the years.

My questions are if you guys have and good breathing exercises that help build up stamina and producing proper notes that require a change in air flow. Also any good fingering exercises. I have a problem that my ring finger wants to move a bit every time I move my pinky. I don't know how much of a problem this might be, but if it is I would like to get working on it sooner rater then later.

wish I had more time to post, but I gotta run.

Thanks for the help so far.
What
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Welcome in the magic kingdom of boredom. Any resistance is futile. No shortcuts allowed.

While you wait for your first lesson with a teacher, finger a G, blow in the narrow end of the saxophone (the one where you should have a reed attached to a mouthpiece) and play a loooooooooooooong note.
Then repeat.
Until you find it beautiful.

During this phase, that could last from few weeks to a lifetime, wives, partners, dogs, snakes shouldn't interact with you during your daily exercises.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
What, get Larry Teal's excellent book "The Art of the Saxophone" There are excercises to help with finger dexterity, addressing the problem of "grace notes" where no grace notes should be and breathing techniques. I'm glad I got mine years ago and still use it.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
Thanks that is exactly what I needed. Since I can't afford a teacher, online, DVDs, books mad a bit of YouTube are what I have to work with for now. Resources like this are a great help.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,124
Thanks that is exactly what I needed. Since I can't afford a teacher, online, DVDs, books mad a bit of YouTube are what I have to work with for now. Resources like this are a great help.
What, this very website is a good source of information.
Please do not trust youtube. A lot of dogs there. If you cannot afford a teacher, a fellow sax player might help. but the physical proximity is essential in the first stages.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,890
Your ring finger and pinky have to move together I think they share a tendon (please correct or explain if that's wrong).
You can bend your ring finger in without the little finger moving but not vice versa.
Then you can straighten the little finger without the ring finger moving but not vice versa.
 

muzza

Member
Messages
109
See thread, http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?7931-Help-How-do-I-stop-becoming-breathless-on-long-pieces, I started not so long ago. Even playing long tones and longer jazz piece, I really struggled on a slow classical piece with no breaks and little tonguing. Not only getting the breathing right, I also needed to develop the muscles to hold my embouchure for long periods. This is still work in progress.

Along with other recommendations, I'd recommend adding a long slow piece, with dynamics, that forces you to hold your embouchure continuously for long time. I have found it takes time to build up your breathing and embouchure to play such a piece and it's nice hearing the progress as you keep getting further into the piece still sound great.

A great breathing exercise was posted to me within the thread, that may also be of use to you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Your ring finger and pinky have to move together I think they share a tendon (please correct or explain if that's wrong).
You can bend your ring finger in without the little finger moving but not vice versa.
Then you can straighten the little finger without the ring finger moving but not vice versa.
True, but the ability to control them separately comes with practice. Getting enough independant control for the sax doesn't take long, most people have it already.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,890
True, but the ability to control them separately comes with practice. Getting enough independant control for the sax doesn't take long, most people have it already.
What notes are played with ring finger up and little finger down?
Are there some 'alternative' fingerings or altissimo notes that need that?
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,253
Great little exercise for independent finger control, got it from an incredible jazz guitarist - Alex Dawson - we played together for many years in the seventies. Hold your hands in front of you, fingers apart, (like you're holding a cricket or baseball but relaxed) start by placing the first finger left hand on the thumb and simultaneously right hand little finger on the thumb, now in opposite directions LH second finger to thumb and RH third finger to thumb and so on so you're doing 1234321 on the left hand and 4321234 on the right. You can also mix 'em up make up your own patterns, really good for coordination control.

Another one that I do (home-made) is to put both hands flat on the table, fingers apart and do the same things as above lifting the 4 finger RH and 1 finger LH and moving the fingers up and down in opposite directions simultaneously. Once you've got that down starting mixing 'em up doing RH 4231 and simultaneously LH 1324 and so on.

Great for coordination, keeps the brain cells busy and gives you something to do under the table at dinner parties when the conversation gets boring.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,940
Your ring finger and pinky have to move together I think they share a tendon (please correct or explain if that's wrong).
You can bend your ring finger in without the little finger moving but not vice versa.
Then you can straighten the little finger without the ring finger moving but not vice versa.
You're right and it's a major issue for pianists who spend a lot of time trying to get some independence of movement between the two, e.g. trilling on 4 and 5 (piano fingering)
 

What

Member
Messages
314
Wow thanks for all the feedback everybody. Between the book recommendation, links, and exercises i have a lot to work with now. So thank you all again :thumb:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
What notes are played with ring finger up and little finger down?
Are there some 'alternative' fingerings or altissimo notes that need that?
I was thinking of low E, where you want to keep your little finger in contact with the C, ready for the next note.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
Great little exercise for independent finger control, got it from an incredible jazz guitarist - Alex Dawson - we played together for many years in the seventies. Hold your hands in front of you, fingers apart, (like you're holding a cricket or baseball but relaxed) start by placing the first finger left hand on the thumb and simultaneously right hand little finger on the thumb, now in opposite directions LH second finger to thumb and RH third finger to thumb and so on so you're doing 1234321 on the left hand and 4321234 on the right. You can also mix 'em up make up your own patterns, really good for coordination control.

Another one that I do (home-made) is to put both hands flat on the table, fingers apart and do the same things as above lifting the 4 finger RH and 1 finger LH and moving the fingers up and down in opposite directions simultaneously. Once you've got that down starting mixing 'em up doing RH 4231 and simultaneously LH 1324 and so on.

Great for coordination, keeps the brain cells busy and gives you something to do under the table at dinner parties when the conversation gets boring.
Yes this works really well but drives my wife nuts. So do it at your own peril.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,890
Great for coordination, keeps the brain cells busy and gives you something to do under the table at dinner parties when the conversation gets boring.
When the conversation gets boring liven it up by saying something along the lines of: 'I was reading an extremely interesting and thought provoking intellectual discussion on Cafe Saxophone today....'
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
When the conversation gets boring liven it up by saying something along the lines of: 'I was reading an extremely interesting and thought provoking intellectual discussion on Cafe Saxophone today....'
No-one will believe you>:)
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom