Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- STUFF TO SHED.

I practice everyday, and I practice for at least 2 hours before I do anything. I do it because it's the one thing in life that has been a constant for me. So few things in life ever remain the same, if any. But the saxophone < and my woodwinds > is the same every day.To me, it's the best ever deal you can make in life. If you work hard and practice at your saxophone , you get better. It's that simple! Think about it. Still grateful to be playing and learning. Looking forward to each gig and rehearsal and student, trying to stay in that vibe. And learn what I can from it. All human beings are linked together through the timeless, universal chain of history and events.The musician links to the practice room and the bandstand. Various life developments have been born in both environs. ~ The first stage of the artistic process involves absorption of principles and techniques that have already been accepted as standard in the field , the artist personalizes past and contemporary styles, meaning active participation in real world. This is why, I've always felt the need to play with all kinds of musicians, any age and of course working heavily with students to develop their "real world" skills. Here's some things to work on also ; Check it out and enjoy.... also- for some more ideas....check through these ; IF...you want some ideas on ii-v's...look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/iiV.pdf If your looking for a nice warm up / sax sound study-look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/sax_warmup.pdf for info on tune study; look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/learningatune.html reed info, look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/dealingwreeds.html sax players food for thought:look here; http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/creativepurity.html A nice jazz line using II-V. http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Dec00.html And a I-VI-II-V...of course http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Jul01.html If you check my web page- you'll find some intervallic studys on II- V. http://www.timpricejazz.com/lessons/intervalic1.jpg For those interested in some Bird & bop to shed...check out; http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Bird-ologyStudy.html

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Moody's Mood For Love ( sax transcription)

Moody's Mood For Love ( alto sax key)2 pages. In teaching jazz, and talking to students for decades....One of my main concerns has been roots. To often people want to play complex things, and jump into areas that should be dealt with AFTER basic skills, roots and history are dealt with.Knowing what came before and the study of it, is the only way to realize what there is to do. Imitation is timeless and a must if you want to have foundation in your playing. To be blunt....if you do not know " Moodys Mood For Love" then you really are not ready for " Giant Steps". This solo of James Moody, is one of those things. Many times people just do NOT know about it. Listen to all the versions of this you can find. The things Moody did with it, be it playing or singing were amazing. James Moody was together in places that most people don't have! LOL...He gave me a lesson in the old " Hotel Taft" in 1973- in NYC. He told me the lesson was on him, he wouldn't take the money. This man could play a major scale & make it sound hip. I'll never forget him. Just thought this would be of interest -and something any player worth their salt needs to know. Thank you....remember the great James Moody. Enjoy- and learn this- Tim Price

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- ZOOT !

Zoot Sims was one of a group of tenor saxophonists born in the mid-1920s whose early professional experience came in big bands and who idolized Lester Young.Zoot was one of the most important tenor saxophonists in jazz ever.The basic jazz skills of most of these reedmen were developed by the time they had reached their early twenties. But their styles flowered in the bebop atmosphere in which jazz matured so dramatically following World War II.If you play tenor saxophone...you need to hear and study Zoot Sims now. Listen to everything you can get your hands on, this man was one of the wonders of the world. A real jazz tenorman. Timeless, important as anyone and never ending in creativity.Charlie Parker, who had been shaped by Young's example in his own formative period in the late 1930s, became the second great influence on this talented collection of tenor men. They melded Parker's complex harmonic discoveries with Young's sound (light, dry, sunny) and rhythm (powerful currents of swing beneath a laconic surface). In addition to Sims, some of the most accomplished members of this school of tenor saxophone were A/ Cohn, Stan Getz, Paul Quinichette, Allen Eager, Brew Moore, Herbie Steward, Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper, Richie Kamuca, Dave Van Kreidt, Bill Holman, Phil Urso, and Don Lanphere. Zoot Sims had neither a top-forty record nor mass box office appeal.He played and had something more important- HE WAS REAL.What he played night to night meant something. But almost from the beginning of his career, be had the unreserved admiration of virtually all jazz artists, whatever their generation or musical persuasion. Over the years, his following among listeners steadily grew. Musicians and aficionados alike recognized the basic human qualities of honesty and warmth that Sims projected in his playing without in any way diluting musical values or contriving to find an acceptable style. This is a player that opens the door to things in jazz that are NOT in books or learned at University's. - - Go to YOU TUBE...Listen to Zoot play..." You Go To My Head". See ya next week...Tim Price

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds-The common bond of jazz, communication and application.

