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Teachers Sacking the Sax Teacher - A Plan is Needed

photoman

Daydream Believer
Messages
234
Locality
County Limerick Ireland
I'd be glad to hear what your "Dream teacher" would teach you in a lesson and how.
What are your goals? I think that songs, etudes (that is the way I look at it) are just a tool, a means of transportation to get somebody in control of the instrument.

I would agree with you that tunes are a way to generally express a culmination of the skills being learned: (notation, fingering and speed, tone, control etc). My utimate goal - and it's too vague really - is to be skillful enough to sight read complex tunes and play at reasonably fast tempos, and also improvise to a certain degree, without think about it too hard.

Without trying to be arrogant, I have achieved some control over a camera in that way - I have worked for top international clients, won awards for my work and have taught, literally, many hundreds of students to take better photographs (and got the thank you notes to prove it). I can almost take a publishable shot without thinking about it, just in the same way that great players play their instruments.

I am too old to get to that level with the Saxophone, but I do have a desire to get some level of mastery over an instrument - I have tried a few and I'm hoping I'll finally get there with the Saxophone,

Maybe you don't need a teacher. The fundamentals of the saxophone are very straight forward. On the other hand if you're seeing Mr Pine soon....he's not cheap though.....maybe later lol.

I think what I really need is direction. I think the man in question is beyond me at the moment, perhaps not in terms of fees. I also charge high rates to teach photography and that is totally fine in my mind - if you're good, charge for it. But I think I'd just embarrass myself and waste his time. When I'm ready to buy the Selmer, I might give him a call.

But there are others who I might consider Skyping if I get the nerve!
 

Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,301
Locality
Austria
Hello,

I think that a good teacher will try to get you to learn the basics as good as possible, giving you the opportunity to develop.
For a teacher, it is important to have a good feel for a balance to just let the student play, explore. On the other hand lead him to avoid mistakes and bad habits.

Think about your skills in photography. How long did it take to get there? Could it be that you just need a bit of patience?
How much time do you spend on your daily practice routine?
Excuse me if I have overlooked the information, but how long have you been playing?

Cheers,
Guenne
 

photoman

Daydream Believer
Messages
234
Locality
County Limerick Ireland
Excuse me if I have overlooked the information, but how long have you been playing?

See post #8 for my full c.v I prefer to put it in context, as 9 weeks sounds like no time at all. :)
 

Saxdiva

Older, wiser, should know better....
Messages
527
Locality
Burgess Hill, West Sussex
Hello,

I think that a good teacher will try to get you to learn the basics as good as possible, giving you the opportunity to develop.
For a teacher, it is important to have a good feel for a balance to just let the student play, explore. On the other hand lead him to avoid mistakes and bad habits.

Think about your skills in photography. How long did it take to get there? Could it be that you just need a bit of patience?
How much time do you spend on your daily practice routine?
Excuse me if I have overlooked the information, but how long have you been playing?

Cheers,
Guenne

I think I played Strangers in the Night for several weeks, along with lots of long tones to develop embouchure. I spent 30 mins a day moving up to an hour as soon as I was more comfortable with embouchure. I don't think your photography or psychology make any difference to the development of tone or embouchure. Intelligence or capacity to learn doesn't mean lots of time is avoidable on the basics - although it may make you impatient. You may find that other tutors expect the same amount of effort on the basics. Hopefully you will get the sense that they are allowing you to develop in the way you want. I always think I can play tunes/scales or try to experiment without my tutor and he spends time on developing technique - which at the start is likely to be repetitious and focused on basics. Nine weeks is a very short time.
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
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1,401
Locality
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
So, "as far as you are concerned", anyone who plays for their own amusement is just involved in "self-indulgent noodling"?

Why? Does everything you do only have worth if it's for an audience?


Nick. The honest answer for me has to be yes. This is probably a result of an upbringing based on the Celtic tradition of Kids being "expected" to develop their musical skills with a view to Entertaining and perhaps continuing the tradition. Who Knows?
Up here there is also the additional aspect of musical competition . Something which I actually believe to be abhorrent but that is never the less a huge part of the culture and an incentive for many young Scottish musicians. particularly those involved in the so called traditional scene.

I`m in no way meaningfully decrying other people for using music in any way that suits their needs . I just have a tendency to believe in practice and musical development being a means to an end I suppose.
 
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photoman

Daydream Believer
Messages
234
Locality
County Limerick Ireland
I always think I can play tunes/scales or try to experiment without my tutor and he spends time on developing technique - which at the start is likely to be repetitious and focused on basics. Nine weeks is a very short time.

I think it would be useful not to take what I am saying out of context - and also lose sight of my inital concern, which actually goes back to threads posted a few weeks ago.

I am happy with repetition in my practice and totally appreciate the benefits of it for my tone and other technique. I have been practicing long tones - low C to G tonight, and some tonguing on the C scale, for example. I am also still playing "strangers", for crescendo and diminuendo and slur/tongueing practice and combining the two sets of techniques.

My general concern was that, no matter how valuable those things are, and how short my playing time may be, I felt that my tutor was not challenging me enough - and was teaching everyone in the same way - and moving us on at the same pace.

And as a teacher myself, that was, I felt, not conducive to me feeling good about being there - and I have actually been put off practicing in recent weeks.

I am making the move on the grounds that a change will be as good as a (one beat) rest.
 
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Guenne

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,301
Locality
Austria
Hi,
in my teaching, the material I use might differ between teaching children or grown-ups.
Of course my language, my diction too :)
But the basics are the same.
BTW, the book "Jazz method for saxophone" is pretty challenging.
I only use it for people who have experience with other instruments (the flutists for instance).
So for you it might be a good choice, the playbacks are nice.

Cheers,
Guenne
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
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6,721
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Good luck with your plans.

My experience, for what it's worth, is that some teachers don't distinguish between different types of student and their needs: they have a 'one method suits all' approach to teaching. Whilst an element of that is probably necessary, it won't work for some people.

My first cello teach mostly taught children - he tended to SPEAK VERY LOUDLY to me - even though I was the only person in the room and my hearing is fine.

I think this may be an element of what's going on here.

You may need to have a trial session with a few teachers until you find the one that works for you.

The sax is a bit of a wild thing and tone takes time to develop, as does tuning. I'm currently having trouble with my tenor and I can't always get it to speak cleanly. I'd definitely second the suggestion of playing with others if possible.
 
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TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,361
Locality
Skabertawe, South Wales
I'd bought the "Jazz Method for Tenor Saxsophone" book when studying soprano but then got hooked on the ABRSM jazz grades which I did on alto sax from Grade 2 onwards - only 5 grades but actually playing actual tunes and with a sense of purpose was very motivating and exciting. Worth doing even if you do not do the exams.
 

Adrian63

Senior Member
Messages
2,142
Locality
United Kingdom
Been a while since I last saw a copy; I remember the Jackie McLean book being great. Good luck. Ade
 
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