Supporting   special needs music

Starting Again at 65

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Locality
Weybridge, Surrey
My love affair with the Tenor started over 30 years ago, but was just a hobby as a business career took all my time.
During that time I played about 5 times a week for about an hour a time, just the tunes I heard and loved from old 30's ballads to some much faster 60's stuff which I heard played at my favourite venue--Bulls Head, Barnes and on the radio.
I never had any lessons and certainly never did all the scales work for the grades--in fact did virtually no scale practice really at all
My improvising has always been to embellish the melody whilst picking up the major chord changes in any song--I do this by ear rather than automatically knowing what scales etc work over certain chord progressions
I did spend two years practising improvisation with a pro Alto player but he was a Bop fan--very good but not my thing, although he did in the end think my improvising by ear was getting much better on some faster stuff
My practice is now playing about 50 various songs over Band in a Box backing tracks, with all real tracks, that I put through a small PA at home
I also attend a Blues / Jazz evening class and have played in public several times with them--not that difficult as the tunes are not hard and the standard not high.
Sight reading is OK ish although I do struggle if moving past 3 sharps and 3 flats until I learn the tune.

So to the point of this long waffle--I am now 65 this year and have loads of free time
Just how much would going through all the scales, modes etc, in other words starting again improve my playing with the material I have and like to play--I have the finger dexterity still to play fast but that's not the sort of stuff I like to listen too that much. Bop just isn't melodic enough for me although I can admire the technical skills involved

Is there anyone out there who has done this and started again by learning all the theory stuff and if so did it really improve your playing that much????
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
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3,947
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Manchester, UK
In my (amateur) opinion it will help you to improvise in ways other then embellishing the melody, if thats what you want to do (and that doesn't have to mean 90mph bebop, I just mean constructing your own melodies in whatever key(s) you're supposed to be in at the time). It aslo helps with general instrumental technique, timing (if done with a metronome) and ear training. I've grown to love scales over the years. You never know them as well as you'd like to think you do.

For improvising, you'll want to work on arpeggios, too. And don't just play the scales/arps up and down the instrument. Play scales in 3rds 5ths 6ths, whatever, and make up little exercise for yourself based on, eg , four note fragments ascending/descending etc. That way you get to know what sounds are available in a certan harmonic context.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,386
Locality
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Seeing as you have the time on your hands go for it, it can only improve your playing :thumb:

Ps Welcome back to the cafe
 
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Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
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3,756
Locality
Manchester,England
Hi Phil, first of all welcome to the Café If you have the time the learning a little theory will not do
you any harm and will help you be a little more creative with your solos. The fun will learning how
to apply it:)

All the best

Chris..
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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21,468
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Just north of Munich
Big welcome from me. Wish I had time on my hands. But then again, if I did I'd be out of work.
 

zelda

On the border
Messages
555
Locality
Southeastern Alberta, Canada
Howdy and welcome to the Café, Phil.
 

spike

Old Indian
Messages
2,434
Locality
Half way up a hill
Is there anyone out there who has done this and started again by learning all the theory stuff and if so did it really improve your playing that much????
My answer to the two questions at the end of your post:
Is there anyone out there who has done this and started again by learning all the theory stuff?
Answer: Yes!!
and if so did it really improve your playing that much?
Answer: Yes!! and how!
Transcribing especially, listen to saxers and music that you want to play and copy them. You don't have to be able to read dots - just learn to use yer' buckinears!!! Be-bop, progressive, fusion, smooth is kewl and I love listening to it but it doesn't really float my Queen Mary. I take it, rob it, steal it, move the licks about, change the rhythm and turn it into my style - I'm an old tenor boozer, bloozer, big girls' blouser - r'n'b - rock'n'roller - sock it to 'em Phil. Just do your thang. Gruss - spike
 

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Locality
Weybridge, Surrey
Hi Guys

Thanks to you all for the replies and thanks to Spike once I had decoded it:)

I have just looked at the ABRSM books from grade 1 to 8 for sax--cant stand all the classical stuff you need to play

I was given Pete's, Taming The Saxophone book 3 by my wife a while ago which I have started to go through but I assume there must be books 1 and 2

I would appreciate feedback from anyone who has them--are they scales and arps, patterns etc like book 3 but more basic

If so then its purchase time--I assume I can buy them through this site

Tx guys

Phil
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,468
Locality
Just north of Munich
As I remember it, Pete mapped out the series and their content, then wrote the easiest (to write) first. This was volume 3. Then came volume 1.
 

Philsaxophone

Member
Messages
41
Locality
Weybridge, Surrey
Just bought book 1

When I went to pay there was a link to a book called " Improvise For Real"

I assume as its an add on the site then its recognised as being useful

Does anyone have any experience of this--I see its from the USA and as I'm off there in about 10 days for a few weeks I thought I might go to Sam Ash and get it

Tx

Phil
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,854
Locality
Cheshire UK
I prefer to think of it as a destination (or rather a succession of destinations). There's no reason we can't get there, but it's a long road so we'd better keep going.

Absolutely and sometimes I look back and remember 31/2 years ago I couldn't read music, didn't know how to pick up a sax without damaging it, had never heard of audacity or cafe sax and here I am just about managed to knock a short tune out :sax:

Jx
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Messages
10,036
Locality
KIC 8462852
Absolutely and sometimes I look back and remember 31/2 years ago I couldn't read music, didn't know how to pick up a sax without damaging it, had never heard of audacity or cafe sax and here I am just about managed to knock a short tune out :sax:

Jx
After it put a good fight.
 

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