A sight reading tip and new song released now!
Don't these weeks fly by? It literally seems like just yesterday I was sending out a mail saying that The Lonely Shepherd was available to download from the site! I hope you have all had an amazing week and you've managed to get out your saxes and have some enjoyable practice time.
The secret to becoming a better reader....
We all react to what we see on the page and have experienced that moment of panic when you realise you're having to "work out" a note as that backing track is moving on without you! My top tip to combat this is to READ AHEAD. It sounds super obvious but all week I have students struggling to play fast enough and as soon as I ask them if they were taking opportunities to read ahead they say: No.
This weeks lesson is Moon River by Henry Mancini and it is in the CRAZY KEY of F# Major on Alto Sax which means 6 sharps. Here it is even more important to read ahead and get a head start on those notes. Your playing WILL improve, I promise.
When to read ahead?
Now, don't try to just simply start reading ahead. This will get you into all kinds of problems. The best time to read ahead is before you start playing. Just before that backing track starts up get a head start on the first few bars. Next, use each long note and rests to read just a couple of notes ahead to check what's coming. In the early stages of your playing you'll only be able to read a couple of notes but I know musicians that read multiple phrases ahead! You'll improve at this over time.
Remember to always look to the next line when approaching the end of a line!
Give reading a head a go in your next session and let me know how you get on on the facebook page! More on this in future lessons ^_^
New Song Friday
This week's lesson is Moon River as covered by Rod Stewart. This is a great song for a hot summers day and a real cert to woo the other half ;) I recently made an anniversary video for friend and used this track as a backing to a slideshow. It went down a storm. Don't let the key signature put you off here. Playing in 6 sharps basically means you only have to remember 1 natural! The video covers fork fingerings that will help you navigate awkward passages. I hope you enjoy playing it!
The full lesson along with tutorial, sheet music + backing tracks for all saxes is available here.
If you're not currently a member of SaxCasts you can get 30 days trial access to the library to see what all the fuss is about!
Have a great weekend and get in touch to just say Hi, or update me on how you are getting on. I'd love to hear from you! Be sure to make some you time this weekend.
PS Far too often Jazz sax tutorials skip the basics meaning that people without decades of experience on the sax are totally confused. I've structured the SaxCasts jazz course in the same way as the Saxophone Fundamental Course on the site meaning they will teach you step by step in a way that has been proven to work by hundreds of other sax players!