If you have been playing for quite a few years and perform, you will probably have different questions than someone just starting to play!
You likely still get stuck with some things and have questions. You also may wonder if you are really practicing effectively.
Here are some of the conversations I had with Donny. He was actually gigging a bit the whole time and tried out many things we talked about.
He thought my approach was very different than anything else out there.
About a year and a half ago I purchased your lesson on improvisation that included how to play a solo on Cantaloupe Island…… I am just now returning to my horn and wanted to go through the lessons you sent me.
I remember perusing them when they first arrived and I really liked your approach to using the pentatonic scale to build a solo. I’ve signed up through your website again and look forward to your email updates.
I’m currently playing with a local college jazz combo and perform as the lead horn there. I practice five to six days per week, 3-4 hours each session. Daily, I work on the jazz combo tunes and the following from your list:
Using a metronome (also Band in a Box backing tracks)
I hang out with the professional jazz musicians in St Louis and I’ve been invited to participate in a professional jam session next month. I plan to work up Cantaloupe Island (I got to see Herbie Hancock live last July) and the Work Song.
I’m looking forward to learning from you, Neal, and I like your approach to teaching the sax.
What is your approach to increasing finger speed?
Sent from my iPad
Using something called the Lindeman method, I teach it in My program Saxophone Tribe.
Last night I was talking with a friend who has a funk band but is moonlighting with an R&B/blues band toga has a standing Thursday night gig at the 1860’s Cafe in the Soulard section of St Louis. He has asked me to sit in with them one night. So, sat night I asked him to name a couple of tunes they do so I can be prepared to play with the. He mentioned Canteloupe Island…and I said “bingo.” So, I’m going to focus on Cantaloupe Island and get it ready to play with a live band in a crowded club. Cool!
With respect to altissimo. I’ve been working on overtones and can play them all up to high Bb. I can play the high Bb with low Eb fingered. I’m having trouble hitting it with low Bb fingered. Is this peculiar to my horn or is it just tough to hit for all?
That’s a cool solo. Maybe I’ll work on it a little too or get some phrases at least.
With regards to hitting the Bb two octaves up, you just need to spend more time on it. It takes practice and control to hit the higher harmonics. Relative to Eb, it’s only the third step up, which will generally be easier.
After Bb comes D, that took me some time to get more consistently. And it changes a bit depending on what reed you’re using. Main thing is you though.
Thanks Neal… I’ll keep trying… I’m committed to achieve altissimo… Playing the overtones every day has allowed me to add harmonics to my tone… I’ve received some positive feedback on my tone during the past two weeks.. I’m pumped!