Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tim price Bloggin' For Rico Reeds- Developing a sustainable routine is really a life-long process.Now's the time!

Practice: now, then and always By Tim Price Practice: now, then and always By Tim Price Today's musicians – whether students, educators, or professionals – need to strive for quality of practice. Developing a sustainable routine is really a life-long process. Young people can function off desire and youthful animal energy. In the long run, though, the creative person needs to find a way to maintain a level of interest and vitality in the art. This takes work and intelligence. The concept of daily practice is an important one, as it is the best way to make any kind of musical progress. Daily effort keeps players finely attuned to continuous movement and the incremental accumulation of progress. 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 developed. First of all, it is helpful to develop physical stamina through the repeated effort. Also, from day to day, students will accumulate ideas and expand on the themes of their practice. On a topic like working Major chords; the first day might be devoted to arpeggios, and the next day might be finding some connections to other musical sources or songs. By continuing to work with focus on the same things from day to day, students will find their level of proficiency rising and expanding to include all these other sources. 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 a musician’s creativity. There are so many variations of scales, melodies, and melodic patterns. The only real limitations are determined by 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 or melodies. 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 the materials is a good thing. It's like learning a language – music is a language. Go Long Long tones should be the most important part of your practice routine. This fact is surprising to many beginner or intermediate saxophonists. Why Go Long? Every saxophonist, clarinetist, flute, oboe and bassoon player needs this. Long tones help you develop muscles and skills that are extremely important in most playing situations: • Embouchure. If the embouchure is correct throughout all of the long tones, then you will feel the burn as you reach the high notes. Make sure to really squeeze the corners in the high notes, and do not bite. If you feel the biting, stop, rest for a little while, and then continue when you feel ready. • Tonal quality. By playing long tones, you become subconsciously aware of the overtones and can develop a finer tone quality. How to Practice Long tones should be practiced the following way: 1. Begin with low Bb and play this note at a piano volume the best you can for 10 seconds. 2. If you need to, use a metronome and set it to 60 beats per minute. 3. Go up chromatically and play each note in the range of the instrument. With correct lower lip and breath support as well as well-developed control of the muscles involved, you should be able to keep the intonation even. 4. Be conscious of tone quality, intonation, breath support and embouchure. 5. Use a mirror to see your embouchure. Long tones must be practiced for about 15 minutes at a time. In the first session, start at low Bb and ascend to the highest note you can play correctly. In the second session, start at the highest note you can play correctly, and descend to low Bb. Try your best to practice long tones as much as you can. THE 7 DAY PLAN This will help woodwind focus, and it’s easy too. Each day of the week choose one subject and work on it all day long. Pick your weak areas. A typical week might look something like this plan below :we want to equip ourselves with the right outlook. Write down realistic plans to improve your goals. This will develop a focus on what you are trying to accomplish. No matter what level your at as a musician. Monday: Just play, all day. Letting go, feeling your way up and down the sax, checking out the sound. Have fun and listen to your strong points. This usually starts out being abstract and works its way into more melodic playing. Doing this all day gives us plenty of time to really get the idea of the exercise. Write down notes to yourself on what you want to work on that week; then during the week approach your ideas one by one. Tuesday: Melodic playing. Today start to put two or more notes together that sound 'pretty'. Take a look at your REAL BOOK/ or any book of songs, and notice how some of the great tunes are made up of simple intervals. Some of them are short scale passages. This gives us a clue that it does not take much to write or play a good melody. Write at least one idea down a day, and it will help you to think melodically and will add more substance to any style.No matter what level your at. Wednesday: Quality over quality. What do you feel you need to make stronger? Take today and study it. Make friends with the area of your playing that needs more focus. As your thirst to improve grows add this Wednesday topic to your other days. Practice scales, licks, study other players styles on CD's. Thursday: New melodies and new chords. This day we take some of the melodies created on Tuesday and put them together. Don't judge your new pieces but keep trying until you find something you like. Remember you have all day to come up with something that makes you feel good. If you write two bars you are a big winner. Also, try to take the new chords and use them in some of the tunes you know. Or make up your own progressions with them. You are being creative this day. Be yourself, not someone you read about. Friday: Listen to music all day long, new and old CD's. Get inspired and make notes of the players' style, how they phrase, keep time, how they let space and silence become part of their solos. Can you remember a few ideas that you can play? Be eclectic! Listen to rock, jazz, classical, world music or spoken word. Be inspired this day. It's your day! Saturday: What caught your musical ear? Was there something this week that made you think differently? This is the day to investigate further and go deeper into that . Try to understand what moves you. If it caught your fancy, stick with it until it reveals itself to you. This day may change your life! Document this feeling you have. It is important for your future. Sunday: Review in your mind,think about the week of practice. Review things slowly- listen for improvements. Remember, intuition is your very best friend. Listen to it and be ready to act on it. If it sounds good, remember how you worked and focused on it to get it to that point. Arrange your seven days your own way. Add subjects that you love. Add new directions from time to time. Go slowly, enjoy the journey and grow within your own ideas. It helps to have a plan for the week, keep it loose like this so it can grow-for you. It will take a certain amount of pressure off and allows you to relax as you practice. Focus today so tomorrow your closer to your goals. Thank you and hope this helps everyone- Think creative. Tim Price * Tim Price - Professional musician- educator- author -recording artist.Selmer clinician and Rico Reeds, Theo Wanne artist. In addition to giving private studio Tim has taught students from Tokyo and Texas to Tel-Aviv using on line instruction via SKYPE. One of the most in demand educators today- He teaches in NYC and Reading, Pa. Workshops and Clinics worldwide. His books are published through Hal Leonard. * @Price Music 2013-Allrights.

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