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Topic: Could take some hints from any instrument pro/student for learning scales...

  1. #1

    Could take some hints from any instrument pro/student for learning scales...

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    specially sax players...

    First a bit of history. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Before I started playing the guitar I wondered for a while about buying a sax (I wrote \"buying a sax\", not \"buying \") Ok, so it was a bit too expensive to me and I went with a guitar.

    Now, after I buy a new guitar and a new system, my #3 in my wish list currently is a tenor saxophone. I always loved jazz but I dislike jazz guitar. I think it doesnīt have that much of expression power for jazz as, letīs say, a trumpet, a sax, or even a piano or double bass which are my preferred jazz instruments. (ATTENTION!: this is just MY personal opinion. I donīt doubt many people around here will love jazz guitar, but I donīt, sorry.)

    So Iīm slowly starting to learn what will I need, looking different models, brands, etc...apart fom hearing a lot of jazz records, which I always did, but now even more, selecting more the stuff I hear, etc...

    And here is where I need your help. I always learnt guitar scales through fingerings even knowing most of the time which notes I was playing, but it was all about the frets, not the notes. This method, followed by so many self taught guitar players is very nice and easy, but now I see its HUGE flaw. I have no idea how I would go about learning scales with another instrument.

    So knowing would you please explain me whatīs your way of learning scales with your instrument? Even if you donīt play sax, I think the method shouldnīt differ much. I think itīs the time I start thinking on music as opposed to where I place my fingers.

    I need a few hints on this. Letīs try to go back to when you didnīt know most of the scales, and you have a book in front of you with the notes and intervals that conform every scale ...how do you go about learning them? Just identifying note by note of the scale, see where they are and trying to memorize by playing them a lot of times in different orders and such?...or how?

    Thanks for any hints buds.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Could take some hints from any instrument pro/student for learning scales...

    I think you should probably get a beginner tenor sax book...for the fingering charts. You can learn your scales from key combinations just like you did with frets, if this is the most logical method for you.

    Sax is pretty easy as fingerings go...just the breaks and some accidental key combinations get tricky. Once you get a grip on the fingers, you\'re good to go. You might want to find a teacher to get your embouchure set up right from the outset. That will help you get a sound much faster than if you adopt bad habits at the start.

    Good luck.

  3. #3

    Re: Could take some hints from any instrument pro/student for learning scales...

    Lots of thanks Bruce.
    The teacher comment is very much appreciated because Iīm a big fan of self teaching stuff. Thatīs how I learnt guitar for more than 10 years, and although I can tell this provided me a few advantages, I spent a lot of my time correcting stuff I did wrong because I was self taught.

    I got recommended by a very good sax player around the net to look for the Yamaha YAS 25, but I donīt know about its price range. I would like a cheap one for starters but not one that sounded like a toy if you know what I mean. Anyone recommending models/brands?

  4. #4

    Re: Could take some hints from any instrument pro/student for learning scales...

    Hi, Netvudu:

    On sax you will need to practice and learn scales in all keys. This will help you to develop confidence and knowledge of alternate fingerings. Unlike guitar where it is sometimes easy to cheat by learning in one position and then just sliding to the new key.

    If you want to give a tenor player fits, tell him to solo in E. For guitar that\'s a favorite rock key to work in, but on sax it\'s all alternate keying.

    Years ago Rubank had an excellant series of method books for sax. Don\'t know if they are still available.

    What makes sax hard to play well is that by design there are natural intonation and uneven timbre problems that have to be addressed through breath control and embouchure and making adjustments to them on a note by note basis, or across parts of a register. You could figure this stuff out the hard way by trial and error and years of hard work, or rely on the advice and guidance of a good teacher. There is no substitute for a good teacher. They will get you where you want to be faster and with less frustration.

    Also, why not rent a student horn for a while to see how you will like it. It\'s very inexpensive.


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