Check out this blues lesson I have on Sax On The Web about Thin man Watts; http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Blues1.html#Watts It's a lick from his CD-" Return Of The Thin man".I took three sections of Charlie Parker's solo on "Buzzy" and open it up through the keys.I chose...The first four bars of his last chorus on "Buzzy" via four bar phrases through twelve keys. The second four bars of his last chorus on "Buzzy" via four bar phrases through twelve keys. The last four bars of his first chorus on "Buzzy" via four bar phrases through twelve keys. Listen... to the phrase shape through the four bars. Bird was a perfect phraser. Beautiful! Listen to the note choice, rhythmic twists, tension and release. This is the ultimate in blues playing! It doesn't get better than this. It's nasty and dirty low-down and hip all at once. Listen how these three phrases work.HERE IT IS- http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Blues2.html I hope this brings some light to your shed time and also let me add, my feeling is that if you've absorbed a lot of the known vocabulary of the greats , then you'll naturally gravitate to looking for other things , or even begin to hear things of a different nature. Bird-ology phrase study on "Ko Ko".....http://www.saxontheweb.net/Price/Bird-ologyStudy.html Study "Ko Ko" and then try some phrases like this on your own. It's a life long process-. When you're twenty yrs. old, you just run off desire and youthful animal energy to practice. In the long run, the creative person needs to find a way to maintain a level of interest and aliveness in his art. This takes work and intelligence,it is not separate from living, just another aspect of it. The concept of daily practice is an important one and is the best way to make any kind of musical progress. Daily effort keeps you finely attuned to continuous movement and the accumulation of effect. Practicing sporadically causes you to lose the thread of your practice and is thus much less effective. Through diligent , consistent daily work, a tangible musical substance is incrementally developed. First of all, you develop physical stamina through the repeated effort. Also , from day to day, you accumulate ideas and expand on the themes of your practice. If you are working Major chords; the first day you might just work on arpeggios, the next day you might see some connection with other musical sources, such as songs, or through or whatever is interesting to you. By continuing to work with focus on the same things from day to day, you will find that your level of proficiency has risen and expanded to include all these other sources. Your practicing every day results in the acquisition of technique, musical intelligence, improved tone, and stamina. Just the quest to continuously find something to practice will increase you creativity. There are so many variations of scales melodies, and melodic patterns. So many sounds to make, articulations, songs to learn, music to listen to and analyze, technical problems to sort out. The only limitation is your focus and creativity. For example: let's say that you have adequately practiced your horn and now want something else to work on. You could sit down at the piano and transcribe a song, learn a song by ear that you may have previously learned by wrote. This , is one of the most beneficial practices you can do. Ear training, learning songs, listening to other players, hearing bass lines, melodies or whatever. Ok. Now you've spent a few hours and learned a tune the way its supposed to be played. You know the tune inside and out, in essence a great organizational mind skills study too. However your mind works. Don't overload-otherwise nothing sticks. Your capacity will increase after you have spent more and more time. It's amazing how connections are made,they seem to occur in a fashion which is beyond the conscious ability to plan and organize.Daily practice also allows me to imprint the material in my mind until it becomes instinct. One long practice session will not do this. For most players, useful techniques can only be acquired through repetition. I always try to work new materials into songs, lines and grooves that I like. For me it's sort of like upgrading my musical mind so that my playing becomes reoriented in the directions I choose. Increasing familiarity with they materials is a good thing. It's like learning a language--music is a language. ....WORK HARD....Have a great week- Tim Price

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D'Addario Woodwinds- Keep the channel open.

Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger you become. The less you train it, the weaker you become. Think of the results- just for you.Confidence before an audition! Confidence when picking up your horn to play in a new setting- your primed and ready. Relaxed and confident! We all possess different levels of self-discipline. Everyone has some — if you can hold your breath a few seconds, you have some self-discipline. But not everyone has developed their discipline to the same degree. Check it out- it takes self-discipline to build self-discipline. Similarly, the basic method to build self-discipline is to tackle challenges that you can successfully accomplish but which are near your limit. This doesn’t mean trying something and failing at it every day, you must start with challenges that are within your current ability. Old opportunities will dry up. New opportunities will begin to appear.Your mind set does change- and so does your ability on whatever you are working on with discipline. Invitations that once attracted you will seem boring, while others will become interesting to you.People will change how they relate to you. Some will become more distant while others will zoom closer.Gigs will appear, you'll enjoy things more. Things you used to merely dream about will begin to seem possible for you. Celebrate your success! Keep the channel open, and try your best.You'll learn something special. Been talking to my students about the many aspects of the creative mind set. Trying to just expand more ideas and thoughts. Here's some things that I'm coming up with ; Creativity is the bringing into being something which did not exist before, either as a product, a process or a thought. Right? So let’s apply this to ALL levels of saxophone playing, thought and improvisation. You would be demonstrating creativity if you: · Played something which has never existed before. · Reapply an existing lick or concept into a new area musically. · Develop a new way of looking at something (bringing a new idea into existence). · Change the way someone else looks at something. We are all creative every day because we are constantly changing the ideas which we hold about the world about us and our relationship with it. Creativity does not have to be about developing something new to the world, it is more to do with developing something new to ourselves !! When we change ourselves, the world changes with us, both in the way that the world is affected by our changed actions and in the changed way that we experience the world. It’s a thought process. It’s past a mouthpiece change..it’s a MIND SET !! Creative thinking is the process which we use when we come up with a new idea. It is the merging of ideas which have not been merged before. New ideas are formed by developing the current ones within our minds. This evolution HAS to be brought on by practice. Ongoing creative thinking is the continuous investigation, questioning and analysis that develops through education, training and self-awareness. Ongoing creativity maximizes both accidental and deliberate creative thinking. It is a quest for improvement which never ends. It is an acceptance of and a looking for continuous change that differentiates between ongoing creativity and mental inflexibility. Ongoing creativity takes time and practice to become skillful. Ongoing creative Keep the channel open, and try your best.You'll learn something special. Been talking to my students about the many aspects of the creative mind set. Trying to just expand more ideas and thoughts.See you next week- enjoy your music- TIM PRICE Here's some things that I'm coming up with ; Creativity is the bringing into being something which did not exist before, either as a product, a process or a thought. Right? So let’s apply this to ALL levels of saxophone playing, thought and improvisation. You would be demonstrating creativity if you: · Played something which has never existed before. · Reapply an existing lick or concept into a new area musically. · Develop a new way of looking at something (bringing a new idea into existence). · Change the way someone else looks at something. We are all creative every day because we are constantly changing the ideas which we hold about the world about us and our relationship with it. Creativity does not have to be about developing something new to the world, it is more to do with developing something new to ourselves !! When we change ourselves, the world changes with us, both in the way that the world is affected by our changed actions and in the changed way that we experience the world. It’s a thought process. It’s past a mouthpiece change..it’s a MIND SET !! Creative thinking is the process which we use when we come up with a new idea. It is the merging of ideas which have not been merged before. New ideas are formed by developing the current ones within our minds. This evolution HAS to be brought on by practice. Ongoing creative thinking is the continuous investigation, questioning and analysis that develops through education, training and self-awareness. Ongoing creativity maximizes both accidental and deliberate creative thinking. It is a quest for improvement which never ends. It is an acceptance of and a looking for continuous change that differentiates between ongoing creativity and mental inflexibility. Ongoing creativity takes time and practice to become skillful. Ongoing creative thinking soon becomes an attitude not a technique. The first step to take is to learn the creative thinking techniques so that you can use them deliberately to come up with new ideas. You will then be at an immediate advantage to those who do not know how to use them. You should then practice them to increase your skill at ongoing creative thinking. With practice you may even find it unnecessary to use specific techniques because you may soon have too many ideas without using them at all. The first step to take is to learn the creative thinking techniques so that you can use them deliberately to come up with new ideas. You will then be at an immediate advantage to those who do not know how to use them. You should then practice them to increase your skill at ongoing creative thinking. With practice you may even find it unnecessary to use specific techniques because you may soon have too many ideas without using them at all. TIM PRICE

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tim Price Bloggin' For D' Addario Woodwinds- Dealing with reeds.

