All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Moving forward

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Well I've been playing sax for around a year now, and previous to that for two years many moons ago. I've the ABRSM Grade 6 exam on April 6th (yikes!).

However I have never actually done anything other than practice! To even think about playing in front of someone would make me feel nervous, I think it's complete lack of confidence. Recently I had to "play" when choosing a new horn at sax.co.uk, in front of my girlfriends parents, when a friend was round etc, and I found the more this type of thing happened the more confident I'm getting, actually getting a buzz from it. When I first arrived at the sax shop I was a nervous wreck thinking about someone else actually hearing me!

Anyway I have booked to go on this:
http://www.creativevacances.com/Saxophone-courses.asp

And am also seriously considering this one (thanks Col for the info):
http://musicforyousummerschools.co.uk/easter_jazz.htm

I'm hoping this will either cure me or kill me in relation to the nerves :)

After my grade 6 exam my plan is to put some serious effort into sight reading and understanding of rhythms (I'm not good at this maybe able to play a Grade 4 piece if given 30 seconds), forget exams for a while and just look at as much music as possible and try and get out there and experience the fun of meeting like minded people etc.

Not sure why I'm even posting this :) but would welcome any comments.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Just in case my initial post sounded negative, that wasn't the intention, quite the opposite....I'm finding it exciting that I feel able to start moving forward and join in with the fun! I think your sig sums it up "Man is limited by his fears, not his imagination" :)
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
Messages
2,362
Hi Andy

I did a summer school in Harrogate a few years ago and Andy Scott was the course director. It was excellent and i would have booked for the French one but will be in Florida that week. I'd definitely be interested for next year if it runs. If Andy uses his Sax Assaut charts at all you'll have fun. You'll have fun anyway but the Sax Assault stuff is fantastic. I particularly enjoyed Lip Service.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Andy!

Its a dilemma for a lot of people - what to do other than play music at home, especially when above school age. A hlfway point that you might consider would be to try and find some other musicians locally who are in a similar position - bass guitarist, sax player, trumpet, drummer, or anyone who may want to get together to play some tunes together.. Great that you are looking at doing some workshops - I did a day for trumpet and sax players which was an affirming and challenging experience - including some bars of improvising etc.

Good luck in your forward steps!
Kind regards
Tom
 

les3716

Member
Messages
181
Hi Andy - I love your Heading - Moving forward!

Have you concidered what you are going to do with all the practise, exams and learning you have gained?

Surely you are not going to keep it to yourself!

You mentioned the Buzz you get when playing in front of people.

Go for it - Regards Les.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Andy, getting that buzz says that you are beginning to enjoy it and that's the secret. Really go into these playing events with the positive view that you are going to enjoy it and so are your audience and draw strength from that. One thing you could try is the visioning technique used by sports people. Imagine how good you will feel playing with and to others and what you will feel like when they applaud (as they will do in a closed environment like a learning event) and what a high you will feel afterwards.

That event in France sounds good. The Charente valley is delightful and Cognac is a nice town, apart from the obvious attractions of the distilleries!
YC
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
I would imagine that the best way to get used to playing in front of other people is to start by jamming with other musicians causally. Maybe where you aren't even "performing" at all. Or if there is an audience you're not necessarily the star player, you're just one of an ensemble.

If you start out being the main attraction with the spotlight focused solely on you, then obviously that's going to be a lot more difficult. And it's even worse yet if it's a solo! Playing in an ensemble you have other people to keep the groove going should you happen to get off track. It gives you a chance to recoup and get back into the flow of things.
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Hi Andy

I did a summer school in Harrogate a few years ago and Andy Scott was the course director. It was excellent and i would have booked for the French one but will be in Florida that week. I'd definitely be interested for next year if it runs. If Andy uses his Sax Assaut charts at all you'll have fun. You'll have fun anyway but the Sax Assault stuff is fantastic. I particularly enjoyed Lip Service.
I'm really looking forward to it, I saw Andy Scott perform recently at the Lighthouse in Poole which I really enjoyed.

Hi Andy!

Its a dilemma for a lot of people - what to do other than play music at home, especially when above school age. A halfway point that you might consider would be to try and find some other musicians locally who are in a similar position - bass guitarist, sax player, trumpet, drummer, or anyone who may want to get together to play some tunes together.. Great that you are looking at doing some workshops - I did a day for trumpet and sax players which was an affirming and challenging experience - including some bars of improvising etc.

Good luck in your forward steps!
Kind regards
Tom
Thanks Tom, appreciate it. Certainly the workshops will give me more confidence and go from there!

Hi Andy - I love your Heading - Moving forward!

Have you considered what you are going to do with all the practice, exams and learning you have gained?

Surely you are not going to keep it to yourself!

You mentioned the Buzz you get when playing in front of people.

Go for it - Regards Les.
Only a little while ago I really didn't know what I wanted to do as I got better - people asked me the question and I would just sort of shrug, but starting to talk to like minded people and having to start playing in front of other people has certainly opened my mind to the exciting possibilities!

Andy, getting that buzz says that you are beginning to enjoy it and that's the secret. Really go into these playing events with the positive view that you are going to enjoy it and so are your audience and draw strength from that. One thing you could try is the visioning technique used by sports people. Imagine how good you will feel playing with and to others and what you will feel like when they applaud (as they will do in a closed environment like a learning event) and what a high you will feel afterwards.

