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Beginner Practice Routines- what do you do?

ColchesterSaxMan

New Member
Messages
19
Just wondering what some on here do in their practice routine?

what is consists of, and how much time spent per day on practice?

Cheers
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
533
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Hi, I've been playing since the start of the year and started having a weekly hour-long lesson in March. I practice for around an hour and a half a day, sometimes more if I'm concentrating on something new. I spend around 15 minutes on long tone practice and 20 minutes on scales/arpeggios/patterns. I then do some reading practice and finish with a bit of improvisation, around 15 minutes of each. I also play tenor so I then do long tones again for 15 minutes and play whatever I feel like to finish off.
 

Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,992
Locality
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
Cripes, practise! I know it's not really ideal, but basically I don't practise, not in the formal sense of the word. This may be slowing down my musical development but I am having a load of fun along the way. Basically, being self-taught (but with many years experience playing different instruments including formal piano lessons as a kid) my playing consists largely of ear-training by playing along with CD's, the radio, backing tracks etc.

Just recently I've started doing a few sessions in a local rehearsal studio (cheap rates for lone musicians!) taking my backing tracks along and having a good blow for a couple of hours. This seems to be helping both my ear-training and my overall sound as I get to play at a proper volume in a natural position. For those of you who don't know, I do a lot of playing between jobs in the car as I am out on the road for work all day.

so, practise? Nah, I'm just a natural :cool: :)))
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
699
What I did this morning (two-hour session): long tones, then worked on four of the Rossari (Book 1) etudes, then Ferling 25 to 32, then four of the Parisi (Book 1) etudes. In the afternoon I'll play for another hour, probbaly Lacour Book 2. This is my usual daily routine.
 

thesaxman71

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,687
hey,
in addition to long notes, playing etudes and scales try looking up the "Jamey Aebersold" series of books and play alongs, at first they may seem a little complicated but in time you will get to grips with them and most saxophone players will agree this is a well respected series, it never did me any harm and i still use them today after playing over 25 years and many top pro sax players have used these helping with ear training, playing along with a rythm section in jazz and in particular improvisation as the play along gives you plenty of space to try your new ideas, starting from simple excercises to more advanced approaches.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,522
Locality
West Midlands
Long notes make for good practise but if i don't feel like doing them i just put on a really slow ballad backing track and doodle along play long notes to the backing track,just makes things a bit more interesting.
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,917
I never consciously say OK, I'm going to practice for an hour and a half today or whatever I just play what I think needs work until I'm happy with what I've done, I do think you can especially as a beginner over do it and quickly get fed up, seen some members on here recently full of it one minute, buy loads of saxophones then they either give up or you never hear from them again the next. It's a long hard road with very little short cuts I'm afraid. I Must admit I always found the Jamey Aebersold books over complicated and very hard work, I have a few of them but just couldn't get on with them to be honest.
Some stuff I do like doing is running up and down scales with ever increasing speed, really improves dexterity as well as breathing I reckon, also with stuff like G major and above rather than run up to a 12th go into the next register, then back down again.
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Locality
Spalding Lincs
... seen some members on here recently full of it one minute, buy loads of saxophones then they either give up or you never hear from them again the next...

Not me Guv... Only got 2 and try to practice for an hour at least 5 days a week.

Hopefully one day I might see signs of improvement.
 

muzza

Member
Messages
109
Locality
Wellington, New Zealand
I have found my practise is split loosely into:
Tone - work on the sounds I can make.
Technique - work on fingering, articulation and rhythm i.e. scales, patterns, etude, grace notes...
Playing - learning and playing tunes
Improvising.
As you improve so does difficulty of what you do in each section.

Family budget means I am also teaching myself and have found
- Base your learning around a book or books that slowly increase in difficulty.
- There is a lot happening when you play, so don't be afraid to put the saxophone down to work something out. For example clap the rhythm before you play.
- get use a playing with a metronome.
- get use to counting as you play.
- record and lesson to yourself.

A great exercise, with backing tracks that have saxophone and rhythm section on different channels is to record yourself with saxophone channel muted. Once finished play back with saxophone channel back on. Great to check your timing.

Tip. I found through this site by adding some reverb, a recommended start point in audacity is 40 - 4 - .9 - .75 - 0 - -22 - -28, improves how the recording sounds. Use the site search for more about this.

Finally have fun.
 

Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,992
Locality
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
hey,
in addition to long notes, playing etudes and scales try looking up the "Jamey Aebersold" series of books and play alongs, at first they may seem a little complicated but in time you will get to grips with them and most saxophone players will agree this is a well respected series, it never did me any harm and i still use them today after playing over 25 years and many top pro sax players have used these helping with ear training, playing along with a rythm section in jazz and in particular improvisation as the play along gives you plenty of space to try your new ideas, starting from simple excercises to more advanced approaches.

Seconded! I really like the Aebersold playalongs for all the same reasons. I also do what jazzdoh does, play along with ballads to get plenty of long tones in.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,215
Locality
Skabertawe, South Wales
Really important to have a practice routine that you enjoy and have a purpose to do, so thatm you remain motivated. When I started I found that two books were really helpful:

1. Creative Saxophone - series by Santin & Clark - from beginner level to Grade 8/Improvisation.
2. Jazz Method for Alto Saxophone by John O'Neill.

Both include accompanying CDs and are designed for Adults. I then followed ABRSM jazz grades in Alto sax and found the structure very helpful and gave me some aim/purpose in terms of practice.

What folks have said above is really useful, but it is so important to have goals/a purpose so that you WANT to practice and make use of your time. My only other advice is to only play for 15/20 mins at a time and build in recovery and relacation time, especially as you are developing an embouchure, which can be easily abused/overused.
 

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