DEALING WITH REEDS..... Reed quality is important when playing and is important in its interaction with the mouthpiece. Along with breath support and embouchure, it is responsible for pitch control and the quality of the sound produced. The fibers running through the length of a reed create the high partials in a sound. If there are excessive fibers, they may contribute to an edgy sound, or poor quality of sound. So, the pith between the fibers slightly dampens the high partials, but if excessively pithy, the sound may be somewhat "fuzzy." Many other factors contribute to the quality of sound produced by a reed, including the maturity of the cane. This is indicated by the color of the reed. Cane is seasoned for two to three years after it is cut and must have reached maturity, but not entered its natural state of decay. The amount of seasoning of the cane and the shape and dimensions of the reed also contribute to the quality of sound. Choosing a good reed takes practice and experience. Comparing the grain of your favorites reeds against ones that don't play as well, and looking for differences, is a good start. When purchasing reeds, check that the color of the reed is a golden yellow color. Look for obvious flaws in the reed such as chips or splits on the tip. Hold the reed up to the light and look for a reasonably well-defined heart. The grain should be relatively even throughout. Every four to six weeks, replenish your supply of new reeds. One approach that most can afford is to buy one or two boxes every month. Get in the habit of doing this; make it a regular routine. Date the boxes when you receive them; then store them. Use your oldest reeds first; your newest reeds go to the back of your personal supply. Never again will you have to order reeds in a panic, only to discover your supplier is out of stock. Select and prepare new reeds regularly. Many players look for a good reed only when they desperately need one. Then, panic happens. The result: you won't find one. A better approach is to be in the routine of regularly trying and adjusting new reeds. Keep six to eight working reeds on hand. Routinely eliminate those that no longer play well; add in new ones that are acceptable to you. Do this even if you have no performances scheduled--you want to be in the habit of maintaining a supply of good reeds. Once every week or so, eliminate the poorest reed, and add a new one that seems to have potential. Note: "eliminate" does not necessarily mean "throw away." You can deselect a reed from your current group of six to eight preferred reeds, and store it for later re-evaluation. It may play better in six months, when the season--and humidity--changes. Rotate the reeds you play on. You will lose some of the flexibility of embouchure so necessary to successfully performing on a variety of reeds. Rotate your reeds in the course of a day's practice; practice on two or three reeds instead of just one. Find a reed's best playing position on the mouthpiece. Each reed has an ideal position on the mouthpiece. Sometimes, a slight change in the positioning of a reed on the mouthpiece can have a dramatic effect on how it responds.Also try moving the tip of the reed slightly to the left, or right; this subtle angling of position can offset an imbalance in the reed and cause it to become significantly more responsive. Storing your reeds. A storage container should do more than simply protect the reed from damage. A good storage system will minimize reed warpage by reducing variations in humidity, allowing little or no exposure to outside air. Thus, make certain the reed container has good closure. To eliminate mold, some containers have salt and/or carbon granules present. The storage device should also minimize potential warpage by allowing the air inside the reed case to contact both the top and bottom surfaces of the reed. Air naturally contacts the top surface of the reed, but what about the bottom? In many reed cases, this is accomplished through use of a grooved surface, upon which the reed rests. Thus, both the top and bottom of the reed is in contact with air, promoting a uniform drying process. If only the top surface (i.e., the vamp) of the reed contacts the air, it dries at a different rate than the bottom surface, and the reed warps. Rejuvenating an older reed. Well-used reeds can possess a build-up of material which clogs the pores and fibers of the reed. This adversely affect reed performance. Reeds in this condition can be soaked in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes to cleanse them. Ray Pizzi turned me on to using POLYDENT. The denture cleaner- and it works like a charm. You'll know it's working: the foaming process is easy to see. Don't expect miracles here; the reed will not be restored to a "like-new" condition. However, you can expect a few more days of reliable use after this treatment. Always make small adjustments. Always remember: when you adjust a reed's dimensions, you are working with extremely small tolerances. Adjustments affect thickness, contour, and balance. Thickness: removal of a seemingly small amount of cane may actually represent ten, twenty, or thirty percent of its total thickness, depending upon where you are working. Therefore, changes that seem quite small are actually quite signficant. Contour: remember that your adjustment always affects the shape of the reed in two ways: the taper of the reed from the shoulder to the tip, and the convex curve of the reed from side to side. These shapes should be smooth, and free of any sudden "dips." Even the smallest break in either curve can have a negative effect. Therefore, always work with the idea in mind to preserve these two shapes. Balance: a reed is out of balance if a point on one side of the vamp is higher or lower than the corresponding point on the opposite side. You may well have to remove some cane to bring a reed into balance. However, if a reed is already balanced, the removal of cane from one side may necessitate the same adjustment on the other side. Keep a light touch. No pressure, just the weight of the knife; just the weight of the hand if using sandpaper or reed rush. Never press. The material removed should resemble dust. Think twice before you scrape...once cane is removed, it cannot be restored. A great book to find is Kalman Oppermans book on adjusting reeds. Get