That event in France sounds good. The Charente valley is delightful and Cognac is a nice town, apart from the obvious attractions of the distilleries!
YC
You're right I am starting to enjoy it :) I know I'll be nervous going to these workshops but also know to improve I've got to go through the process, which I think will result in me being a better player as well as a more confident person!

I would imagine that the best way to get used to playing in front of other people is to start by jamming with other musicians causally. Maybe where you aren't even "performing" at all. Or if there is an audience you're not necessarily the star player, you're just one of an ensemble.

If you start out being the main attraction with the spotlight focused solely on you, then obviously that's going to be a lot more difficult. And it's even worse yet if it's a solo! Playing in an ensemble you have other people to keep the groove going should you happen to get off track. It gives you a chance to recoup and get back into the flow of things.
Thanks for your comments and advice. I've noticed when I get nervous (in an exam for example) my throat closes up which is really bad when needing lots of air :)))
 

Rock Lobster

Member
Messages
124
Andy,

Sounds great progress, Grade 6 after a year back in harness. So, (with a little concern under the surface here), accepting that we all progress at our own pace, is there a rule of thumb about how far you should be after a year, 2 years etc? or are there just too many vairables like time spent practicing, facilities to practice etc. to say a grade every 6 months or every year.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Andy,

You're a man with a plan! Best of luck with it!

I'm looking at moving forward myself but living on a Isle is proving a little difficult! I suffered major stage fright at one point and was forced to do a solo and I sucked! BIG time! Once I finished everyone turned and said "it can only get better" :))) The next time did the same number and it wasn't too bad! My confidence is improving all the time! I'm with you about that buzz feeling - awesome!
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Andy,

Sounds great progress, Grade 6 after a year back in harness. So, (with a little concern under the surface here), accepting that we all progress at our own pace, is there a rule of thumb about how far you should be after a year, 2 years etc? or are there just too many variables like time spent practicing, facilities to practice etc. to say a grade every 6 months or every year.
Looking back I didn't realise how time consuming it would be getting back to where I was before I stopped playing back in 1992 (where I had taken my Grade 5 exam). Since March last year I've been practicing about one hour a day, what with work and having my little boy every other day time is tight. After my Grade 6 exam on April 6th I'm going to take a break from exams and try and focus on other aspects such as looking at as much music as I can, get better at sight reading, doing workshops etc. Back in 1990 when I practiced for around 2 hours a day I was taking an exam every four months or so, reaching Grade 5 in two years. I'd like to think if I went for Grade 7 and Grade 8 I'd try and do each grade in a six month period but that would be constant practice on exam stuff and think that's what is limiting me in the past - just doing the exams. I'm also tempted to try something different in the future, perhaps the Trinity Jazz exams.
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Hi Andy,

You're a man with a plan! Best of luck with it!

I'm looking at moving forward myself but living on a Isle is proving a little difficult! I suffered major stage fright at one point and was forced to do a solo and I sucked! BIG time! Once I finished everyone turned and said "it can only get better" :))) The next time did the same number and it wasn't too bad! My confidence is improving all the time! I'm with you about that buzz feeling - awesome!
Thanks Paul! LOL Well I definitely plan too much, less planning/thinking and more doing is what I need to learn :)))

I guess options would be limited where you live, I've no idea actually what population stats are for the Isle of Man. You're right though, it can only get better, confidence is the key and I'm sure mixing with fellow sax players is the way to obtain that.

Hi Andy

if you are interested in jazz improv, I am running a course on Sun 27th March at Exeter Phoenix which will include a bar performance with a rhythm section in the evening: Details at http://www.petecanter.com/workshops

Pete
Hi Pete, thanks for the link, will give it some thought and let you know :D
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Must say that I'm really impressed with your progress, even if you played to a good standard before - it's 20 years.....

Hope the grade 6 goes well, you certainly sound well prepared.
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Must say that I'm really impressed with your progress, even if you played to a good standard before - it's 20 years.....

Hope the grade 6 goes well, you certainly sound well prepared.
Thanks Kev, I didn't realise how long 20 years was until I started playing again :) If you hadn't already guess I'm a bit of a perfectionist LOL so although I don't feel well prepared I probably am. My pieces and scales are ok (need to get fully used to new sax though), having lessons for the Aural part of the exam as I struggle with that, and sight reading will not be good, but hey ho cant be good at everything :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I'm sure you'll do well, as Descartes said, Doubt is the beginning of knowledge.
 

Col

Member
Messages
153
I've heard Andy play and he's being very modest.
I know many, many players who would kill for his tone (myself included), he makes that Yanni of his sing.

It's going to be fun on the Easter course.
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
I've heard Andy play and he's being very modest.
I know many, many players who would kill for his tone (myself included), he makes that Yanni of his sing.

It's going to be fun on the Easter course.
:blush: Awwww Thanks Col, I'm feeling myself go red! Confidence is what I am missing and am looking forward to this course to try and help with that, as well as improve my sax playing. Very happy to have such a positive comment on my sound :D
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
Hooray! Just logged into ABRSM and clicked to see if my results are available for my Grade 6 exam I took earlier this month, and was surprised to see it there as haven't received any confirmation yet!

I passed with Distinction, 130 out of 150. I'm very happy with that!

Really looking forward (albeit with a lot of nerves) to the Jazz course starting Thursday.
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom