Alto Saxophone Lessons For Beginners | Todd Porter | Skillshare

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Alto Saxophone Lessons For Beginners

teacher avatar Todd Porter, Professional Music Educator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome To The Music Coach Alto Sax Program


    • 2.

      4 Essential Elements of Music


    • 3.

      Notes, and the musical alphabet


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Saxophone Setup and Buyers Guide


    • 8.

      You will learn how to put the saxophone together, make your first sound


    • 9.

      Alto Sax week 1 practice


    • 10.

      Learn all of the notes in the E major scale


    • 11.

      Alto Sax week 2 practice


    • 12.

      Learn the first melody for music coach song


    • 13.

      Alto Sax week 3 practice


    • 14.

      Learn how to play the E major scale ascending and descending (up and down)


    • 15.

      Alto Sax week 4 practice


    • 16.

      Learn how to play the E major scale ascending and descending (up and down)


    • 17.

      Alto Sax week 5 practice


    • 18.

      Learn how to play the melody for the B section of the song


    • 19.

      Alto Sax week 6 practice


    • 20.

      Learn how to change your role during the B section from lead to accompaniment.


    • 21.

      Alto Sax week 7 practice


    • 22.

      Learn how to change your role during the entire song from lead to accompaniment.


    • 23.

      Alto Sax week 8 practice


    • 24.

      Learn how to play your first scale pattern


    • 25.

      Alto Sax week 9 practice


    • 26.

      Learn how to play your second scale pattern


    • 27.

      Alto Sax week 10 practice


    • 28.

      Learn how to play embellish the melody as part of your solo


    • 29.

      Alto Sax week 11 practice


    • 30.

      Learn how to put all the skills together, melody, solo, and accompaniment


    • 31.

      Alto Sax week 12 practice


    • 32.

      Jam Room 60bpm


    • 33.

      Jam Room 80bpm


    • 34.

      Jam Room 100bpm


    • 35.

      Welcome to the Music Coach Duo Series


    • 36.

      Alto Tenor 1


    • 37.

      Alto Tenor 2


    • 38.

      Alto Tenor 3


    • 39.

      Sax Clarinet


    • 40.

      Sax Flute


    • 41.

      Sax Piano 1


    • 42.

      Sax Piano 2


    • 43.

      Sax Piano 3


    • 44.

      7 key steps to starting a band


    • 45.

      General gear guide


    • 46.

      How to create a furtile musical home


    • 47.

      How to create a sucessfull practice routine


    • 48.

      Sax tuning Video


    • 49.

      MC breathing Exercise


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About This Class

This is the perfect place to start for beginner alto saxophone players! Take all the guess work out of how and what to practice. This program comes with specially designed practice videos for each lesson.

Learn To Play The Alto Saxophone Quickly And Easily

-Learn the basics of how music works with fun easy to understand animated videos.

-Use a proven system to take all the guess work out of what to practice.

-Gain the confidence to play your alto saxophone with others.

-Enjoy learning at a pace that is right for you.

Start Playing And Creating Music To Express Your Musical Self

You will learn everything you need to know about the alto saxophone, from how to put it together and make your first sound, to how to play the alto saxophone in a band! This course also focuses on how to express yourself through music by teaching beginner improvisation (soloing). The goal of The Music Coach Alto Saxophone Program is for you to fully express who you are through the instrument.

Content and Overview

I designed this program to help you begin your musical journey on the alto saxophone in the most efficient and fun way. This program is suitable for anyone who has a desire to play and has a working alto saxophone. There are over 2.5 hours of video lessons and practice videos.

The layout of the course uses a simple format:

-1 lesson video that explains a new concept/technique,

-1 practice video that has voice overs and graphics to help you play along with the teacher on the screen in "real time".

There are twelve sets of lessons and practice videos that help you learn melody, rhythm, harmony, and improvising. This program also contains a "Jam Room" with a virtual band that you can play along with at different speeds. As an added bonus there are also five music theory made easy animated videos that explain the basic building blocks of music.

At the end of this course you will have the confidence to play the alto saxophone both on your own and with others in different musical situations.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Todd Porter

Professional Music Educator


Multi-instrumentalist Todd Porter has been teaching music on several instruments for the past 15 years. In addition to teaching private lessons and workshops he is the horn section leader and arranger for the Bonified Truth, which backs up 2008 Toronto Blues Society winner Scott McCord (nominated for a 2010 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist). He also leads The River Pilots, whose debut album reached the top 10 on the Canadian College radio Jazz charts in 2008 and was nominated for best World Music Song, and Best Country Music Song at the 2008 Ontario Independent music awards. The River Pilots Debut album was also featured on CBC Radio One shows, Disc Drive, Sunday Edition, and Fresh Air. Todd was a member of Toronto based Afro Funk group Mr. Something Something, where he toured Cana... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome To The Music Coach Alto Sax Program: Welcome to the music coach online. Also saxophone program, where you'll learn how to play the altar saxophone from scratch. My name is Todd Porter, and I'm a professional musician and educator from Canada, where I've been teaching and performing for the last 50 years. The Music Coach program has been designed to get you playing with other people as quickly as possible, because the real joy and music is being able to express yourself with other people, listen and interact. And so the whole course curriculum has been designed around this idea of teaching you how to play the instrument, but at the same time teaching how toe have the skills you're gonna need to play by the end of the courts, you're gonna have the confidence to going up friends and family and other people who play and get a jam session going, because the goal is to get you playing with other people as quickly as possible. The program starts by learning how to pick your first instrument. You need to rent a by. It helps you move through how to put it together, make your first sound and learn how to play some scales and rhythms and harmony so that you can interact with other musicians as quickly as possible. This course is designed for complete beginners. We're looking for a way to get into the musical game in a fun, fast and friendly way. You've always dreamed about playing the altar saxophone and just not knowing where to start and you come to the right place. Thank you for your interest in the music coach online also Saxon program, and I hope you're as excited as I am to get started. 2. 4 Essential Elements of Music: What is music? Music is the language of the planet, spoken by every society since the beginning of time. Music is a vibrational language that allows us to convey complex ideas that spoken or written language alone cannot adequately express music gives us an almost unlimited vocabulary for communicating emotional information through sound way. Are all born musicians Theo Idea. That some of us are musicians and some of us are not is so far from the truth. It's laughable. You are made of music. Your heart is beating steadily in your body, keeping the rhythm of your life flowing. Your ears and voice are constantly working together to shape your experience through the sound you make and sounds. You hear it is all music, therefore, essential elements to be able to play music on any instrument. They are rhythm, harmony, melody and your passion for music. To explain these concepts, we're going to use the analogy of a train train itself is you. And the passion that you have for music is the boiler. Inside the train, you were born with the deep passion for music, like every other person whose ever been born and come before you and everyone who will come after you now you might be saying yourself, I have no passion for music or I can't even remember a time when I did thistles just simply because it got extinguished in you. And the good news is it could be reignited and made to burn hot and passionate again. The key to starting any good fire is to start with the right amount of fuel and a little bit of air. This is the same in music. One of the biggest problems people run into is they get overwhelmed. This is like putting too much wood down and trying to light it with one match. A roaring fire always starts out small, and it's helped, along with just the right amount of fuel at the right time and a continuous flow of air fire and the boiler of your train is the single most important part of your musical journey . Now, for a train to go anywhere it needs to go along a track. You can't just have a train in the middle of nowhere, with no track and get a fire burning hot and expected to go somewhere. A railroad track has three main elements. Railroad ties, which are the wooden beams that go along the ground. And two tracks, one on either side with trains. Wheels sit on rhythm is like the railroad ties, which are evenly spaced and allow for the stability for the train to move. Once the tracks are in place, railroad ties air spaced in a way that is even and breaks up the distance between two points so that time can be felt in a consistent way. If you put your train on top of just railroad ties, you're not gonna be going anywhere, so let's have the next piece of track. Harmony is the piece of track that runs alongside the railroad ties. It's fastened securely to them, which allows the rhythm to pass freely underneath harmonies most often expressed as cords. Cords air simply a grouping of three or more notes stacked vertically. The most common use of them, his major and minor. Most people experience major chords, is sounding happy, and minor chords is sounding sad. Almost all music that you've heard on the radio or on television and in movies is made up of major and minor courts. Melody is the piece of track on the other side. Opposite the Harmony, the melody is the most recognizable and distinctive part of any song to songs can have the same rhythmic and harmonic structure, but melodies are completely unique to the song from which they come from. When you think of a famous song in your head, most likely you're thinking about the melody. A melody is just simply a pattern of notes moving up or down involving the rhythm and interacting with the harmony that is connected to once you have these three elements of track of railroad ties, which of rhythm Harmony, which is one of the tracks in the melody, which is the other track your train can now roll along. Then all you have to do is keep adding more pieces of track your train control further and further faster and onward in your musical jury. 3. Notes, and the musical alphabet: throughout the world. There are many different notation systems in music in Western Europe and North America. We use a 12 tone system with the musical alphabet toe. Understand the 12 tone system. We first need to understand how we measure the distance between two notes, their two main distances used in our system. They're tones and semi tones. The easiest way to see and understand tones and semi tones is on a piano. A piano is made up of white keys and Blackie's, and a tone is the distance between two white keys with a black in the middle or between two black keys with a white key in the middle. A semi tone is our smallest unit of distance, which is between a white key in a blackie or between two white keys where there is no black he in the middle. All scales and music are simply a pattern of tones and semi tones that repeats. The most common one is the major scale, which goes tone, tone, semi tone, tone, tone, tone, semi tone on a piano. If you start this pattern on, see, there's no need to use any black keys because the pattern is built right into the keyboard of tone, tone, semi tone, tone, tone, tone, semi tone. If you start the pattern on any other key, however, you need to use the Black Keys to maintain the pattern. This is why we have sharps and flats to make up the 12 different keys inside of the system . 4. Melody: melody is the part of songs that most people identify with, since there are so many harmonic and rhythmic combinations melodious the most distinct part of any song. Close your eyes and think for a moment of your favorite piece of music. Chances are you're hearing the melody in your head. A melody is both rhythmic and harmonic, and if it is well constructed, it could be sung or played on its own and be clearly understood. Simply put, a melody is a string of notes and rests that move up and down in relation to the harmony underneath it. 5. Harmony: harmony like the universe itself, is all about relationships. We're alive right now on Earth because of its relationship to everything else in our solar system. Any two notes played at the same time are considered harmony. Sound travels in waves that are measured in Hertz hurts measures how maney waves per second a note is generating a string on a guitar, for example, vibrates 440 times per second. Lower notes vibrates slower and higher. Notes vibrate faster human ears can hear in a range of approximately 31 hurts. Up to 18,000 hertz dogs, for example, can hear a much larger range. They can hear from 40 hertz all the way up to 60,000 hertz when two or more notes air played. At the same time, the sound waves interact with each other, creating two states of dissonance and continents, more commonly known as tension and release. Imagine the sound waves are like dolphins jumping in and out of the water notes that Aaron dissidents or tension never line up evenly so that the pattern of the dolphins being in and out of the water is never in complete alignment. This is a physical event and why some people experience tension in music as very uncomfortable. This technique is often used in movie soundtracks to enhance the sense of unease. Continents or release is having the dolphins come into a pattern where sometimes or all of the time they're at the top or bottom of their pattern together at the same time, much like our preference for spicy or sweet tastes, we each have a sense of how much tension and release we like in our music. And like a sense of taste, it can evolve over time, depending on what were exposed to the fact that there are no wrong notes is not just a spiritual state of mind. It's a fact. All that exists is tension and release or dissonance and continents and how much you enjoy . He is entirely up to your own sense of personal taste. Cords are organized harmony. Harmony is used most commonly to make up chords that air called triads. They're just simply cords that have three notes in them, cords are built like houses. There is a foundation which we call the route the third, which is like the main floor and the fifth, which is like the second floor of the house. The route is the note that gives Accord its name. For example, in a C chord, the route is see. The third of the note is the third note in the scale, so see is one is to and is three. The fifth is the fifth note in the scale. See is one D is to his three, Fs four and G is five. There are several different types of chords. The two most common are major chords and miners. What makes a cord major or minor is the relationship of the third to the root of the court . When it is closer to the fifth than the route, it is major, which is like moving the main floor of your house up slightly when it is closer to the basement, where the root it's minor. The way you move a note, closer or further away, is with sharps and flats to change a C poured from major to minor, you change the third, which is E. T. Flat. Most people experience major and minor chords by hearing them as happy sounds for major on and sad sounds for minor. It's always good to remember that music is a language that you were built to speak. And even when you're working on something that's a challenging concept, just know that with enough time and practice you'll be able to master it. 6. Rhythm: rhythm is a word that has many meanings in music. This could be the source of unnecessary confusion for students. When they first begin. You may have heard the words time and tempo used in the same way. Let's break this down into the essential elements. Tempo is like a river. Think of a river for a moment. It usually flows at a constant pace, but it's not rigid or mechanical. When humans make music, it is a goal to be as consistent as possible with the tempo. But in reality it's alive, and it has subtle shifts, like the flow of a river Rhythm is how we interact with flow of this river. Imagine sticking your hand in the flow of the river for one second and then pulling it back out. Then imagine doing the same thing for two seconds and half a second. This is the equivalent to playing notes of different lengths. The river is constant, but how long we play the notes for is what makes it in the music. Rhythm is the most mathematical part of music education, but fear not. There is nothing more advanced than simple addition and subtraction involved. Imagine your favorite type of pie for a moment. Now, the size of the pie is constant. No matter how we slice it, the pie represents a bar of music. If you eat the whole pie yourself, it's like playing a whole note, which takes up the entire bar. If you invite a friend over and cut the pie in two, you have to half notes. If you cut it again, you have 4/4 tones. Cut it again and you have 8/8 in music. All time has to be accounted for again. Think of the pie if you have a pie and you cut it into 4/4 and you only want to eat one of the quarters. The other 3/4 still exists because the whole pie was baked. This is the same in music. So wherever there's not a note played, there has to be arrest to take his place. So each of the note values in music of whole half quarter eighths and so on all have rests that last for the same amount of time 7. Saxophone Setup and Buyers Guide: and welcome to this saxophone set up in buyer's guide. A common question I get asked by my students is, Should I be renting something before I buy it? And this is a great question. What I always like to tell them is if you live in an area where there is a large music store where it has a rental program, definitely go ahead and try and rent it before you buy. The rental of a saxophone will usually cost in the 7 to $10 for one day and about $30 for an entire month. And if you're gonna be investing, you know, hundreds or thousands of dollars into an instrument. It's always great to get at home and try it out many, many different ways and try to get as many different sounds out of it as you can. A music store is a difficult place to really evaluate an instrument simply because there's other people around there trying different instruments. The room is usually very large, and you might feel a little bit self conscious about really trying to play it loudly and see what it sounds like when there's all sorts of other people around you. Question. I also get asked a lot by my students. Is Should I buy an all toe? Or should I play in all toe? Or a tenor or baritone or soprano, for that matter? Because there are four sizes of saxophone, there's a few things to consider. The smallest saxophone, which is soprano in the largest witches baritone, tend to be very expensive to buy and rent because they're not as commonly used. And in the case of the baritone, because it's so large, it's a lot more metal. The cases are more expensive. Um, I do play baritone, and I love it, but it's a bit more of an intermediate instrument to get into. Where is the all toe in? The tenor are way more commonly used in band situations, and so they're more of them being made. They tend to be lower priced. The cases tend to be cheaper, and in the case of an auto saxophone, it's I find it's often a good size if you're If you're you know, young adults, you know it's a good and also, if you're just a smaller adult, I'm over six feet tall. So for me, the tenor is not really that heavier, difficult. But if I was a lot shorter and smaller, unaltered might be a nicer choice than a tenner because it's lighter and easier to carry. Also, saxophones are more common in smooth jazz and in classical music and things like that. And the tenor is a little more common in traditional jazz and R and B and rock and roll. So it's another factor to think about if you're on the fence about should I do all tore? Tenor is what kind of sound you like the best And maybe spend some time and go on YouTube and look at other people playing altos and tenors and kind of see which personality kind of fits your feeling for me. I really connected with the tenor saxophone more than the alto. It's not that there's anything wrong with the alternate just for me. In my own personal years, I felt more of a connection to the people playing that instrument. So give that some thought. Before you decide when you're buying a saxophone, there's some things to consider. There are three main price points. There are student level saxophones, intermediate and professional, the student level saxophones will start in the 600 to $800 range. Intermediate horns tend to be in the 900 to $1200 range, and professional level horns start above 1500 go into the many thousands. When you ever you're buying something in a student level price point I often recommend. Try not to buy the very cheapest thing you find simply because companies will do whatever cost cutting is happening in trying to get ah, model out. At that price point, you're really going to see it a lot at the very lowest price, and often you're gonna get a really nice jump in quality by going up one level higher. So sometimes for even 50 to $100 mawr, you can get a much nicer saxophone. Now you may have had someone in your family say I used to play saxophone when I was your age, and I've got something I've got one in my closet that I haven't touched in years, and you can just have it. And although this might be a really good thing, it's important to get the instrument looked at by Ah, really good saxophone repair person before you commit to it often. If in instruments been sitting in a closet and not being played for a long time, the pads may have dried out. Or it may have gotten banged into, and there may be some dents in the rods or in the body. It doesn't mean that it's not playable. You just may want to invest a little bit of money to get in really good playing shape before you start. Another factor is if you take it to a technician and they say this needs a lot of work. They might say this needs 500 or $1000 worth of repairs, which can happen. You may want to think about whether or not you want to invest that money into that particular saxophone or you want to rent or buy something new. A saxophone is a very delicate instrument, so it requires some regular routine maintenance. Another reason why, if you're a beginner on the saxophone, I recommend buying or renting from a music store is that they'll often have a repair department that's right in the building. Will they'll take care of any minor repairs on your instrument, and even if they don't have someone who repair saxophone. Specifically, they often can recommend someone who is a really good repair technician. Ah, saxophone usually needs a tune up every year. If you're playing semi regularly, and if you're playing regularly all the time it's going to need. It may be every six months. This is just simply because a saxophone has many rods and springs and pads in it, and over time they get worn out or they get knocked out of alignment in the case of the keys. And if the keys aren't closing right over the tone holes properly. What happens is the air leaks out in different places. It becomes a lot harder to make it actually make a sound. The pads themselves also will wear out and rot over time just because there's so much moisture from it being played. And this is just normal and to be expected, I would say a good ballpark is to budget probably about 2 to $300 a year for basic upkeep and maintenance on a saxophone. A common thing that happens on the saxophone after you've been playing for a while is that sometimes the keys will get stuck or be sticky, and this is just simply because, as you're blowing through and there's condensation happening inside the tube, some of the keys that are being held shut like the G sharp key, for example, will just be stuck. Sometimes when you go back to your horn after it's been sitting for a while, all you need to do is just gently reach into where the key is and open it manually. Try not to push really hard. You'll kind of feel it. Come unstuck slowly. Another common one is the low e flat key on the back and sometimes the palm keys up here and again rather than trying to push really hard here, if it's stuck, just reached where the actual key isn't. Just open it gently, and if you're finding that the keys air really sticky, the ones that sit open Ah, good thing I recommend is actually taking a dollar bill. It doesn't have to be $1 if they don't have those where you are anymore. But any kind of money is going to be a little bit. Course. It's not quite as course of sandpaper, which you wouldn't want to use, but it has a little bit of texture, and you can just hold it under the key and then hold the key close and pull it out gently. And it'll kind of wear off a little, any little bit of gunk or anything that's keeping it from being, er, that's making its sticky when you're playing saxophone. Another expense to consider is the cost and the type of read that you're gonna be playing reads are made by many different companies, and for the most part, they have the same rating system of how thick they are. I like to use Rico Royals there. I don't specifically endorse them and they don't endorse me. But that's just the brand that I prefer. They also have a nice option. Where they'll you also see orange boxes, which say Rico on them? And that's their student level reeds, which are nice there, a little bit less expensive because a box of reads like this will cost usually 40 to $50 depending on where you live. The thickness of the reed has to do with the level of playing you're doing and style of playing. You're doing so in the case of Rico's. They start at one and they go to five. And in between, each is half. So there's 1 1.5 to 2.5, and so on, even though it starts as low as one, with one being the lightest read. I don't recommend that, even for beginners. You start there. They're just so little resistance. And they don't last very long that I find they're just not a good investment. I would start at a two or 2.5 when you're getting started, and as you get stronger and your breathing gets more, uh, get more, strengthen the able to push more air through the instrument. You're gonna want a harder read because you can overblow the read, which means it will not even make a sound or it'll squeak, Um, and if you need to generate a lot of volume, you're gonna need a read that's tough enough to handle the air speed that you're generating . Another factor is the style of music you're playing. If you're going to be playing in a loud context with drums and drums and guitars and things like that, you're gonna eventually need to be playing on a harder read like maybe a three or four. I personally like to use a four on tenor saxophone. Another factor when you're playing saxophone is what kind of mouthpiece and ligature you're gonna use. There are two main types of mouthpieces. There are hard rubber which are black, and there are metal mouthpieces. And depending on what kind of saxophone you're playing, I recommend different things. Ah, metal mouthpiece is going to give you a brighter sound that's gonna cut through a little more if you're in a loud context. So on tenor sax when I play in a lot of bands where we're playing rock and roll and R and B , where I have to really project loudly. So the metal mouthpiece kind of helps me do that. It lacks some of the subtlety, so I also have hard rubber mouthpieces, defend playing jazz or classical music where I want to be able to play it at a much lower volume and have more control, especially in the bottom end of the instrument. For also saxophone, for example, it's very rare to find ah metal mouthpiece because the alto is higher pitched instrument, so it tends to cut through on its own, and you can sometimes find that a metal mouthpiece on auto is very shrill. Like it, it's a little hard on the ears, so you almost never find people playing metal mouthpieces on Auto on baritone. It's very common to find metal mouthpieces for the same reason as Tanner is that if you're looking to cut through a little more, it's sometimes nice to have a little more high end in your sound. The ligature also has a lot to do with sound. This is a metal ligature on a metal mouthpiece, so just think about how sound is conducted through metal. It's gonna vibrate a lot faster through metal than it would through leather, which some of them are made of. Uh, and you know, if you have a leather strap around rubber mouthpiece, it's gonna soften the sound a little bit. And in terms of prices for mouth pieces, they can range anywhere from around $100 all the way up into the high hundreds and into the thousands. And what I recommend is that you try some different mouthpieces before you really settle on it, and you can also have a look online. There's lots of videos where people explain why they like their mouth piece. Another great thing is if you like the sound of someone else. If you say, like have a favorite saxophone player, you can usually look up online and just find out. Though sometimes being endorsed by a certain company, you could find out what kind of mouthpiece and ligature they're using. Another important piece of equipment with the saxophone is what kind of strap your using and how it's positioned. Strike their two main kinds of straps. There are neck straps, which just simply go around your neck like this one. And then there are shoulder harnesses, which go around both shoulders and clip in the middle shoulder harnesses air most commonly used with the baritone saxophone, which is the largest one, although some people like having it when they play tenor. What I find personally is that when I wear a shoulder harness, I would Onley wear it on Ah, in a situation where I'm always seated, one in playing, because it tends to hold the instrument very tightly, right at a certain angle. So you said it so that it's for example, if you're seated, you will be playing it on your side. And if you then went to stand up and you wanted to play the horn in front of you, shoulder harness won't really let you do that, whereas the neck strap will allow you to play it on the side or in front and move it in a way that feels comfortable now. The downside of a neck strap is it's putting all of the weight onto your neck. So if you're playing a tenor or baritone and it's heavy, you're gonna feel it more in your neck. A really simple thing. I often tell people that they don't think about is when you're standing, make sure to bend your knees slightly so that your absorbing some of the weight into your legs. If your knees are locked, you're gonna feel most of the pressure in your lower back because you're gonna be leaning up against the weight of the instrument. There are two main types of Saxon cases. There are gig bags which are soft and hard shell cases which are hard on the outside and have latches as a very general thing. If possible, I recommend getting a hard shell case simply because of saxophonists so delicate and could be knocked out of alignment so easily that having the extra layer of protection will ultimately save you a lot of money in repairs. Because all it takes is a Saxon getting sort of dinged one time and then all of a sudden, some keys won't work, and you got to spend a few $100 to get it fixed. There are some pros and cons to each. However hard shell case is going to be more expensive, They're going to start in the 3 to $500 range and they can go up from there. And the hard shell cases also gonna be heavier. So if you're gonna be doing a lot of walking, it can be a bit of a detriment to have that. However, if you're gonna be traveling by car a lot, for example, a hard shell cases a really good option because it allows you to put it in the trunk, for example, and you don't have to worry about if something in the trunk falls down on top of your case , it's not gonna dent the horn. Ah, Gig bag will have some some pros as well, which is it's gonna have often some backpack straps or good shoulder strap. It'll sometimes also have compartments or zippered areas where you can put music and metro gnomes and extra mouthpieces and things. And like I said, it'll just generally be lighter. So if you're doing a lot of walking, a gig bag is a good option, and gig bags start in the 150 to $500 range. There are some nice combinations where you'll get. It's not a full hard case, and it's not a full soft case where you get some kind of protection you can kind of feel when you push on the outside of the case without the saxophone in it, you can feel how far in its going that's the way I like to gauge how tough the cases. Another often overlooked piece of equipment that's really important when you're saxophone player is a good saxophone stand. Now the reason for having a saxophone stand is that there really isn't a safe and easy way to put a saxophone down for a minute or two. For example, if you gotta go to the bathroom, where you gonna answer your phone or something. It's not is easy to just put it down somewhere because there's so many delicate parts all over it in the mouthpiece and read and everything. So having a saxophone stand is really important. It allow you to just place it into the stands and make sure that it's secure, and then you've got it so that you don't have to worry about it falling over. Another great reason have stand is that there's a great saying that you know when something's out of sight, it's out of mind, and having your saxophone out and able to pick up whenever you want to will allow you to practice more often and also just enjoy playing it more often. Any barrier between you and playing is going to slow you down. So if you've got a pack it away and put in a closet every time you're done, every time you think about playing, that's gonna be a barrier to actually getting it out. And starting playing and a saxophone stand is gonna cost you. Somewhere between I'd say 50 and $100. They all work basically the same way. Just make sure to get one that's for the size of instrument You have usually stands, or for tenor or alto and their adjustable and then baritone stands and soprano stands air separate if you are gonna put your sacks one in the stand. One thing I recommend is that when you're done playing to take the mouthpiece off the cork , the reason is is that the cork is if it's wet and it stays wet with the mouthpiece on it all the time, it's going to rot faster. So a cork will usually last you about a year, depending on how long you're playing, um, or how much you're playing. But I find it, you can make it last quite a bit longer if you just Every time you're done, you take the mouthpiece off and stick the redcap on, and I just like to keep my mouth piece, like on a table or something nearby. And then just put this stand with sacks one and stand like this 8. You will learn how to put the saxophone together, make your first sound: This is week one of also saxophone lessons. Today we're gonna get started on a great journey playing the original saxophone. The saxophone was invented in 18 40 by Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax. And the very first saxophone was, in fact, on also saxophone like the one we're gonna play now. After that, he continued to invent other saxophones. There ended up being 16 different types in total from very small the way to huge large ones that are as tall as I am. Today. We use mainly four different saxophones, soprano, all toe tenor and baritone. So the also saxophone is the second smallest of the four that we use the most often now. The saxophone wasn't originally intended to bridge the gap inside an orchestra between the woodwind instrument family, which are flutes, clarinets, oboes and the brass instruments which are trumpet and trombone to, uh And the idea was to build a brass body. But use would read and mouthpiece very similar to a clarinet. Now, like a lot of new technologies, and it might be funny to think of this is technology, but the saxophone for its time was a really high tech machine. It was not embraced right away by the classical music of the time. A lot of people thought it was strange and weird and didn't have a place. It wasn't really until the early 19 hundreds, when jazz music began toe happen in America, where the Saxon really found its home in music because jazz music itself was being created out of basically nothing. The saxophone found at home because it was easy to put play fast moving lines like on a clarinet. But it was louder than a clarinet, and there were different sizes you could play. So the sacks one went on to become part of the early part of rock and roll and R and B and many other forms since then. But its main use is a soloist. Instrument is in jazz, so we're gonna get you started on how to put the Saxon together. All saxophones, including the also come in three main pieces. One is the body and one thing about the body. For right now, a couple things to really notice is on your bottom hands. There is a hook for your thumb that helps you hold the weight of it. There's a ring in the center of the body, which is what your strap is gonna clip barn to. And there's a thumb rest on the top hand. Now sack swarms can only be played one way. You can't play them if you're left handed. There isn't a left hand. It's excellent. Is only one way to play this excellent right hand is always on the bottom. The second main piece is the neck. The neck is very simple in its design. It only has one key, which is the octave key that opens, and I'll explain how that works A little later and it's got cork on the on the on the end that the mouthpiece goes on. The third piece is the mouth piece, and this is the part that's gonna go in your mouth that you're gonna blow into. And the mouthpiece has a few different pieces that I'm gonna show you how to put together. The first thing we're gonna do to assemble the sacks phone is to put the mouthpiece on the neck. The reason why we do this first is that you may need to grab around the mouth piece like this, and you don't want to have the read, which is very delicate on there, So you grab the neck in the mouthpiece and twist gently. Now. How far onto the corky ago depends on the saxophone. How far on the mouthpiece goes determines how sharp or flat the instrument is gonna be, and because it's made of metal and it's heating up when you blow into it, you may need to adjust it over time, depending on the temperature of the room you're in. It's a little bit more of an advancing, but we'll get into it. But that's why the cork is longer than it needs to be, so that we can move them out. Three Center for now, Put it on about that far and you wanna basically line up the flat part of the mouth. Be straight with the neck like this, and now we're ready to put the read and the ligature. The read, which is the part that vibrates and helps us make our sound, is made of wood and comes in usually a little plastic case like this. Now, the strength of the read that you use will usually be on the smaller end of the scale of the beginning. So, like a 2.5 or two is good for beginners, and as you get more advanced, you can use harder reads. They take more air, but they could produce more volume. So we want to grab the read out of the back like this and you'll notice right away that the tip of the reed is very, very thin, and it's very easy to crack and chip it. So you want to treat the end of this thing like you're carrying a bunch of eggs? It's very, very sensitive. So we're now gonna place that on the mouthpiece with the thin tip at the end. And next we're gonna grab the ligature, which has a larger opening on one side and a smaller opening on the other. And we're gonna take the large opening and slide it down like this, and we may have to loosen the screws of it. We want to make sure that the ligature slides all the way to the top. Every month. Piece is a little different, but we want to make sure it slides all the way past this sort of ramp here. Now, when the readers like this, it's not gonna play very easily. So we want to make sure we're gonna loosen the screws. And now we're gonna slide the read down so that the tip of the reed is close to the tip of the mouthpiece. And once it's in place, we're gonna tighten the screws on the ligature, and that's gonna hold the read in place. Right now we're ready to attach the neck to the body down the top of the neck there two screws. One of them is for an old fashioned music stand called a Liar. And we're not going to use this one at all. It's always on the left side. The screw we want is on the right side. We want to make sure it's loose, just don't unscrewed all the way just a little bit so that it moves. And then we're gonna attach the neck and just screwed and very gently until it clicks to the bottom and then you want a lineup, the next with the thumb rests. And then we're gonna tighten the screw and again just has to be snug. You don't have to turn it really, really hard. And now we're ready to attach the next trap. You always want to make sure the hook is facing away from your body when you hook it in. And now we're gonna just the neck strap so that the instrument comes up to your face. Right now, my next drop is too low. So I'm gonna bring it up like this so that my head is straight. And then I'm able to make a sound, uh, to make a sound on the saxophone, you need to rest your teeth on the mouthpiece about an inch from the tip or three centimeters, and you don't want to bite down. You just want to rest your teeth there and then close your mouth around the mouthpiece to make a seal. And on the bottom of the mouthpiece, your lips should just be resting a little bit out like this rather than in like this. And when you blow, you want to keep your cheeks in and direct the air all the way through the instrument for your armature, which is what's holding. The mouthpiece should look like this. Now, in this week's practice video, you're gonna learn the 1st 3 notes of the E major scale, which is gonna be the scale we're gonna eat in this program. So the first note we're gonna play, we have to push down in the top hands the B key, which is the second key from the top, the a key, which is the fourth key. We skip over the 1st 1 in the 3rd 1 and then we'll play the G key, which is with your ring finger. Then the bottom hand, you're gonna play the first key and the second key, and this makes an E. Ah, now that we want to make e, we're gonna make our second note, which is F sharp. The only thing you need to change to make f sharp is in your bottom hand. You're gonna lift up your pointer finger. So now we have is three fingers in the top and middle finger in the bottom to make our last note for this week, we're gonna play G sharp. And to do that, you're gonna lift up your bottom middle singer and add the pinky key in the left hand. Now, the trick is is to do this at the same time, because if you move one and then the other, you'll hit a note in between. Like this on sound we're looking for is, uh, looking take a little bit of practice to get used to moving them at the same time. Learning any musical instrument is going to be challenging because your fingers and thumbs are not all equally fast or equally. They're not all the same leg. They're not all the same strength, either. The learning a musical instrument is about learning to even out the amount of pressure and speed that your fingers are using. All right, great work on getting started and I'll see in the practice video. 9. Alto Sax week 1 practice: We're gonna play whole notes for the 1st 3 notes of our scale. The notes are e f sharp and G sharp. Take a big breath in and hold an e. Ah, Now take a deep breath in and play f sharp. Ah, Now take a big breath in and play G sharp. Uh, we're now going to do the same thing. Using the click track. You're gonna play E for four beats and take four beats. Rest. Then you're gonna play app sharp for four beats. Take four beats, rest and G sharp for four beats. 12 Ready. BTO rest 23 rest 234 Uh, let's do the same thing again. 12 Ready? Go, Teoh. Rest. 234 23 Rest 234 Now we're gonna do the same thing. Using half notes, e will get two beats and will rest for two beats. F sharp will get two beats and then rest for two beats. Then cheese sharp will get two beats and rest for two beats. 12 ready? Go. Being Teoh Rest Teoh. Picture rest to t shirt. Rest to do the same thing again. 12 ready? Go Teoh Rest, Teoh. Rest rest to now. We're going to do the same thing and take the rest out so each note will get to Bates. One two. Ready? Go! Being too sure to t shirt. Let's try it again. 12 Ready to usher T shirt to warmer time. 12 Ready? Go, Tonto. Sure to To now we're gonna play quarter notes, so each note will get one Beat 12 Ready? Go! 12 Ready? Go! Sure. 12 Ready? Go! 12 Ready? Go! Now we're try going up and down. 12 Ready? Go! Being sure. Sure. The same thing again. 12 Ready? So same thing again. 12 Ready? Go! One more time. 12 Ready? Go! 10. Learn all of the notes in the E major scale: I welcome back this week to also sacks lessons. I hope you had a great first week. We're gonna get into learning the rest of the notes in the e major scale this week. Now, this scale is gonna be used throughout the entire program. So the more solid your with knowing it, the easier it's gonna be to keep learning the next steps just is a quick review. Your 1st 3 notes from last week work e just three fingers in the top, two fingers in the bottom half sharp, which is three fingers in the top and middle finger in the bottom and G sharp, which is three fingers in the top, plus the pinky psyche. Now, our next note is gonna be a which is two fingers in the top hand on Lee. Remember, Skip over that first key and skip over the second one's you're playing two and four. Your next note is gonna be be to do that. You just lift up your middle finger in your left hand and your next that is gonna be C sharp, which is everything. Open now. Quick note. When I'm lifting up, sometimes I'm gonna move my fingers out of the way to make it easier for you to see. But in terms of the technique of playing the saxophone, you want to just lift your fingers up as faras the key. Let's go. Not any further, because when you're moving really fast later on, you don't want to have to be reaching up and then finding your way back down onto the keys . Your next note is gonna use something we haven't done yet, which is the octave key. Now the octave key is on the back, right above the thumb rests and you play it with your thumb on your left hand. Now on the saxophone. This is a really great invention when when you go to the next note, which is D sharp, we're gonna close a lot of keys, but we're gonna go higher in pitch. This is very different from older wind instruments where the way the sound gets made higher is by opening the tube more the play d sharp. You're gonna close the three fingers in the top and all three keys in the bottom and you're gonna play this pinky psyche, which is the d Sharky. And here's what it sounds like Oh, with the Arctic AEA's well, your last night of the scale is gonna be High E, which is three fingers in the top and two fingers in the bottom with the octave key. So it's the same. Fingering is the Lowy, just with the octopi. Here's what all of our new notes sound like now, a couple things about when you're moving higher on any saxophone, you want to be closing your throat a little bit very much like singing higher. So if you sing a higher no, you can feel your throat does a little bit of closing. And when it goes lower, it opens a bit. Do you want to practice doing the same thing when you're playing higher notes on a saxophone? All right, great work, and I'll see in the practice video. 11. Alto Sax week 2 practice: you're now gonna learn how to play whole notes on the next three notes of our scale. The notes are a B and C sharp. Take a big breath in and play A um Now, take a deep breath and maybe, uh, now, take a big breath in and play C sharp. The Now we're going to the same thing with whole notes using the click track. Each note will get four beats and they'll before beats. Rest in between 12 Ready? Go. Ah, rest. 234 rest too. 34 Now we're going to do the same thing without the rest between the notes. 12 Ready? Go. Okay. Ah, let's try again to ready. We're now gonna play the final three notes that make up the e major scale. They are C sharp, d sharp and e. We're going to use the same technique, starting with a long tone on C sharp. Now play along tone on T shirt. Oh, uh, now play along tone on the high e g. Oh, now we're gonna play them. Asshole Notes with four beats. Rest in between them. 12 Ready? Go Rest. 234 D shirt three Rest 233 Now we're gonna play them without the rests. 12 Ready? Go now. Let's try that again. One to ready thing. Now let's play C sharp d sharpen e as half notes with two clicks for each note and two clicks in between each note. 12 Ready. Go. Sure. Rest too. De shirt. Rest too. The rest to Let's try it again. 12 Ready? Go see? Sure. Rest too. Be sure Teoh Rest too. Theo. Thousands Try it without the rest in between. 12 Ready. Go! T o Tried again. 12 Ready. Now let's play. C sharp D sharpen e as quarter notes with one click for each note. 12 Ready. Go! T o 12 Ready? Go. 12 Ready? Go Way! We're not gonna play the entire e major scale as whole notes. 12 ready? Go. 234 Sure, sure. Now we're gonna play it as half notes. 12 Ready, Theo. Arguably the notes descending as half notes. One, two ready. Go 12. Learn the first melody for music coach song: this week, you're gonna learn the melody that's gonna make up the a section of our songs. You're also gonna learn the beginning of articulation, which is how we separate the notes and we tongue the instrument. So we're going to start their first tongue ing or articulating on any saxophone. YSL. The analogy I like to use is it's like turning on the water in your sink. The water is like the air that you're breathing and you can run your hand underneath. It's to interrupt the flow, or you can turn the top all the way on and off and create a little bit of space between things. Now in long tongue ing, it's like running your hand underneath and it sounds like this, uh, all I'm doing is flicking the tip of the read very gently, but the air is continuing to push through the instrument. When you do harder tongue ing, you're hitting the read harder with your tongue to stop the flow there and then let it start again. In this program, you're going to be working on using both kinds of tongue ing. For now with this first malady, just use the try and use the long tongue in two. Separate the notes in between. Now the melody itself starts on G sharp. And then we're gonna play G sharp A B e with the octave t d sharp with the Arctic E C sharp , but no t c sharp again e with the Arctic e d sharp with the arche de sharp again You with the Arctic key d sharp with the Arctic E C sharp with NOAA cookie and then be And this is what the melody sounds like way now because the melody runs in a circle. The last note in the first note will feel like they're the same, but just work on playing it in a circle is part of the songs. Something's gonna happen a lot in music. Now the last thing we talk about is where to breathe and rhythm. So when you're first learning it with the practice video, don't worry too much about the rhythm. Try and get the order of the notes confident under your fingers and then, as you listen to it more, try and match exactly what the saxophone on the backing track is playing, and for now, breathe wherever you need to, but try and speak in sentences, in a sense, so you want to play as long of afraid as you can and then breathe in a place before the next idea happens. Like this way. Breathe at the end of the long phrase. All right, great work, and I'll see in the practice video. 13. Alto Sax week 3 practice: you're now gonna learn the melody that makes up the a section of our song. First, you're gonna play the melody without the click track. One note at a time. She sure sure see shirt, T shirt, T shirt, T shirt it. Let's try it again. She sure she sure de sharp. See? Sure. See shirt? D shirt. T shirt. D sharp. See shirt. Now let's try it with the click track. 12 Ready? Go. Sure, Sure. The same thing again. Ready? Go. Sure, sure, sure. Now let's try playing the melody along with the track. 12 Ready? Go way, Theo. Now let's try the same thing again. 12 ready? Go! 14. Learn how to play the E major scale ascending and descending (up and down): I welcome back. This is Week four of all of saxophone lessons. This week we're gonna be working on a few different things in our practice video. The first thing is playing the e major scale at sending, which is going up and descending, which is coming down using half notes and quarter notes. Now, if you're unfamiliar with what half notes and quarter notes and whole notes means there's some animated videos that happened before the course begins that you can go check out at any time. That really explains with visuals and metaphors what we're talking about. So if you need to go check that out, check it out and then come back. But for those of you understand what it is, half notes get two beats and quarter notes get one beat, and sometimes in the exercise, we're gonna play at sending and then stop and start descending. And then later on in the practice, it you're gonna going ascending and descending without a break, repeating the top note at the top of the at sending And at the beginning of the descending , the next thing we're gonna learn are the bass notes that make up the harmony structure for the a section of our song. So the notes for us on the altar Saxo R C sharp, which is everything. Open E, which you can play either as the e with the Arctic E or without in the practice video. Sometimes it's ones and then just the other. But you can choose which one you want to use. Then you're gonna play a and then B so I'll play them is what they sound like all together . Ah, it's really great to get comfortable with the form of those notes in the same way that you're comfortable with the melody, so that when you're going to be accompanying someone else, you can hold the harmony underneath for the right amount of beats. The last thing you're gonna work on this week is going to be the very beginning steps of improvising. This is one of my favorite parts about music. You're gonna take a little baby step out into making your own sounds within the structure of the e major scale. So when you get to that part of the practice video, all I want you to do is just move from one note to another out of order. So instead of always playing E f Sharp G, you could start on a different note. You could start on B, and then you could move to a and then you could move the up shirt. It's really up to you. There's no right or wrong way to do it. And I want you to try and remember that you're learning how to speak. This is really you creating for the first time and think about when little kids are learning how to speak. They sometimes don't exactly know what they're saying next. And this is what it's gonna feel like a little bit when you're getting going, improvising. But just trust me and keep going with it, and you're gonna get stronger and stronger and be able to express more and more. All right, keep up the great work, and I'll see in the practice video 15. Alto Sax week 4 practice: you're now gonna play the entire G major scale using half notes and then quarter notes with the click track. We're going to start by going ass ending, which is up starting on the low g to the high G playing half notes 12 Ready to try that again. 12 Ready? Go! Great. Let's try using quarter notes. 12 ready. Again. 12 Ready? Go! Now we're gonna play the e major scale descending. We're going down! Starting on the high e using half notes. One, two Ready! Go! Ah, Cheshire's Let's write again. Teoh Ready to start using quarter notes. 12 Ready to try again. 12 Ready. And now we're gonna play the scale both ascending and descending using half notes and then quarter notes. First half notes. 12 Ready. Now descending. Go now. We're gonna go ask sending and descending using quarter notes. 12 Ready? Go, Teoh. Let's try that one more time. 12 Ready thing. You're now gonna play the notes that make up the bass part for the a section of our song. The notes are C sharp, E a and B. They're gonna be played asshole notes so each will get four beats. 12 ready. Now you're gonna take your first steps towards improvising by playing the notes of the E major scale out of order along with the track, for example, you could start on E and then move to D shirt and then moved to G Sharp. You just have to try it out. 12 Ready? Go now let's play the melody along with the track. 12 Ready? Go, Theo. Now let's play the bass notes along with the track. 12 Ready? Go! Sure. 16. Learn how to play the E major scale ascending and descending (up and down): I welcome back to Week five. Of all the saxophone lessons this week, you're gonna be working on learning the new bass note pattern for the B section of our song . Now, a lot of popular music has different sections that air known as verses and choruses and much like the whole notes and half notes apart from last week. If you're unfamiliar with what those terms mean, there are some videos of the beginning of the course that you continue can look at that will help explain that in more detail. But for now, we're gonna talk about the A section in the B section, and then we're gonna do the B section off the bass notes so the notes are e, which I would recommend playing a low E, then be then C sharp and then a. And in this week's practice video, you're gonna work on playing them as whole notes first and then as half notes and sometimes those quarter notes and changing up the order. So sometimes one note is going to be a whole note, and then the next note will be to half notes. The reason that this is important is the time that each note takes up has to always stay the same, which is four beats. So if we want to play, it is half notes. We have to play to half notes to fill up the same space. So in the same is true of you playing quarter notes. If you want to play the C sharp as quarter notes, you have to play four of them so that it takes it the right amount of space. And as an accompanying this, this is a really important thing to keep in mind, and it's a nice way to build the energy of your supporting parts or to bring it down. So playing whole notes gives a lot of tones, takes up a lot of total space, but it leaves a lot of rhythmical space for a soloist or a melody. And if you're hitting all the quarter notes, pop up, up, up your building, more energy. But you're not totally taking up all the space, so getting comfortable with this is a really great thing to be, Ah, good accompany n'est and as a saxophone player, you often aren't put in that role. But I really believe it's very important to be able to do all of the rules in any band at any time so they can make music with anybody. You don't have to have the traditional instruments that go with saxophone to make music with your friends. All right, keep up the great work I don't see in the practice video. 17. Alto Sax week 5 practice: you're not gonna learn the order. The notes go in to make up the B section of our base part. The notes are E B C sharp and a Let's try them slowly without the click track E. Now play be, uh, see sharp A with the click track 12 Ready? Go, Teoh. 3412 Ready? Go! Now let's try each note as to half notes. 12 Ready? Go! Let's try it again. Ready, Teoh. Now let's try them. Is 4/4 notes one to ready and to ready. Go! And now we're gonna change up the rhythm by playing e is a whole note. Be as to half notes C sharp as 4/4 notes and a s 4/4 notes. 12 ready? Go! Being Teoh. Si, Sure. See? Sure. C sharp C sharp K A. Hey, let's try it again. Two Ready? Go! E 034 to B to C sharp C sharp, C sharp, C sharp. Now you're gonna try the bass notes section with the backing track as whole notes. Go Now . Let's try it with 2/2 notes for each base note. Go 18. Learn how to play the melody for the B section of the song: Hi and welcome The Week six of alto saxophone lessons. This week we're gonna be working on learning the second melody in our song, which is for the B section. Now this melody has an entrance, meaning where we start playing it. That's unusual. The first melody began at the beginning of the bar. The second melody is going to start after the third beat of the bar. So in the practice video, there's gonna be account in that's gonna help explain when to begin. And you can practice that a few times to become really confident on where the entrances now the notes for the melody R C Sharp D sharp be e D sharp dee dee sharp C Sharp B B C shirt. And in this melody, the Onley notes that were playing without the octopi are the C, Sharps and the bees. And here's what it sounds like. Theo Uh, and just like the a section melody, it's repeated twice whenever we're doing it, so you'll hear that in the backing track when it's time to play. A little note about how to answer confidently when you're playing a melody is you have to sort of throw yourself into it. Music is something that happens in the moment, and there's a little bit of anticipation that's required for you toe land in the right place. If your mind has to think now, I start your go, always going to be slightly behind everything. So it's if you've played sports before. It's a lot like if I'm throwing a ball to someone who's running, I have to throw it to where they're gonna be, know where they are when I let it go. And playing music and entering and playing rhythms right has a lot to do with same kind of thinking, which is your anticipating, where you're going to start, making sure to breathe early so that you have the air ready to begin right in the right place. Another great analogy I like is it's a lot like if you drop your hat in a river and you reached down to grab it where it is, it's gone. If you want your hat back, you have to anticipate where it's gonna be and go and get it. All right, keep up the great work and I'll see in the practice video 19. Alto Sax week 6 practice: We're now gonna learn the notes that make up the B section of our melody. First, let's try them without the click track. See? Sure. T shirt. E sure e t shirt. See shirt through the T shirt that was tried one more time. Si sure. T shirt E T shirt E D shirt. See? Sure. Now, the second melody could be difficult to enter because it begins on the third beat of the bar. So, for example, we're gonna count four beats and then three more and then begin the melody like this. 1234123 Let's try that one more time. So one bar. 1234123 Now let's try playing our whole melody with the count in 12341233 Now we're gonna enter with just the three beats in the pickup bar along with the Track one . - Now let's try it one more time. 13 20. Learn how to change your role during the B section from lead to accompaniment.: this week, you're going to start working on doing different things while the form of the song is going on now. Like I've said in previous videos, your role inside of the band is really important, and you can have different rules depending on what's happening in the music. So traditionally, a saxophone is a melody instrument, so it would play the written melody and take solos, and that would be it. But I really think that we can all expand what we do on whatever instrument were on to be a company honest or a soloist or play the melody. And that's why you've learned the bass notes in both sections of the song. Now, now, in this week's practice video, you're gonna be playing the B section melody and the B section cords, and going back and forth between them and getting comfortable with this is really important so that you can think about how the arrangement of the whole song is going to go and this program the arrangement is fixed because everything had to be recorded. But when you get to play with other real people, you can make different choices and say in the first a section I'm gonna play the melody And then in the second a section you are gonna play the melody and I'm gonna play chords underneath you So this gets you thinking about how toe make those arrangements happen. And the last thing that you're gonna be doing in this week's practice video is playing the B section melody on your own without the saxophone on the recording. This is also really great practice to get you confident with entering the melody completely on your own. Because at some point you're gonna be playing this song either in the jam room or with your friends and you're going to be playing and there's gonna be nobody in your ear playing at the same time. And it's a little bit of a weird feeling to get used Teoh entering confidently on your own . So keep up the great work and I'll see in the practice video 21. Alto Sax week 7 practice: we're now gonna work on doing different things over the form of the song. We're going to start by playing the melody for the B section of the song, followed by the bass notes for the B section of the song and then the melody for the B section again at the end. One ready Now you're gonna play the bass notes for the B section of the song. Go Now you're going to try playing the melody for the B section on your own theme. 