the bottom of the reed truly flat. If the bottom of the reed is warped, it will not create a true seal against the various elements of the mouthpiece, and the reed will not respond properly. To see if a reed is warped, wet the reed and lay it on a piece of glass. Gently tap one shoulder of the reed. Does it rock back and forth? If so, the bottom is warped. To reduce or eliminate the warpage, lightly sand the bottom of the reed on a file, or on sandpaper placed on a piece of glass (or plexiglass). Here's one reliable technique: wet your index, middle, and fourth fingers--this helps to hold the reed--and place them gently on the bark and vamp. Sand in a circular pattern, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Use three or four clockwise motions, followed by three or four counter-clockwise motions. This use of this circular technique is important, because if the reed is sanded only in one direction (say, using a repeating back and forth motion) there is a tendency to sand unevenly by creating additional pressure with the fingers at the end of the stroke. Important: Do not press. If you press, the result can be that you will actually exaggerate the warpage. While sanding, keep the reed tip off the file or sandpaper; the thinness of the tip prohibits this type of sanding. Sand only for a brief time, and then test for warpage again by laying the reed on the glass and trying to "rock" it by touching one side. With some reeds, you cannot totally eliminate warpage. A balanced reed tip will vibrate fully, and thus realize its potential to produce sound. Here, the concept we work with is that the reed, in and of itself, produces no sound. It works in conjunction with a mouthpiece--your individual mouthpiece--to produce that sound. Therefore, the reed should be balanced through the use of a playing test. Set the reed on the mouthpiece; for convenience, you can hold it in place with your left thumb. Turn the clarinet to the side, so your lower lip closes the right side of the reed; then blow an "open G." The sound you hear is created by the left tip of the reed. Then, reverse the process: turn the clarinet so that your lower lip damps the left side of the reed. When you blow, you are hearing the right tip. Compare the sounds. Is one vibrant, the other stuffy? If so, lightly scrape the stuffy side, from the tip itself back about a quarter inch. Repeat the process. Continue this cycle until you get a good match (in clarity of sound) when you listen to each individual side of the reed's tip. Take your time...remove the tiniest amount of cane (remember, only "dust"), and then try it again. Your patience will pay off. Try not be overly concerned with reproducing reeds to meet the exact dimensions of a model reed. This concept, while sound in theory, can yield disappointing results if relied upon too heavily. When adjusting reeds, remember: every reed plays differently, regardless of our best efforts at perfect duplication. Even if we use one of the many measuring, cutting, or grinding and sanding devices currently available, these devices can only attempt to reproduce a reed's dimensions. They cannot respond to the density of an individual piece of cane. The density of the cane has a direct effect on its ability to vibrate. Thus, two reeds of identical dimensions may play very differently from one another. This is one of the reasons why reeds from the same box can vary so much. When making fine adjustments, focus on achieving a smooth blend of the reed's two basic contours--the taper from shoulder to tip, and the convex curve from side to side--as opposed to trying to reproduce a set of specific dimensions. Look at the reed. Does it appear to have a high spot? If so, try to blend that spot into the overall contour. The elimination of a high spot can dramatically affect the reed's performance.Try the reed first. If it plays, don't do anything to it! If the reed gods of chance and good fortune hand you a fine reed, my advice is to play it! Don't change it--just add it to your selection of six to eight preferred reeds, and spend the extra time practicing. Any reed work has to be practiced to experience improvement. Devote about twenty minutes a day to it; gradually, you will achieve results. And, you will still have time to get all your practicing done. Reeds are deceptive; the feel of a reed often differs from the sound of a reed. Make sure you are listening to the reed, as well as feeling its responsiveness. Do your reed work at the end of your practice session, rather than at the beginning. Remember: your main focus is to practice the music. Work on one or two reeds only, after your day's practicing has been completed. Spend the majority of your "shed time" practicing the instrument, as opposed to working on reeds. Last but not least..some old school ideas here. Many players advocate a carefully laid out routine involving a cycle of wetting and drying the reeds prior to extended playing. Those players who recommend such programs most assuredly find them successful. For many years I followed such a routine, but no longer do so. I find that having six to eight reeds on hand, and rotating them--playing two or three in the course of a practice session--is, in and of itself, an effective "break-in" routine for my newer reeds. My experience tells me this: there is no "best" brand of reed. Reed Geek, Knife...use what you personally prefer. Where to adjust for specific results? I wish there was a formula, but there isn't...at least, I haven't found one that seems to work consistently. Keep in mind. Buy new reeds routinely. Work on them regularly. Keep a set of six to eight reeds available. Rotate the reeds you play on, using two or three during a practice session. Add a new reed to the rotation every week or ten days, and eliminate the poorest one. Find the reed's best playing position on the mouthpiece. Store your reeds in a container which minimizes warp-age. If needed, give an older reed a boost by cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide. Make small adjustments. Keep a light touch. Focus primarily on the two fundamental adjustments: make the bottom flat, and balance the tip. Devote the majority of your time to practicing ; work on reeds only about twenty minutes a day. It's what you do with those twenty minutes that can make all the difference. THANKS- Tim Price