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Video of my first month progress learning to play the sax (sadly self-taught) from week 1 to 1 month 2 weeks

27 comments
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level 1

Far out, man! Keep on going and learning!

level 2
Original Poster3 points4 months ago

Thanks for your encouragement! I will!!

level 1

Don't be so hard yourself. You're making some progress. Don't forget to add scales, long tones, and over tones into your practice regimen. Best of success and stay in the wood shed (practice). 馃槈

level 2
Original Poster3 points4 months ago

Thank you so much!

Yes long tones and over tones is mostly the only thing I try to do every day when I can discipline myself. But I get so distracted playing silly tunes... it's so fun.. hahah

level 1

More air! Imagine you鈥檙e trying to fog up a mirror with hot fast air.

level 2
Original Poster1 point4 months ago

Added to the list, thank you! I'm still having some problems with the hot/cold, fast/slow air concept gonna focus more on it!

level 3

To help me get a warm and fast air column, I focus a lot on tongue position. Having a raised back tongue like your about to say the syllable "Ni" can help. You're already on a good start practicing your fundamentals, just keep working at, and don't get discouraged!

level 4
Original Poster1 point4 months ago

I've also heard that from Joe Allard, it always feel strange as I don't know if I'm really arching the tong or just making it more difficult for myself I gotta practice more in the mirror, thanks for the advice!!

level 1

Right on, my dude. Play a little louder to really round out your sound. Then, like the other guy said, you can play soft again. I'd also watch out for your fingers. They fly way away from the horn when you aren't playing. Try to keep them on or near the pearls all the time.

level 2
Original Poster1 point4 months ago

Oh I didn't pay attention to the fact that I was playing too soft too early, I will start playing louder since now on until I develop a good tone, Also will start focusing on keeping the fingers closer, this one comes from my recorder playing days haha, thank you for the advice!

level 3

Something I was told is that if you have problems with flying fingers, just get some double sided tape or double layer the tape over the pearls. It feels weird at first but once you get used to it. Then once you dont find your fingers trying to unstick from the tape, then you can try to play without it.

Of course this is an edge case, and most likely you dont have to do this, i just had a very large finger flying problem when I started lol.

Also congrats on the progress man! I didn't start all that long ago and it made me think how much i've improved. If you stick with it it will get much better i promise!

level 1

Awesome stuff. I remember recording my progress too (despite terrible camera-phone audio recording). Might I suggest practicing standing up sometimes? It made a huge difference in my air volume and control. Obviously not practical in most cases. Keep it up!

level 2
Original Poster3 points4 months ago

Now that you say it I think I only played standing up like two times, I don't know how I didn't think on this one for myself before, Thank you! will keep practicing!

level 1

Keep at it, and listen to these guys. Breathe from your diaphragm, play long tones, and really fill that horn with air.

You're doing great.

level 2
Original Poster1 point4 months ago

Thanks a lot!!

Yeah this is a great community, everyone coming and giving helpful advice!

level 1
Original Poster2 points4 months agoedited 4 months ago

Still sounds like trash but feels great to see that it was worst before lol

I'm planning to make a video like this of the entire year, what I hate more right now is how my upper notes, with the octave key pressed sound thin and small.

Equipment: yamaha 4c, no brand chinese horn, vandoren 2

level 2

To correct thin and small sounds in the upper register, the best exercice is overtones. It's hard in the beginning but the effect will be shown very quickly. Plenty of video on youtube about it.

Try to play standing up also, it help for the position.

Don't be afraid to play loud, in the beginning it helps for air pressure. And once you get a sound you like try to lower th volume without losing the quality.

level 3
Original Poster1 point4 months ago

Thank you for your advice! I didn't think before neither on playing standing up nor playing louder, will start doing them both from today, it makes a lot of sense.

I think I naturally play softer from my shyness as I hate the whole damn country listening my squeaks haha

Nice to hear the overtone thing, I've been practicing them since the second week, gonna keep working on them!

level 4

Another thing is that in your upper register the tendency is to bite down harder on the reed. This is natural and all sax players do it to an extent (even professionals!), but this is bad and can thin your tone if played with the really hard bite down. So you should mitigate it as much as possible. Try to really focus on your breathing and how your mouth feels in the middle register of the horn. Then you should try to go higher and lower staying as consistent as possible with everything in the embouchure. You'll probably find you cant really hit some of the high notes without biting, and it will be tempting to do it just so you can get the note out. But dont do it, practicing bad habits makes them that much harder to correct later on. You'll find that eventually you'll be able to get the range to expand by doing long tones & overtones etc.

Good luck and don't give up! :)

level 2

If you are finding the upper register harder to play, you might want to consider stiffer reeds in the future. A harder reed will make higher notes come out easier, but will make lower end a little harder to pronounce and vice versa. There is no correct reed strength and everyone plays on a different make/strength. Experiment with reeds to see which one you enjoy playing on the most.

level 1

sit/stand up straight my dude, if sitting feet planted on floor

level 1

Were you playing in your car because you didn鈥檛 want to disturb your neighbors?

level 2

Where else would you suggest playing? Asking for a friend

level 3
Original Poster2 points4 months ago

Without a doubt practice rooms for musicians, I don't know how they are called in English, but there're are some that can be rented per hour and others for a monthly payment.

Besides that, for free, I didn't find anything else besides the car yet. I would be so happy if I could mute the sax like a trumpet...

level 3

I don鈥檛 know, I had never even thought of doing this. But there are music rooms you can rent at local music stores.

level 2
Original Poster2 points4 months ago

Yes sadly it's where I play most of the time, either in the parking or in the street away from the people haha

level 1
2 points4 months ago

Dude - I'm right here with you. Why are we self-teaching? :P

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