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Smart Music

jbtsax

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If anyone has not yet heard of or tried Smart Music I highly recommend it for players of all ages and abilities.

The features of this program are far too numerous to mention in a single post, but can be summed up by saying that aspiring musicians have access to a tremendous amount of literature including jazz band, concert band, solos, and method books at all levels of ability.

The music is shown on the screen as the player hears the accompaniment or the rest of the ensemble. The tempos can be adjusted to work on difficult passages. Players can record themselves to hear how they sound. The program even points out missed notes and rhythms in each performance. There is also an excellent tuning feature as well.

The cost of the program has come way down from when it was first introduced several years ago. It is only $36 US per year. Even though I retired from teaching school band, I still use it for my own enjoyment and to keep up with the new literature. It is really fun to sit in with "The Big Phat Band" and play along on Gordon Goodwin's great (and challenging) arrangements. Lest you get the wrong impression that I can sightread this stuff, I have to practice my butt off to play some of the parts up to tempo. The challenge makes it all the more fun. At the other end of the spectrum, you can go down a few levels in difficulty closer to your comfort zone, and work on your sight reading in both jazz and concert band styles.

I have no financial interest in promoting this program. I just want to make others aware that it is available.
 

What

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314
Ive heard of this program before. It sounds great thank you for the review yet one more resource to add to the list
 

Richard10002

New Member
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22
I discovered it after reading an article here. After a bit of research, it's a no brainer! About £25 a year, with access to more music than you could imagine!

As a consequence, I am now having lessons online with a teacher in Kent, where I am in Manchester. There will probably be some Skyping introduced at some point, but the Smart Music facilities are quite amazing so far!
 

BigMartin

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3,904
I discovered it after reading an article here. After a bit of research, it's a no brainer! About £25 a year, with access to more music than you could imagine!
As Han Solo once said, I can imagine quite a lot. I had a quick look at the web site and the range (eg of orchestral music) seemed quite limited. Am I missing something?
 

jbtsax

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As Han Solo once said, I can imagine quite a lot. I had a quick look at the web site and the range (eg of orchestral music) seemed quite limited. Am I missing something?
That is a fair comment. There are only 44 full orchestra pieces listed. There are however 791 string orchestra works available. These numbers are low in comparison to the concert band literature which is currently 2,172 selections. For jazz ensemble there are a total of 273.

I am not sure why there are so few full orchestra works by comparison. It may be that it is more difficult to get permission from publishers to use their copyrighted works. Supply and demand could be a factor as well since there are more schools in the U.S. with successful band programs than with strong orchestra programs. I do know that they are adding new works all the time.
 

Richard10002

New Member
Messages
22
As Han Solo once said, I can imagine quite a lot. I had a quick look at the web site and the range (eg of orchestral music) seemed quite limited. Am I missing something?
OK, I exaggerate:) I should have said, "more music than I could imagine".

having just started on saxophone, and having bought about 7 or so books of tunes for about £70 or so, the number of things on Smart Music looked phenomenal for the money, particularly when you consider the other facilities it has.

Of course, if you can play, and have an extensive repertoire, and loads of existing sheet music, it may not be quite as exciting but, to me..........
 

BigMartin

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3,904
OK, I exaggerate:) I should have said, "more music than I could imagine".

having just started on saxophone, and having bought about 7 or so books of tunes for about £70 or so, the number of things on Smart Music looked phenomenal for the money, particularly when you consider the other facilities it has.

Of course, if you can play, and have an extensive repertoire, and loads of existing sheet music, it may not be quite as exciting but, to me..........
Thanks. I just wondered if there was stuff that wasn't obviously availalble through the search engine on the website.
 

saxyman

Member
Messages
267
Just install te IPad App for Smart Music ad found it to be a lot better than I thought itwould be.
Great wealth of scores with accompaniment.
Facility to record along with them
Graded from beginner upto advanced.
Play along with Big Band.
Abersold tutorials
Different Genres
Method Book by numerous authors ie. Hal Leonard, Sorensen. Etc.

The only thing is you need to have an existing SM account.
Considering its a freebie worth a try.
.
 

jbtsax

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8,002
As a lifelong music educator and saxophone player, I have found the Smart Music program to be an extraordinary value and incredible tool for players at any level of experience in any style of music.

From playing along with professional recordings of orchestra, concert band, or jazz ensemble literature at all grade levels from easy to advanced with your part shown on the screen, to playing solos with accompaniments, jazz improvisation, and sight reading exercises, it has it all.

What's more the price was reduced dramatically to only $40 (£24) per year. I would have loved to have something like this when I was learning to play years ago. Students today who are learning to play an instrument for the first time regardless of their age really ought to take advantage of this great educational programs.

edit by admin

Link to "Smart Music" website
 
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Out of Time

formerly "sport"
Messages
24
As a lifelong music educator and saxophone player, I have found the Smart Music program to be an extraordinary value and incredible tool for players at any level of experience in any style of music.

From playing along with professional recordings of orchestra, concert band, or jazz ensemble literature at all grade levels from easy to advanced with your part shown on the screen, to playing solos with accompaniments, jazz improvisation, and sight reading exercises, it has it all.

What's more the price was reduced dramatically to only $40 (£24) per year. I would have loved to have something like this when I was learning to play years ago. Students today who are learning to play an instrument for the first time regardless of their age really ought to take advantage of this great educational programs.
I agree. It is a wonderful tool. For kids in school to have this material and their teacher to guide them through it, keep them on track wow.
Unfortunately being 64 I don't go to school. I get overwhelmed by all the material and lose track. All the material is there. Just doesn't have the road map.
 
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Out of Time

formerly "sport"
Messages
24
Maybe my first post didn't come across right. My only comment was for old folks like me with no access to school a road map to success would be nice.do this, go here, do that, proceed to go.
I use it a lot
I practice with headphones on, just fingering the sax at any time day or night (Doesn't disturb anyone else in the house) and then practice blowing with the horn when it is convenient.
Helps me get the notes in my head as well as under my fingers
 

jbtsax

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8,002
That is a great idea using headphones, listening, and fingering. Blowing is highly overrated anyway. :) Playing a saxophone is 95% mental and 5% physical IMO. I used to have my students do a lot of "singing and fingering" their parts to get the notes, rhythms, and fingerings down before I would let them "blow" the music. It really works.
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
925
Excellent for those that have problem sight reading and keeping their tempo.
I suggested it to a friend of mine, who is also a doubling musician, and it worked wonders.

Thanks Jbtsax
Pro advice as usual
 

jimmylh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,018
I sounds interesting but I was put off by this statement on their web page: *3rd party microphones (including built-in computer microphones) are not supported in SmartMusic.

The idea I would have to buy their special mic kind of rubs me the wrong way, or am I wrong on this?
 

ellinas

Senior Member
Messages
925
I do.
It's a great way to self-study.
How?
I don't download material from in there.
I transcribe music lines (pencil rubber and everything) and then I import them on Finale.
Then I play against my transcriptions and see how off I am.
I count really good in general as I've been a session musician for years in piano/organ.

In sax though I find that my fingers improve slowly but steadily.

Recording myself and playtesting against SmartMusic is a serious weapon of getting better. :)

This is in a part of my Sunday routine :)
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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5,949
What does it do? Their website is woefully short on specifics.
I've got the fact that it's totally wonderful, brilliant, super and whizzo but it tells you bugger all about why it is.
 
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