22. Learn how to change your role during the entire song from lead to accompaniment.: all right. You reach the end of your second month doing a great job to get this far, and I hope you're enjoying it and having a lot of fun learning new things this week in the practice video, you're gonna be working mawr on how to play the form of the song that's going to be in this program, which is a a B B. So when you're in the jam room playing with the virtual band, you're gonna be playing that form all the time like we talked about last week. It helps to start thinking about where the sections go and what's gonna happen in the sections. Are you gonna play the melody on the first day? And maybe someone else is gonna play the melody on the second day. And while that's going on, are you gonna be accompanying it or you gonna be resting? Because in a band, the dynamics which has the fancy word for the volume and how much energy is being used at any given moment, is what makes the music interesting. So you might be lucky, and you might have a lot of friends that you complain with. You might have a drummer and a bass player, guitar player, piano player and a few horns. In a situation like that, you're not necessarily going to be playing all the time, and you won't need to play the accompanying parts. When you're not playing the melody, you're soloing. But if you're just with one other musician who is not a court instrument, you probably want to play the accompaniment when they're playing. So if you have a friend of yours is a flute or clarinet or a trumpet when they're playing the melody. If you're not playing the chords underneath, there's nothing else happening. But if you're playing with a piano player that you can play the chords and the melody at the same time. So these are all these things to think about, and the way in which you make up the arrangements of your songs is unique to you and your band or the people that you're playing with. And a good question I always ask yourself is, Where do I want this to go next? Don't want it louder and bigger, though I want it quieter here, or what is it that I want to be hearing next? These are all great questions to be asking yourself whenever you're making music. All right, keep up the great work and I'll see in the practice video. 23. Alto Sax week 8 practice: you're now gonna practice playing the melody, the bass notes and taking a solo all the same time with the backing track. The first form you gonna play is the a melody once than the a section cords than the B section melody once than the B section melody chords 12 ready First melody Now you're gonna play the A melody twice the B melody twice and then improvise over a B B 12 Ready? Go, Theo Theo way over the B section 24. Learn how to play your first scale pattern: this week, you're gonna be learning how to play your first scale pattern. Now, scale patterns are just simply a way of approaching learning the scale that you're in in a different order. So, so far, we've always played in order. We played E than F Sharp, then g sharp. And if we were coming down, were always playing E then d sharp and so on in this first scale pattern, we're gonna be jumping in different orders. So we're going to start on E. But then we're going to skip over f sharp and go to G shirt. So I'm gonna play it for you want so you can hear it and then I'll talk about the notes way , Theo. Now, the notes you're gonna play are okay g sharp. And we go backwards toe f sharp up to a backwards to g sharp up to be backwards to a up the c sharp backwards to be up to D sharp backwards to see sharp up to e. They will play D sharp twice and then e now when we're coming descending, we're gonna play the pattern, but in reverse. So we're starting on the high e and then we're skipping to see sharp. Then we're playing d sharp down to be then c sharp down to a up to be down to g sharp up to a down to f sharp up to g sharp down t e. There were quite up short twice and then e it sounds like this now getting comfortable with scale patterns is gonna help. You're improvising a lot later on in the program because the vocabulary of the scale is gonna be in your fingers in different ways. And this allows you to travel during your improvising from one place to another, either going up or down in a different way so you can create a different feeling. The feeling of moving in thirds is like the stepping up and back and up and back and the same coming down. You can create these cats skating and feelings and effects, and they're adding mawr sophistication to your improvising. So work on it slowly in the practice video. If you have to stop and go back and try it a bunch of times, just keep doing it and it will get in your fingers. All right, great work. And I'll see in the practice video 25. Alto Sax week 9 practice: we're now gonna play the E major scale ass ending in thirds using half notes. 12 Ready? Go. King Fisher. Sure see? Sure. Sure, Sure. Now we're gonna try the same thing using quarter notes. One, two ready? Go. King t shirt. Sure, sure, sure, sure. Let's try the same thing again. 12 Ready? Go. King T shirt, Theo. Now we're gonna play the e major scale descending in thirds using half notes. 12 Ready? Go, Theo. Sure, sure. Now let's try it. Using quarter notes. 12 Ready? Go straight again. One, two. Ready? Go! Now let's weigh the scales. Ascending and descending using half notes. 12 ready. She sure? Sure, Sure, Sure, sure, sure. Now it's tried. Ascending and descending using quarter notes. One Teoh. Ready? Go! Sure, sure, sure, thing thing. 26. Learn how to play your second scale pattern: so far, you've added lots of great skills and we're getting near the end of the program now. We're gonna add a second scale pattern this week that's going to help you develop more as an improviser and have some more technique in the e major scale. One thing I wanted to mention about scale patterns that's really great is as you learn more scales. The feeling of the pattern under your fingers goes with you. So the first time you're learning these is the hardest they ever are going to be. When you if you continue on and more music coach programs or if you just learn the scale patterns in different keys, you're gonna find that they get easier to play because your fingers remember the powder. So this week scale pattern is gonna be we're gonna walk up four notes by going E f sharp, G sharp. A. Then we're gonna go back to the second note of the scale, which is f sharp. I'm gonna play it once for you going up seeking hero. It's out way thing now. When you play this fast, it can give you this really sense of motion going up. Can give you this really kind of rushing up, and the opposite is true when you play it descending. It can give you this nice cat skating feeling. So when you're working on it, go slowly so that it's really consistent all the way through. That's what makes it have the right feeling when you play it later on here All the notes ascending F sharp, G sharp A F sharp, G sharp A B G sharp A B C sharp A B C sharp d sharp Be a shit. You hear all the notes ass ending a AC sharp g sharp a f sharp g sharp a be G sharp, A B c sharp a B c sharp de sharp B C sharp D sharp D c sharp d sharp e the sharp keen. And here all the notes descending. Start on the high up sharp de sharp C sharp be de sharp C sharp, be a C sharp B a g Sharp B a g sharp f sharp a g sharp f sharp e g sharp f shirt e half sharp, e All right, and we'll see in the practice video 27. Alto Sax week 10 practice: we're now gonna play second scale pattern. We're going to begin by playing it ass ending as half notes. 12 Ready? Sure. Sure. Sure, sure. Now we're gonna try the same pattern again. Using quarter notes. 12 Ready? Sure. Sure, Sure. Now we're gonna play the scale descending. Starting on the high e using half notes. 12 Ready? Go! Sure, Sure, sure. 12 Ready? Sure. Now we're gonna play the notes. Ass ending and descending as half notes. 12 Ready? Sure thing, I think. - Uh huh. Now we're gonna play ass ending and descending as quarter notes. 12 Ready thing. Sure, Sure, sure, sure. 28. Learn how to play embellish the melody as part of your solo : I welcome back this week, 11 of also sacks lessons. This week you're gonna work on one of the original parts of improvising, which is improvising off of the main melodies. In the early days of jazz music, Improvising hadn't even really taken hold yet, and what was happening was individual soloists who were playing the melody were embellishing it and changing little things about the rhythms and the phrasing of the main melodies that everyone knew. And this was sort of the seed that was planted and grew into people taking full solos and speaking their own language and making up their own art on top of forms of music. So it's a great thing to have an ability to be able to really know the melodies so strongly that you can embellish it and make it yours. I'm just going to play a little example of how you can play the first melody slightly differently themed second Melody. Here's an example of one way you can change it a little bit thing, so making little changes to things can add a lot of flavor to it. It's also a great way to begin or end your solo by playing the melody. It's a way to cue the rest of the band that you're wrapping up your solo or it's a way to take over from someone who has been singing or playing the melody right before you take a solo. All right, keep up the great work and we'll see in the practice room. 29. Alto Sax week 11 practice: you're now gonna improvise off the main melodies to start with. Play the A melody regularly once and then the second time through improvise around the main melody. 12 Ready? Go. - Now you're going to do the same thing with the B section of our melody. Play the melody once normally, and then improvise around the melody the second time. - Now try improvising freely over both sections, choosing to either use some of the melody or make up your own part completely. 12 ready, Go. 30. Learn how to put all the skills together, melody, solo, and accompaniment: in the week 12 of also saxophone lessons. You made it. Here we are at the end of the program. I want to congratulate you on following through and getting this far. You've just learned a huge life skill that goes way beyond being on the plane instrument, which is the ability to take little steps consistently toward the goal. And no matter what you do in life from here on out, that is going to serve you very, very well. And all of the skills you've picked up in all the great track that we've laid down with the rhythm and the harmony, the melody and your practice habits are going to allow you to take off from here and do all sorts of amazing things on your musical journey. The last piece we're gonna work on is just putting all of these pieces together to get your really ready to play with other musicians in real time. The practice video this week is gonna have you going between the melody and the bass part, but in the entire form. So we're gonna have a A. BB is the form of our song, so you're gonna have to think ahead and think on your feet a little bit to be able to play the melody and then switch to the bass part without the track stopping and then to be able to switch into the B section. And then later on in the practice video, you're gonna be able to make up your own parts and decide how you want the form to go, which is really the last piece of learning in this program where you're going to start to really arrange and think about how you're gonna do things on your own. I really encourage you to get in the jam room in this program, but most importantly, find some people to really make music with, and you can use some of the language ing you've had here. If they've not been part of the program to try and figure out how to make your own music. Learning other people's songs is great, but I really encourage you to get out there and create and make your own voice be heard. It's been a real pleasure to work with you, and I wish you all the best on your musical journey and again, congratulations. I'll see you in the practice video 31. Alto Sax week 12 practice: Now we're gonna try Teoh Theme, playing the melodies, playing the bass note patterns and improvising To begin with, I want you to play the melody in the first day section, followed by the bass notes in the second, a section in the B section. We're going to use the same pattern. We're gonna play the melody on the first B and the court notes on the second Be 12 Ready. Go way . Now you're gonna work on building your solo by thinking about starting low and ending high and starting with a quiet sound and ending with a loud sound. Try the set with a practice video and see if you can build your solo across the whole firm . 12 Ready? Go looks finally. See if you can make up your own arrangement of how to play along with the track. 12 Ready go. 32. Jam Room 60bpm: 33. Jam Room 80bpm: 34. Jam Room 100bpm: 35. Welcome to the Music Coach Duo Series: either. It's taught the music coach, and I'm so excited to invite in my good friend and colleague Kenny Kirkwood to come into the music coach studio to help with the special duo Siri's. Now. You may not know this. Makeni was one of my first music teachers, and he's been a mentor and I've taught at his music school. He played gigs and recordings together, and I'm so excited to have thanks a lot for having me. And that's Boston to be here. And, you know, I'm really proud of everything you've done. I think music coaches a great program, so so many of the lessons that I've worked on a year over the years. You've already got done here. So, you know, thanks for having me for the duo sessions, especially because for me, I remember starting out practicing solo for a long time. But there's nothing like getting to the duo century, actually making other people. So enjoy the program. Call up a friend, and no matter what levels your you'll be able to work it out 36. Alto Tenor 1: way. - So when you're starting out doing do is between saxophones. It's a It's a great combination, you know, even if they're both chanters or both altos or arms, baritone or spinal, because they're very equally matched in terms of the volume. And you can do a lot of the same types of things on them and play both roles, being supportive and bring company men and also playing melodies. Improvising. In this example, we were just playing the most basic form of a duo. Improvisation were playing in the key of G concert, which is a on the tenor saxophone, and it's E on the ultra sacks boom. So we were just moving gently around in the scale, not worrying too much about rhythm or any organization. It's a lot like an abstract painting where you're kind of just painting, making shapes on a page and or on canvas and just sort of seeing where it goes. It's like the breathing for me is really a key part of combining music and communication, because when all of us are taught as horn players, you you're told to do long tones and 11 teacher said to me, Well, you don't always just have to start out with 50 minutes of the same. No long term you can if you want. And some people, really, It helps relax, um, and helps really focus them. But another teacher mind said, Well, it was always You're doing the long tones if you're if you want to start exploring the scale and started wandering, you know, and that's a great thing to do because it's all breath. It's all from the connected, connected breath that we get our our sound, so that's really bored tohave. 37. Alto Tenor 2: - way this example? We're gonna add a little bit of rhythm to the structure. So I'm gonna take the role of the accompany ist, and I'm gonna play two bars on the first chord which on the tenor is gonna be a and then two bars on D, which is gonna be a forecourt way through way, Theo way honestly, didn't rehearse any of that before, but Todd and I have played for a few years and longer. You play with someone, you start to get an instinct for each other, how you move and how you breathe and what your long you get to know. Actually, I realized I must know what your lung capacity is in your mind, because you just you gotta feel for for what the person's gonna play. So sometimes you match up how you're playing and you play in tandem just like a tandem buying woods or tandem train would go, You know, all the cars together and then sometimes in this kind of do a duet improv with two melody instruments, it's really like you have your own no bumper cars, maybe, and you can go your all on the same playing field but you get to wander on your own on your own, on your own path, right or something. Go karts. Maybe around the track. Some you can go faster. I could have played. You know he's playing steady pattern and that I'm playing a pattern rhythm pattern. This is different, so it provides a contrast to what used to Yeah, in terms of being like the same type of instrument. It's a It's a good opportunity to think about having different rules. And, you know, normally when you play the saxophone, you're only gonna be playing. The melody were improvising, and it's a great skill to be able to become confident in the name of the company. Other people, and it allows you play duels with not so this actual players. But maybe you know what flute or clarinet and guitar player, And just to be able to be comfortable in those contexts 38. Alto Tenor 3: way. Theo, Theo, I think way, - way sacks. One could be really rhythmic. You can weaken, basically imitated bass player and almost drums. Do you get a really solid group going and the ability to trade back and forth who's doing what? Role makes you a really solid tax on player, and it's often done just very subtle cues and looks and and knowing just what to anticipate , what's coming next. When I'm playing a supportive part, I know that, you know, coming up at some point, Candy might be finishing a solo, and I should be getting ready to play and then vice versa. When? When I'm doing so I got to thinking about How do I Q. My way out of it? For sure, switching roles is really important. So searching from the bass player role accompanying to do ah, melodic solo role is tricky and especially difficult to practice when you're by yourself. So when you start playing with someone else, it can be difficult as well. So try to remember you're having fun. You know, it's it can be hard when it's when it's frustrating. I spent a fair amount of time, uh, spent a fair amount of time using a Metrodome when I didn't have a friend or it was too late. You know, everyone had gone home and I want to work on my time using a drum track. Oh, our program that they could give you a beat is really important. And when I would get tired of blowing and playing and it needed to break, I'd let the groove keep going and I would practice counting the beats to myself, which again makes you a really solid player. Also, when you're listening along two tracks to be able to call out the letters of the cords is really critical on then on, then playing them. Of course, playing the route notes is, is essential to understanding what job the rhythm section players have to do when they're one of the bass player, piano player keyboard there constantly in that role of having the job of laying out the course. So that's something that is actually players. We really need to be responsible for two so that we're not just only whaling on one note, which sounds great. Of course, it's one of the things that we do best way. Just hold one note, and all the cords and grooves keep changing, percolating underneath us. But it's also good to be able to get through some arpeggios and stuff and create some excitement with your solo, and that will take the bandage in another level. 