Alternatives to Scales

Here’s a little trick if scales have got a bit boring;

Pick a scale as usual (I’m working on a web app for that!), then instead of just climbing up and down the stairs as normal, play some simple tunes. Here are some examples:

They don’t all start on the root note; Work out what key they’re in!

  • God I Look To You, you’re where my Help Comes From
  • Happy Birthday (starts on 5th)
  • Star Wars Theme (1st interval is a 5th)
  • Away In A Manger (1st interval is a 4th)
  • Once In Royal David’s City (1st interval is a 3rd)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (ist interval is an octave
  • Amazing Grace

Pick songs you’re playing regularly, or want to play regularly too. There are plenty of lists of “songs you must know”, just google for them

Idea from www.bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com/simple-songs-an-alternative-approach-to-warming-up-training-your-ear-and-learning-your-keys

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Saxuet website – music for lots of well known tunes

I just came across this site – http://www.saxuet.qc.ca/TheSaxyPage/Standards_In_Bb.htm, with a large listing of music scores for well known tunes for saxophone.

Thanks to Saxuet in Canada for making these scores available.

Band Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/SaxuetJazz/

 

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Mouthpieces now available 3D-printed

I just stumbled across this. It’s a 3D-printed mouthpiece!
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:25996

3d-printed-alto-mouthpiece

 

 

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BeatBox Sax

Amazing sounds from a saxophone!

Every Breath You Take

Bach Cello Suite

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Dr Paul Cohen’s sax collection

Brian Sacawa of the US Army field band visits Dr Paul Cohen, who owns an amazing collection of unusual saxophones, including the largest sax you’ve ever seen, one with a sphere on the end instead of a bell, and one with no tone holes!

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Play along – Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky

From Sax.co.uk, a duet on Alto and Bass sax.

and if I listen carefully, I’m sure there’s an invisible third sax

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It’s got no Front F

My Sax repair man commented that my 1919 Buescher Tenor doesn’t have a “Front F”, a key which would let you jump fourths between top C and top F without having to squish 3 keys with your left palm.

It turns out that Buescher introduced the Front F (also know as “Top F”) in about 1925. There were a number of innovations to the key mechanisms on saxophones, as well as clarinets, to extend the range and to make certain notes or intervals easier to play.

The “Saxophone Museum” records models, date of manufacture and the serial numbers of many saxophones, and has a large collection of photos that helped me identify when Buescher added the Front F. Another useful reference was photos of instruments for sale on Ebay!

 

 

 

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Something more challenging – Oceans

This week, I want to learn to play along to Hillsong’s “Oceans”. It’s in C♯ for a B♭ instrument, so this presents a bit more of a challenge; A good opportunity to improve some harder scales.

Oceans – Hillsong

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Amazing Grace in more keys

I’ve added 2 more versions of Amazing grace, so you can play along in C, D and G.
I also had a bit of a re-arrange and tidied up a bit.

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Amazing Grace (C for Tenor B♭)

I’m building up a collection of hymns and songs to play along to in different keys

First up, a good old favourite, Amazing Grace in C (on a Tenor B♭ Sax)

You’ll find the page here

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