39. Sax Clarinet: way, - Theo Way, way thing, Theo way. Ah, that was a while. This is we played an improv like that. What were you thinking about doing that? Well, we've been kind of doing all these dual videos here today and moving through these different levels of beginner and intermediate in advance. And I was thinking about kind of starting in a very gentle, open place and then allowing the structure to kind of present itself. It's sort of I find it's like a great story. A great story reveals itself like the right moment. The characters walk into the frame or onto the stage for sir and, uh, W Well, yeah, I think about that story analogy a lot. It's like sometimes I'll say to a student, Ah, young student, You know, they might be able to reach Allah story that they know well, Goldilocks and the three Bears or something. But I'll say to them, sometimes make tell me the story about a giraffe and a mouse and an elephant, and I'll just make there is no real story. I'm referring Teoh and older people tend to say Well, which story is that? But a young child often will just start making it up. So in my experience of playing sax, woman learning how to improvise, letting things unfold, it's a little bit like just having the faith that that something's gonna happen. Whatever happens, it happened, you know, and sort of taking away my fear of whether it's good or bad or not taking away that voice of judgment, you know, and remembering in the process of learning to do this, I can remember what it feels like to be a pretty young child and just have an imagination that can just turn on and improvise. So that's what that's what I was thinking about it in that piece. There was so many things I would say we were playing in, probably in an advanced level for the most of that. And I think that a lot of the skill, the technique that we had in our fingers comes just from hours of practicing. But but still, the breath was the thing that really impressed me the most. You know how how are breasts? If you could actually have a have a draw, a picture of how our breathing patterns, not instead of the notes and the rhythm would just show a phrase market you took. But I think we both took a big, long breath of first and then meeting another long breath. We often have done that because it's a great way toe build a feeling trust with with your partner and then on then sometimes he would start the breath. And then I remember doing a few shorter breaths pattern to build up, some to build up Teoh Ah, Peake So he would go on and play along note and I would come in with the, uh uh the, uh uh and that's a trick. I use a lot when I want to build to a climax on. And I feel like I have something to say in this story and I want to take it to, ah, more dramatic level. So building up with a few short breaths like that, get your lungs really full so that you can then whale on a high note or get louder or get lower whatever you want to do. So breathing is always to even up to the advanced levels. You always want to have a sense of varying your breath so that the story will be very to 40. Sax Flute: - Theo . Way, way, Theo. Way, way. So with this combination of instruments, the flu, it is obviously a lot quieter than saxophones. What creates, ah, riel challenge and opportunity for this actual player to play quietly to match it and also a flute player? It's a great opportunity to really playing with a full, full, full sound all the way through. And most of the air on a flute travels right past the top of the horn. So it's a really good strength practice to play duets with other other instruments that Larry, what were some of things you were thinking? Wow, as as I was playing the, uh, it sure you say about the flu, you know, they I don't play much flu. But my my saxophone flute playing friends like you have told me that it will make me a better Saxon party because you do lose so much of the air going off the instrument, you have become really efficient about how much air you're putting in. So as a saxophone player playing with a quieter instrument, one of the one of the beginner, one of the not beginner, one of the first tricks that I used Teoh play quieter is just take a smaller bite on the mouthpiece so and share my Keith being sort of halfway up right where the read splits away from the mouthpieces about where I would angle my tips. I'm going back to about 1/2 inch off, and that is an easy way to quickly play quietly e put back in place. Ah, uh, already the sound is that, uh, I'm allowing the reed has more room to vibrate. So of course, the sound will be louder and harder to control as well. Ideally, you want to be able to practice in the same set position and be able to play at all dynamic ranges and especially for a lot of us living in cities or anywhere you live saxophone could be ah, allowed instrument to practice, and you're involved with neighbors. So one of the things is one of my teachers and always said you should be able to play everything that you can play now at. At a normal volume, you should be able to play it acquired. A blonde, of course, sometimes are reads give us trouble or so depending on the community. Just sometimes, you know you have those days where the Sachin doesn't seem to speak and you don't have control over the over the over the volume at all. Everything just seems to come out loud. So that's when that little take a smaller bite trick and couldn't can really play. It could be a great thing. 41. Sax Piano 1: way, way. All right, right. So when we're having a duet between saxophone and piano, it's a really beautiful place to play with these two instruments When you're the saxophone player, one thing to be aware of a Saxon can be quite loud. And when you're just getting started, playing it quietly can be one of the bigger challenges. So actually really like playing duets with piano players because it lets me practice keeping a really full sound but not blowing as loud as I possibly can. The other thing to think about when you're starting out is that the saxophone and piano are not in the same key, so I'm playing a tenor saxophone. So when we're playing in the key of G on the piano, which is what we're playing, it's the key of a on the saxophone. So our notes are not gonna be the same. And one of the easiest ways to make this work and keep it simple is if I think of my first note is being a is the number one and Kenny's first notice G is the number one. And then when I say play the first note of the scale where both, we could be talking about the same thing. It's like our ones are starting in different places. But they sound the same. Um, one? Yeah. What are some things that you like? Think about when you're playing to It was thankful. Well, I love this actual in a lot of people do so it's a great instrument. Thio, Thio, Thio Thio express yourself with And, uh, it's, um, a louder instrument than the other. The softer woodwinds family, the saluting the clarinet. So as a piano player, I'm thinking a bit stronger. I'm gonna make sure that I'm sounding chord to the persons that they feel like they've got a nice base sound to Teoh back, background, t improvise around. So in that one, I was really just laying those boards on, enjoying listening to the sound of Todd like moving through the notes and exploring the notes of the scale that go with that court. G scale goes with G chord, so it's not too hard. And then in the middle, I threw in a little running feature because I know a lot of my beginner students. They don't always play with all their hands or play a chord with just one hand, you should figure music out how it makes sense to you. So if if you know if I show a student sometimes with one hand, well, I've had a lot of beginner students that come up and say I could do that and they do it with one finger because that's where their brains that So that's that's something you should allow yourself to do. However you explore it, though, make sure that you're also listening and looking as much as possible as you can that the people you're playing with because when you start to play with Duo, you know I contact is really important so that you know, when we're beginning together and knowing when we're gonna end together. So using our heads to nod the ending or not the beginning This is a great way toe to stay on the same track. Yeah, and in terms of playing together, we're keeping this as simple as possible. We're just saying on one chord, and we're not really having any rhythm yet. We're allowing it to be a very free flowing conversation. Something called the soundscape is what we're basically doing, which is like painting a picture, but with sound. We're just keeping it. It's almost like imagining the color outside the lines, and and it's a little more of an abstract kind of picture that we're painting. And when you're just starting out, I really want encourage you to just go for it and try it and have the confidence to make sounds. You can think about how little little kids learn to talk. They sort of start by just making the here adults talking and then the O with them cause they're the instinct to communicate. Is there even though the language is it really that developed? So our brains have what I call a copycat brain as an inner teacher? When we're small, everyone learns to mimic, re or copycat so on. Still, even as you grow up to be on adult, that's still a very strong thing. That people will do is just copy what the other see what they see other people doing. So. One of the things that I think about with saxophone and any of the wind instruments as a piano player is that most of them have a smaller range of notes to choose from, so sometimes I trying to expand what I'm doing, even in a simple way as a beginner. You know, if I know that the G court has a team being D well, you'll notice that when we did the track, sometimes I jumped up here at the end. I put that in there, and I could just be that one g down there by itself in a d up here on there's your G Kara's Well, so that's what we call opening up, voicing on that way. I'm playing on the outside ranges of it, and then his notes are all in the middle, so it provides what we call a contrast, which is a really beautiful thing. Thio Thio. 42. Sax Piano 2: So we're gonna do a jam in G C and two bars each on. We'll do it with the rhythms. All accounted him. Okay. Theo Theo. Way he all right. So in this example, we've added in a couple of new elements. So we have a harmonic structure meaning a group of chords that's repeating in the same pattern. And we've added in some rhythm so that our song has a structure and a framework that's predictable. And when you're playing with a duo with someone else, this is the beginning of learning how to understand form and where things are gonna happen and you build a level of trust with some else playing duos with With Kenny, we've played together lots over many years. So we're very comfortable together when you're playing with somebody knew these things can take a little while to feel comfortable, but it's becomes really exciting. What you learned how to trust it. So when you take a little bit About what? What? The cords that were playing And for how long? Sure. Well, as you heard me as being of the track, I checked it with the player by my friend Tom Before we started to confirm that we knew which, which, of course we're gonna use. It was the G chord, the one court and the C chord, which is the four chord in relation to one. So though Fundo and uh counted in and explained to him that I would do two bars of the one chord and two bars of the forecourt, two bars of G two bars asi eso Then I felt the tempo first. And then I asked him, How does that feel for you? And he felt good. So that's something you could do with your friends when you're improvising to. If so, if you felt like someone was going a little too fast, you know, anywhere gonna be able to keep up with thinking about which notes you were going to use for your court. Then, you know, say a bit slower and personal. Slow it down. You can go from there. Uh, sometimes when you're starting just to get to immediate intermediate level and working from court to court again, that panic feeling can him can crop up because you're afraid you you will not hit the next court of the right time. So just take the breath. You know, relax yourself and think about just if you're playing the wind instrument, you just have to just blow a note. A lot of the notes of the scale will sound great over whichever court you're playing, so I found splaying. Saxophone is a very freeing kind of thing. Where's a piano player? You have to really be in charge of making sure that your finger switch on the right time. So when I started learning how to play structures, I would often use the damper pedal quite a lot so I could just play my G chord, Take my hands off right away. So right away they can start finding where the next court is, while the sounds still is there. So I I'm making sure that I count as well so that I'm not gonna get lost on the track. It's a piano player is job in the rhythm section is really to make sure that you're providing laying those tracks steady so that the melody players can can play the play on the melody track. So my hands ready to switch on five and six and the ready place and just with one corn getting ready to lift the pedal. And now battle is taking care of the court Now. Maybe I want to work on my inversions higher intermediate level. Once you've got that, the pedal down, you concert, practice your inversions that go up. And that helps and give the music a sense of space that you're expanding the landscape and that inspires the horn players Teoh to stretch themselves. So it's kind of like doing a workout. It's really like having a workout buddy together. Going to the gym is hard, but what I have someone else to go is Yeah, weaken, give each other feedback and stuff. So learning I find doesn't accelerate a lot more once you start to Jim, even though it's hard at first, you know, go for it. Yeah, and another step you can take kind of before you add in the rhythm if you're having trouble . Keeping it locked together with two bars at a time, for example, is to play freely, but with the two chords in mind. So we're gonna do that really quickly where we know that there's gonna be two chords and again on the sax when we're in a different key. So I'm gonna be playing A and D. And what? Instead of counting, we're just gonna play it and we're gonna kind of Q each other. Yeah, so in this example, due to short ones in this example, you're gonna be killing me when we're going to switch forwards. Sure. And then we'll stop and then all do one more on human. You all right? Here we go. I'm watching Kenny and I'm Alaska's. I'm breathing way through way. No, I didn't do one. And I'm gonna move it a little closer to having the rhythm and that we're going to switch. We're gonna switch faster. So we're gonna follow. You told me that was cool. One thing I realized that I'm doing that, I'd like to mention is that playing with a wind instrument as a piano clear really reminds me that I've gotta breathe rhythmically as well. Not just breast for relaxation. That that's important, too. But that when when todd was gonna switch the court, he has to take a breath. So I was breathing with him, and that's when my damper pedal comes up. So you heard that little silence of breath that I put into my piano. That that makes the music sounds even more like we're professionals. So I'm playing a little tremolo, and that's when it took my damper off. And that creates a real moments of silence in music. When you learn when are golden, you know when when you learn to get together with your friends. And and for piano players and drummers and bass player's guitar, all the rhythm section players that don't have to blow It's really great if you can. If you can learn to do that breathing as well. Keep your eyes on your horn players and your singers as well. This is the same for any long instrument. 43. Sax Piano 3: - way , - Theo . Right on s. Now we've added in a few more elements, which are ah, longer court progression. So we've now got a four chord progression. The cords are going by faster, and the temple were playing at us faster. The notes in the form for me are going to be a and then d and then a and then e. So again, always remember that tenor saxophone piano, not in the same key. So when you're talking with each other and make sure to sort that out before you start, the other element we've added is that we're trading back and forth. Who is playing the melody were improvising and who is doing the accompaniment part and you may have caught it. There's just little subtle cues that musicians use all the time. Just a little look or eyebrow. They don't have to be a big, huge gesture, but you just have to know that it's coming. So we agreed beforehand on what the form of our little jam was gonna be. So we're going to start out, Can he was gonna count it in. We knew what course we were gonna have, and then we knew that I was gonna solo can begin solo and I was sold when we're gonna end. So can you want to tell them about what chords? What? The progression wasn't sure. There's a very common core professional, lots of someone's uses. It was really worth using learning. And if if that temple was too fast and always feel like you can slow the tempo down so you can practice a new court progression And if you're if you like the tempo, you know, maybe your board of practicing slow. I remember sometimes I would get so bored practice. So I just want to play some faster. And so then you don't then play fat practice faster, but simplify the chord progression so you can always simplify one of the elements so that you can practice. Wait, what you feel your body wants to do right now, In the moment when I'm playing the G chord, I'm just starting in a root position. G. And I'm switching up to an inversion with C chord back to G e o R Way e o. I wasn't asked to sing there, but I just started doing it. I didn't used to always just do that naturally. But I learned to do it because as a horn player myself, I learned that if I knew more about the cords on then saying the nose, you know, I could become a better saxophone player. And so I highly recommend as a piano player that you would learn to sing as well. And that gives you, um, really releases your inner musician. That's that's the core of it. It's a really valuable thing to do. So you're backing your accompanying yourself up, backing yourself up or a company in yourself. Eso those Those are the core progressives were using. And, uh, we started out strong with a good rhythm. And then at the end, we kind of did. A robot does that The train was coming into the station. Yeah, that's really critical times beginning and ending where you gotta be, making sure that your eye contact is going, especially when you're improvising. There's a tendency to close our eyes when we play, which is okay. Just remember, though not for too long. Thing happened is at the end of it, Kenny, slow It slowed down, became really spacious. There wasn't as much rhythm happening. We hadn't discussed that beforehand. And one of the things that playing in a duo are improvising with another person is really great. Is things happen that you don't plan for? And sometimes, like maybe Kenny plan that maybe you did. Maybe you just kind of hit a chord and it felt like it needed to slow down is just go with it like BB Willing toe Let the music go where the music wants to go and if it totally becomes derailed, which is the term we use in music when things kind of totally fall apart, it's really it's okay. And in fact, the way you get really solid is as a musician is by having things, trying things, and they fall apart a little bit, and then you try it again, like riding bikes. Just get back on it and keep going. So I want to really encourage you. Don't be afraid to try something new and have it not work. What you don't see when you see us playing is the thousands of things that we tried it didn't work, tried it, didn't work, tried a number, So you're gonna do great and keep up the great work 44. 7 key steps to starting a band: I'm Todd, the music coach. And right now we're going to talk about how to start a band with either your friends or family. Playing music with other people is truly the richest experience you can have in music. So it's a great goal when you're just starting to learn an instrument to try and bring more people in. It's the same. If you play a sport you're gonna wanna do with your friends, you're gonna wanna do with your family and social time, a way to really express yourself. So unfortunately, for a lot of people they have no experience with how to put a band together, how to make it function properly. In a way, a bands no matter who's in it, is like a little mini tribe. And there are dynamics between people and how people communicate to each other that are important. There's also some accountability which is great to learn in terms of if you're deciding on some goals, like we're gonna learn the songs, everybody has to go out on their own and learn their own thing and come back and be accountable to the group that they're in. The first step is to choose what instruments and what kind of banded is you'd like to have. Some big decisions that you're going to want to make right away is, what do you want to have a drum kit, for example, depending on the style you want to play. Now, a drum kit is an amazing instrument, but you may not have the physical space or the ability in terms of volume to play music that loud. And a full drum kit also influences. For example, if you're gonna play an acoustic guitar with a drum kit, it's very limited how loud you can play on the drum kit without having to have the guitar amp through a guitar, through an amplifier. So that's sort of 1 first big decision you have to make. Then beyond that, you might want to think about what kind of style of music you're moved by and what kind of instruments maybe are already in that style of music. So if your favorite band is made up of, you know, electric guitars and bass and drums. And it's big and it's allowed us raucous, and that's what you wanna do. Then you probably want to organize yourself in a way where those instruments are part of the picture. But if on the other hand, you're like, I really like, you know, classical woodwind instruments. You know, I like flute and clarinet and oboe. And so those are things to think about and finding friends and family who can share a common vision of what kind of music you want to do is your first step. Once you're into choosing instruments, it's important to make sure that they're divided up in a way that will allow you to make good music and have everybody's voice be clearly heard. So you may find out that you've got two people who really want to play guitar and you might be able to make that work. What has to happen then is you have to adjust what parts everybody's playing so you can hear each other properly. But you may decide that, you know, somebody else really wants to play the guitar and I kinda wanna play the guitar, but I've always thought about playing the bass or I've always thought about playing the saxophone. And it's a chance to challenge yourself and move into new instruments. The great thing about learning second, third instruments, if you already know one, is that all of the musical knowledge that you've gained on the first instrument comes with you to the second one. So it's never really like starting over. And the more instruments you learn, the easier they get to learn, because you're just taking more and more information with you to the next experience. Just like with your own personal practice habits. Having goals as a band is really important. And every band has different goals, even professional ones. So if you may have a goal where you say, I really want to be able to play at a talent show at my school in a year. Like we, that's our, that's our goal, that's what we wanna do. Or I want to be able to play at this fundraiser or maybe the goal is I just want us to be able to once a month get together and perform just for ourselves and the songs that we really, really like. Or we want to be able to play together on holidays. Or there's certain colony music we really want to be able to play whatever those goals are. It's important to just have them be clear and have everyone understand what they are so that everyone can draw their focus and attention towards getting yourself to those goals. It's also important to make time to reset your goals when you get to where you wanna go, don't just stop. Go. Well, now that we're here, where do we wanna go next? Whether you're in an amateur band or professional band, it doesn't really matter. Scheduling time for your own practice is equally important as scheduling time for the bands practice. One of my teachers has a great saying that I love. He always told me, said, a rehearsal is not where you go to learn your part. It's where you go to learn everyone else's part. So in that sense, when you come into a rehearsal, you should already know the parts that you're going to play, at least to a general level so that you can see how they plug in and go together. And for that to happen, you'll need to schedule time on your own to practice. And generally speaking, the ratio of rehearsal time to practice time is somewhere around two to one. So if you're planning on having a half an hour rehearsal, you're probably going to need a half an hour to an hour of total practice time to make yourself ready for that rehearsal. And change a little bit depending on, you know, you might choose a song that you actually really know. So you don't really need to do too much to get ready. But as a general rule, you want to keep that in mind. Scheduling time for the band to rehearse, and also picking a place for that to happen is the next key step. The location is really important because you're going to want to be in a place where you can make the amount of noise that your band is going to be making comfortably so that you're not disturbing your neighbors or other people who aren't involved in your musical project. So a couple options are, you've heard of the classic ones. You know, garages can be great if you have one because it's usually a separate from the house enough that you can make a little more noise of the bothering people. Basements tend to be pretty good for the same reason because most of it is underground. If you are in an urban area, it can be very challenging because so many apartments and buildings are close together. But there are rehearsal rooms that you can rent by the hour, and they often have everything you need in them to play. They'll have a full drum kit. They'll have guitar amps, base amps, they'll have keyboards, even they'll have a sound system with microphones if you want to sing. And you pay by the hour. So you sometimes pay about $15 an hour and you just walk in and you play as loud as you want. They're usually soundproofed and made in a way that you can play as loud as you want. So it's a good option. And if you have three or four people together, if everybody chips in a little bit of money and you're doing it once a week or once every two weeks. It's not that expensive and it's a nice option. Scheduling the time for rehearsal is similar to scheduling your own practice time. You're going to want to check in with everybody about what their schedules are and when ideal times r. And depending on what stage of life you're in, this is going to have a huge difference if you're planning on starting a band with a bunch of 16 year-olds like year 16 and all your friends are that age. You have different schedules than somebody who's in their forties or fifties. So you want to think about when it's going to make the most sense for everybody and when it can be convenient, where everybody can be present and focused and enjoy the process and not be waking up too early, going to bed too late, trying to rush there in a real hurry. Inevitably, in any kind of tribal situation or band situation, there are gonna be conflicts. People have strong opinions about music and about their own parts, and about how the music should go and should fit together. So it's good to have a plan in place for how to resolve those conflicts. And when he combined this plan with a general sense of an agreement between people about how to communicate in conflict, this can alleviate a lot of unnecessary tension. A really simple example I'll give you is, if you're playing a part that I don't like and I communicate to you in a way that implies that I'm also not liking you at the same time. You're going to feel defensive as soon as I talk, even if my eyes, even if you agree with the idea, you're probably going to defend yourself because you're like, Hey, you're telling me you don't like me. And this is just primal human to human stuff. So learning how to talk about the music without talking about the person is a really important skill. And if you think about the language you're using, you can really become skilled at this and say, I'm feeling like the part that you're playing isn't fitting together with this other part over here. As opposed to, I don't like what you're playing because it's not working with this. So I'm talking about the same thing, but you can probably feel even through the video, there's a different energy to it. And how everyone communicates has to be carefully negotiated so that everyone feels safe and they can really express themselves clearly. Because ultimately you got to remember that making music together as a very vulnerable experience. And people need to feel like they can take chances and that it's safe. And one last thing, also, remember to take the time to really cheer each other on, makes a huge difference if somebody speaks up about something that you're doing in a positive way, this doesn't have to be manufactured or phony. But if you hear someone playing something and you're really digging in and it's like you're feeling it may start to tell them like that's a great, you're like you're playing that amazing and like what you came up with his sounds great. And I'm really digging in. This kind of positive real reinforcement just creates this sense of everybody is rowing the boat together in the same direction, which is part of what makes playing in a band feel so amazing. You feel like you're part of a team and everybody's working together towards the same goal. So learning how to do that is also important. You may come from a cultural background or a family background where there just wasn't a lot of encouragement. So I know you have to use something that sometimes you have to cultivate and learn how to do. But it's really important and it makes a huge difference in the sense of togetherness that you have in a band. 45. General gear guide: Music coach. And this is a bonus feature where I'm going to talk about some general tools that every instrumentalist should have with them. They're not very expensive, but they're gonna make a huge difference to the quality of your practice. And also if you're rehearsing with other musicians, the things I got in front of me are two different music stands and a tuner and a metronome. So first, let's talk about the music stands. There are two basic types. This one is a solid music stand. It does fold up. They're a little bit more expensive, but there are a lot more practical to use, especially if they're just going to live at your house. I'd recommend spending a little more money getting something that's a little more durable. Because the other option are these wire foldable stands, which are great for traveling with. But because they're not solid, things can fall through the screws and everything on them are usually a little bit cheap and it'll sometimes bend easily. So the difference in price, these wire ones are going to be sort of 20 to $30. These are going to be closer to a $100. But in the long run, I recommend getting a good solid music stand. If you're going to be in one location. A chromatic tuner. If you're playing an instrument where pitch is going to be an issue, which is almost every single instrument, with the exception of the drum kit and the piano. You're gonna need to know whether you're playing sharp or flat and how to make adjustments. And the only real way to do that is with a chromatic tuner. These will cost you around $30 and they have basic functionality. They take a AAA battery. One nice thing that's happened in the last few years is most apps stores for smart phones have some kind of a free tuner. And even for like a dollar or two, you can buy a more advanced version. So if you don't feel like having a physical one, I have owned these for a long time, so I've got them. You can download something to your smart phone and make sure to use it to be constantly checking in to see where you're at or you playing sharp or flat and certain registers. And a note for guitar players, you might think that a guitar tuner, which is something that's sold in stores, would be the right thing for a guitar or bass. And in fact, the guitar tuner isn't really useful at all because it's always checking to see what string you're on. It's trying to figure out, are you on the sixth string, on the fourth string. And we actually want us to be able to know is that string I'm playing, playing the right note. The other reason this is important is if your guitar gets really at a tune, a guitar tuner won't really give you a relative sense of where you are. You'll have to get a close before it's even usable. So I don't even recommend ever even buying a guitar tuner. Metronomes track time. And this one looks like the same as the chromatic tuner, but it basically is set, you can set it to how many beats per minute. Which a simple way to think of it as 60 beats per minute is like the second hand on a clock, because it's 60 clicks in a minute. And if you had a 120 beats per minute, you'd have two clicks for every second. A good metronome, we'll have a couple of important features. You want to make sure you get one that has the ability to plug headphones into it. Especially if you're a drummer, because the speaker on this is never going to be loud enough for you to hear it while you're playing drums or even to be honest, playing most instruments. So you want something with a headphone adapter and you also wanna make sure that you have something where you can easily change the tempo. So they all have the ability to change the tempo, but some of them will go up in increments of three or four. Just make sure it's something that you can adjust the tempo evenly. And last but not least, it's important to have one that you can clearly, visually see as well, that it's easy to see the display because sometimes when you're playing, you're going to want to just check and check on visually where you're at in terms of the time. And much like the tuner, you can download these off of most apps stores, there's almost always a free one. Sometimes they're not great. But for a dollar or two, you can upgrade and get a more advanced metronome, which will work great. And this is going to cost you about $30. So a dollar or two on an app store to upgrade the free version is often what I recommend for my students. 46. How to create a furtile musical home: I'm Todd, the music coach, and welcome to this video where we're going to talk about how to create a fertile ground for a musical home to grow. I'm sure that you've had the experience of walking into someone else's house for a party or a holiday. And it seems like everyone is musical, like people picking up guitars and sitting at pianos and singing along. And it just seems like it's all natural and it's happening and it's really beautiful. And you may have wondered like, how does that happen? How do those homes happen? And unfortunately, you might think, well, those people are, that's a musical family. And their, their musical, and I'm not, and that's the reason why we don't have that. And that's a complete and total lie. The truth behind it is that those people found a way to create a fertile ground for people to feel safe and express themselves and challenge themselves and set goals so that they could play music together. And they probably did all of this without even really knowing that that's what they were doing. So I'm going to lay it out free, explain how this actually happens. So in my family home, there were no musicians. My parents loved music, but they didn't play. I didn't grow up watching people play. And both my brother and I ended up being professional musicians. So you might go, How did that happen? And there were a lot of things that my parents did that I think they didn't even realize that they were doing. One really simple thing is we listened to music and we talked about what we liked about it. And hearing them share that with me was really invaluable. And we took long car rides. We would listen to, I know that my parents, there was an oldies stations that they really liked, which was like fifties and sixties rock. And we had dialogues about like who is that artists and when did you first hear that? And they would share stories with me about where they were when they heard that song or what kind of meaning it had to them. So a great way to set this up for yourself is in your own home, you can initiate it. And a great way to do it is to allow everyone a chance, even if you've got little people in your life to share a piece of music that they feel moved by. And feeling moved by music can be all sorts of different feelings. It doesn't have to just make B the song makes me feel happy. It can be this song makes me feel sad or the song makes me feel like agitated, or it's just what you're looking for, something that makes you feel something. And a good forum for that is to go to the living room and decide that we're going to we're going to spend a half an hour doing this and everybody gets to pick one song. You might wanna set some ground rules where, you know there's not gonna be any songs with any swearing editor inappropriate, whatever for your family, you feel as appropriate. And then while you put your song on, everybody agrees to be in silence and really listening. And this just developed so much good ability, not just for music, but just the ability to sit for three to five minutes at a time and really listen to what's going on around you is such an important life skill that will really have a huge impact on everyone. And you might want to set some other very simple ground rules, which is, it's like the everything I learned, I learned in kindergarten, which is if you don't have anything nice to say, you don't have to say anything. It's better not to say something really negative. Because. People are sharing something that means something to them. And learning how to have that dialogue is important to be able to say, it's not to my taste, instead of it's socks or I don't like that song or it's the same way that we teach each other how someone prepares a beautiful meal for you and it's something you don't like to eat. You can talk to them about that in a way that's not going to hurt their feelings in music is the same way. You can then expand on this game by adding in some other artistic elements. One really fun one that I like to do is do the same thing, put on a piece of music. Everyone gets to bring something that they feel moved by. And everybody just takes a piece of paper and during that time, they just draw or sketch something that they feel is connected to their experience of that music. And then everybody can share that with each other and talk about, well, I shaded this thing this way because it made me feel good to think of a cloud, or it made me think of a tree, or it made me think of this or that. And again, it's, it's an exercise in not being critical. It's just expressing yourself through art while listening at the same time. And another variation of it can be to do the same thing of having a listening circle and have everyone write down an idea for a short story. Something that they either through the lyrics, if it has that kind of thing in it or if it's instrumental, just talk about ice. You know, I'm seeing a story about somebody walking their dog in the woods when I hear this. And again, as long as no one is being harsh with each other about it, it's a really neat window into how we all experience music differently. Making time to watch movies that are about famous musicians are famous music is also another great way to help get a really fertile ground for music going in your own home. There are tons of great documentaries about all sorts of things, about the backup musicians in Motown or you know, even about famous composers like Mozart and Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. You can watch and discuss and talk about what their music, the music of that artist, or what the story of that musician, how it, what you thought about it and what it meant to you. The more you share your own experience with other people about how music moves you, the more it grows inside of you and more passion that you have for it with all of us traveling and car so much these days. Another great musical fertilization that you can do is to plan on having music on car trips and really having people listen for a lot of us. Actually, the best stereo that you're going to own is going to be in your car. Car stereos are usually quite high-quality, So it's a great way to experience music. One thing that's happened, unfortunately, as we've gotten into more individual devices of smartphones and mean it started with Walkmans and CD players and things like that is we tend to experience music isolated. Each person will have earphones in and be in their own world experiencing music, which in a way is great. It's nice to have some personal time with music. But one of the things we've really lost is the connection and the sharing of our joy with each other. So trying to set that up on, on travel, times together with your family can be great or with your friends and just talking about and sharing it and letting everybody have a turn with the stereo and okay. 47. How to create a sucessfull practice routine: Hi, I'm Todd, the music coach. And in this video, I'm going to be talking about how to set yourself up for long-term success when you're practicing music and learning an instrument. The biggest challenge I've found, not only for me personally, but for most of my students. It's not the technical requirements of whatever instrument they are playing, or even how much innate ability that they have when they start. The biggest challenge people have with consistently making progress in music has to do with their practice habits. And for most of us, we have a negative reaction to that idea. Even practice habits, discipline these things. We feel like we get tense about it. And adjusting your relationship to those ideas will open you up to being able to fully embrace all of your abilities and really take giant leaps forward in your playing. I know for me personally, I realized early on I had to change my relationship to what I thought practicing meant, how it worked, what I thought discipline meant. And I had to really re-frame in my mind what it meant to play an instrument. This has a lot to do with where the way we're, we're perceive learning a musical instrument and society unfortunately is largely negative. You've probably seen this mostly what you get fed in the outer surroundings is that some people have talent and some people don't have talent. And when you go to a concert and you watch someone play, you think, well, they're just have it. And that's why they sound amazing. And this doesn't in any way reflect reality. It may be that they had some natural ability, but there's thousands of hours that went into what you're seeing when you see someone performing in a professional context. Then the question becomes, well, how did they get from not playing it all to having the discipline and the patients and learning the right things to get all the way through that process. And although musicians will give you a variety of different answers, I think the best way to do it is to find a healthy way that's realistic and is repeatable. So what first key to having real success in your practicing is to set goals. Because like anything else in life, if you have an idea of where you wanna go, It's a lot easier to tell where you are in that journey. Rather than just a loose idea of like, I want to learn how to play this instrument. And if you have that thought and it just sort of dissipates out into the air. When things get difficult, you're more likely to quit because it's like, where am I in the middle of that journey? As opposed to you could say, my goal is I want to, for example, I want to play the piano and I want to learn how to play these three songs in the next year. And he may have no idea how you're gonna do it, but even just having that goal is going to help propel you along. And when you hit rough patches, you can check in with yourself and your goals and you go, Am I doing the things that I need to get to my goal? A good goal to think about when you're playing a musical instrument is how to get to a place where you can make music with other people. Music throughout human history has always been a community event. It's only in the last few 100 years that it's sort of moved into conservatories and into school settings. And we've isolated from each other. And somehow we've lost the idea that the point of it is that you can actually make music with another real life human being. So my suggestion, if you're not quite sure what goal to set, I'd pick a goal that involves eventually playing with other people. Whether that's joining a band or just playing with a friend and going like my friend also plays the guitar and I want to be able to play the same song so we can play together. Another really big key to long-term success with practicing is finding a consistent time of day that you're the best frame of mind and being to practice in. And this is different for everybody and which is why there is no one answer of everyone should practice like at five o'clock or I mean, that's not helpful for anybody. We all have different lives and different schedules and commitments. I suggest you experiment around with it a bit. I found for me personally, I feel the best practicing early in the morning. And for me it's just I find my mind is very clear and relaxed and I haven't been sort of inundated with emails and phone calls and other commitments. And I set aside a small amount of time, not every day of the week, but four or five days a week. Because I'm a professional musician, I have to work on a lot of things, but for you it might be one or two times a week and I block off that time and when I'm there, I'm as present as I can be and I'm working on my goals to get me closer to where I wanna go next. Some things to think about, about when the time of day is going to be, when you're gonna practice, are make sure you have had enough sleep. So waking up too early if you're going to bed too late is not going to be ideal. Make sure that you've had something to eat. If you're really hungry, like if you get home from work or school and you're starving, it's not going to be ideal for your nervous system in your body to be in a calm place. So make sure that you've had something to eat. But you also may find you don't want to play right after you eat something because you might feel a bit full. So these are things to think about about where in your day you're going to plan to have your practice time. When it comes to practicing, quality is so much more important than quantity. Unfortunately, you may have even already heard from other music teachers that you gotta practice for an hour every day or half an hour every day or so many hours per week. And this information isn't really helpful because the quality of the time you're putting in is what's really important. If you were to take the same approach to eating food and say, well, the way you get nourishment and your body is you sit at the dinner table for 45 minutes. It's missing so much of the point. There are so many other factors. Are you eating too much or you are not eating healthy foods? Are united eating at all? Are you just sitting there and practicing music is the same. You can sit down with your instrument for an hour and not only make no progress, you can actually regress because if you're reinforcing bad habits, then you're not actually you actually making your playing worse. So what I like to tell my students is focus on the quality. Five minutes of really focused practice can change your life forever. I know for me it's that way. I had this. I had to start out by getting the routine working first rather than trying to figure out what I was going to even practice. So picking a small thing and being consistent with it. And when you're there, challenging yourself to do a little more of it each time is the best way to go. Now in life, things are gonna come up. You're gonna get sick. You're going to have to travel places. You're going to have holidays, all of these things. And it's important to be flexible with your practice routine and to think a little bit into the future. And so for me, for example, when I'm planning, when I'm going to be practicing, i'm taking into account some of those factors, the ones that I can control anyway. So like if I know that I've got family coming to visit and I'm going to be busy entertaining people and doing things. I will suddenly is put my practice routine on hold to give my full attention to that. Knowing that when the time is right, I'm going to come back and be fully focused rather than trying to ram in practice time when you're distracted with other things. The same can be true of getting sick, having a cold and flu, something like that. I would say it's good to have a break from things. And always when you're practicing, you want to be in a good frame of mind and being. Because you're not just practicing musical information, you're training your body to have a relationship with the gaining of musical language. And if your body is in a frenetic state, every time you do that, when you go to touch your instrument, it literally will reset your brain to feel anxious and upset. Now the other side of that is that if you can train yourself to be calm and presence every time you're with your instrument. Pretty soon after a while, you'll just go over and pick it up and your body will come into a calm place. Before I practice, I like to take a moment and before I even touched the instrument or put it together and just see if I can get myself. I sometimes close my eyes and take a few deep breaths and try and get myself into a very calm place because I want to reinforce that with everything that I'm learning. If you don't have any experience with meditation, I highly recommend that through whatever form you can find, you find a good practice that's small and to the point where you can get yourself into a calm and relaxed place before you start. Another key element to actually getting towards your goals is to make sure to always be challenging yourself. There's this fine line when you're learning new things between going over what you already know and challenging yourself to do something new. And the balance, you might think, well, once I learned how to do a few things, I'm only just going to ever wanna do those things over and over again. But what will happen is you'll start to get bored with what you can already do. And a good thing I like to tell my students is you should always be feeling a little bit uncomfortable when you're practicing. And I don't mean like nervous and agitated, but you should be doing things where you're not getting it right all the time. Because you want to be that's a sign that you are actually working on something that's making you better. It's the whole point of practicing in the first place. I work on things on my own so that when I go play with other people, I can have more things that I can express. Not so that I can just repeat the same things that I already know how to do over and over again. 48. Sax tuning Video : Oh, I'm Todd Porter, founder the music coach. And in this lesson I'm going to be showing you how to tune your saxophone. The most important thing to know when you're starting out is that your instrument can be tuned by adjusting how much of the mouth pieces on the cork that's attached to the neck. And in a very general sense, the shorter you make this by pushing onto the cork, the sharper or higher pitched you're going to be. And the further back room of the mouthpiece, and the longer the tube is, the flatter it's going to be. Now, each saxophone is slightly different, so there isn't ever going to be one measurement I can tell you that's going to work best for your saxophones. You're gonna have to learn how to actually tune it, and that's what this video is all about. The first thing I want you to do is to make sure that your instrument is warmed up. Because of this axon is made of metal and metal changes its characteristics a lot when it heats up. You wanna make sure that you've actually played it a little bit. If you tune a cold saxophone, it will give you an ill be inaccurate as the instrument warms up. Usually as the instrument warms up, it's gonna go sharper. So you wanna make sure that it's well heated before you get started. You're going to need a chromatic tuner to be able to tune your saxophone. There are two simple ways to get a chromatic tuner. The easiest way is to go into the app store of a mobile phone or a tablet and just download a chromatic tuner. And there are usually many that are free. Sometimes if you pay a dollar or two more, you can get a bunch of advanced features. If you happen to live near a music store or you already own a physical tuner like the one in this video, they work exactly the same way. The basics of it is that the tuners measuring the sound waves that are coming into it and telling you whether they're to sharper to Flat. Once you turn the tuner on, The first thing I want you to notice is the number 440. Somewhere on the display, it's gonna save 440. And that's the calibration of the tuner. And this is a really important thing to make sure that that number says 440 and it doesn't say 439 or 4041. The reasoning behind it is a little more advanced and you don't really need to know what when you're starting out at 20 and make sure that that number says 440. And if it doesn't use the calibration buttons to get there, once it's set, it should always come on the same way every time you turn it on. Now that your instruments warmed up and you're ready to start getting in tune. The next thing is to select a good note for tuning. And because the tube is so long and a saxophone, you wanna make sure you're playing a note that's in the middle of the register. So for example, a g is a good note to tune on, or an F. You want to try and avoid, avoid playing any of the palm keys or any of the really, really low notes because the instrument is never going to be perfectly in tune top to bottom. You want to find a note that's in the middle TV an accurate sense of making sure that you're just in the ballpark and your UB is into as you can possibly be. So in this example, I'm going to play a G. This is a tenor saxophone, so it is a B-flat concert instrument. And the only thing I really need to know about that is just when I play a G on here, it's not going to display as a G on the tuner. And as long as you know that you won't get confused when I'm all I'm trying to do is make sure that the note I'm playing is actually in tune. So here's what's going to sound like. As you can see on the tuner, my note is too flat, which means the needle is a little bit to the left. And I need to shorten how far, how much cork I've gone on to make it play more in tune. So to do that, I'm going to hold the neck here and just, I'm gonna do just a little bit. It doesn't take very much to change the pitch, and I'm going to try it again. So now the notes playing really well in tune. Another thing you can do once you have the lower register in tune is play the exact same note one octave higher. So now I'm gonna play the G with the octave key. It's nice and into one little last tip is that when you play your note, try not to look right away at the tuner because you'll start making adjustments with your face the instant you get feedback from the tuner. And what's more important is actually here, whether the instrument is playing into or not. And you don't want to be making adjustments when on your face, when what you really need to be doing is adjusting where the mouthpieces on the cork. All right, head on over to him. Your music for a freebie intersects one lesson. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing you soon. 49. MC breathing Exercise: We're now going to do a reading exercise. You're going to inhale to the count of four, hold to the count of eight, and exhale to the count of eight. And we're gonna do it four times. 12. Ready? Begin, inhale 1234, hold 12345678, exhale 12345678, inhale 1234 hold 12345678, exhale 12345678, inhale 1234 hold 12345678, exhale 12345678, inhale one, 234 hold 12345678, exhale 12345678.