Archive for the ‘Lessons’ Category


I have just uploaded a video to my YouTube Channel, explaining how to improve the sound quality of an Ireal Pro track, using GarageBand.

I hope that you find this useful, please let me know what you think.

Best wishes

Dave

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Hi Folks

For all those musicians out there learning their scales, it can be a challenge to work out which minor scale is related to the Major scale.

There are 2 ways to relate them.  You can relate them by starting pitch, so G Major and G minor for example.  This has the same starting note but totally different key signatures.  The other way is to relate them by Key Signature, which makes them more useful when you are woring out what key the piece is in you are trying to play.

Lets take C Major wich has a key signature of 0 Sharps and 0 flats.  To work out the relative Minor, count up 6 notes ( including the Root) and you end up on A.  This is the Relative Natural Minor.  So Starting on A play up to the next A and maintain the key of 0 Sharps and Flats.  This gives you A natural minor.

To make this the harmonic minor, raise the 7th note of this new scale by a semitone or half step (G becomes G#) both up and down the scale.

To take it to the next level and play the melodic minor, raise both the 6th and 7th by a semitone /half step (F becomes F# and G becomes G#) on the way up, but revert back to the natural minor scale on the way down.

So in four easy stages you have played the Major scale and 3 versions of the Minor scale.

 

Attached is a PDF showing how this works.  Please feel free to download and share.

I hope you found this useful.

Happy Tooting.

 

Dave

Scales – Major to Minor

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As some of you will know, I am a Saxophone teacher as well as a player, and during the lockdown period more of my teaching has gone on line.  I now teach in USA, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Wales and England.

So I thought I would share some of the work I do with you via some short videos.

These are just hints and tips that I use with my students for certain problems that occur.

This one is about the ‘Musical Sorbet’

The quality of  the video is something that I am working on to improve and make more professional as I  progress.

Let me know what you think and please share.

If you would like a chat about lessons, then please drop me a message at dave.saxteach@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks

Dave

 

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In January this year, I was approached by a chap called Daniel Christian.  He runs a YouTube channel called SaxCasts and a FaceBook group called Learning Saxophone.  He was looking for some assistance with the FaceBook group and wondered if I would be interested in running a Weekly Q and A live video on Sunday evenings ( 8pm UK time).

It sounded like fun so with a bit of help on the technology side, off I went.  We have about 30 or so members join us each week from various parts of the globe and they will post questions during the week.  Ranging from anything sax related to performance nerves and music theory.

I do my best to answer them, or point them in the right direction.  During the session we also get questions asked live.  The videos are then posted to the page for those that want to watch later.

Sometimes I prepare worksheets for certain sublects and they are added to the file section of the page for members to access.

Members will post progress videos and ask for feedback and we run challenges with the aim of promoting learning.

In January we had 350 members, we are now at over 1400 and growing by at least 10 a day.

This is a very friendly group and no nastiness is tolerated.  Why not pop on over and join us, it would be great to see you on there.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/learnsax/

 

 

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Here’s a little something for the weekend.

Blues scales are a good way to start improvising. Based on the Major scale, the Blues Scale is made up of:
Root
Flattened 3rd
4th
Flattened 5th
5th
Flattened 7th
Octave
So following this formula, you can work out all the blues scales if you know the Major scales.

The attached sheet gives you the Blues scales up to 5 flats and 6 sharps, so there are still 3 to work out for yourselves.
Don’t try to enharmonically transpose them, because composers don’t!

At the end of each scale on the sheet is a phrase for you to learn. However, that phrase is only in 1 key. As you can see, I have numbered the first phrase so that you can easily try that phrase in different keys by using the same numbers.

Ideally, you should play the scale over the whole range if the instrument and also play the modes too. This will give you more ammunition for improvising.

Let me know how you get on.

Have a good weekend

DaveBlues Scales

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Here is an exercise to help with developing dexterity and key signatures.
I came across this article a good few years ago in a magazine call ‘Saxophone Journal’
It was written by David Pope (Google David Pope Saxophonist and you will find him). David gave me permission to share his exercise as long as he was given credit for writing it.
He had suffered with Tendonitis very badly, and along with his teacher, he wrote these exercises to prevent it happening again.

Each bar is a separate exercise, and should be played a minimum of 10 times each.
You can do all the left hands followed by the Right ones, or L1 then R1 etc, the choice is yours.

The tempo is 60 bpm or less, never more because as you add more notes per bar, that will increase the speed that you play at.

Breathing: Vary where within the bar you breath, otherwise you will always separate the same to notes, and we need to practice the slur between all notes.

Articulation: Slurred to start with, then you can tongue, Staccato, Slur 2 tongue 2. The limit is your imagination.

Key: Start in the key of C, then change to different keys but always start on the C and G.

The idea is to make the transition from one note to the next as smooth as possible. As each bar is quite easy to memorise, I practice it against a wall so that I can hear any key movement problems. Then I break it down until I can make it smooth again.

That should be enough to be going on with, if you have any problems or ideas of how to make this exercise more useful, please comment below.

Feel free to share with your colleagues, and let them know where you found it please.Dave Pope Excercises

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Gift Screen grab 3

Occasionally I get asked about lessons as a present for someone’s Birthday or Christmas, so we have been providing gift vouchers for those requests over the last 10 years.

I just wanted to share with you, the new updated voucher that we have produced.  Pretty smart, even though I say so myself.

Vouchers can be bought for a certain amount of lessons and the card tells the recipient how many that is, not the amount of money that you have spent.

Different designs can be printed.

Lessons can be 30 or 60 minutes long.  The Student then contacts me to arrange a suitable time for those lessons.

Lessons can be Face to Face or via Skype or Facetime, whichever suits the student.

The cards have space for you to personalise them, and are posted to you for giving.

If you have someone who has expressed an interest in learning, then this is a great way to surprise them.

My number is 07736 471 861 or dave.saxteach@yahoo.co.uk

I look forward to hearing from you

 

Dave

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So which side of the fence are you on regarding scales?  Personally, I love them.

They are like musical vegetables, you should take in at least 7 a day!

A lot of players see them as a chore and don’t see the benefit of learning them.  I can understand that thought, especially as some students who take grades, don’t have it explained to them what connection they have to the pieces they are learning, so therefore its just another thing to try and learn to help pass their grade.

I did a trial lesson with an adult player a few years ago.  He had been playing for a good few years and played in various groups locally.  I asked him to start off the session with a G scale over one octave, playing nice and slowly as I wanted to listen to his tone.

He made a few attempts and gave up, with the explanation that he was a ‘Jazzman!’ and was used to improvising.  So we tried another scale with the same result and reason.

However I tried to break it down and help him through it, he just came back with the same reason.   Now the reason I find this a bit odd, is because to play Jazz well, you must know your scales, and normally a lot more scales and different ways to play them than a classical musician may do, as this is how you improvise.

What I have worked out over the years is that each piece is written in its own dialect of the same language.  In other words, music is the language and each key is a different dialect.  The notes within that key that make up the scale are really the letters of the alphabet that is used within that dialect.

Learning the alphabet allows us to spell words, learning words allows us to make phrases and sentences, learning sentences allows us to make paragraphs, and learning paragraphs allows us to tell stories.  That is what we try and do when we play music, we tell stories through our instrument.  So most of the good musical story tellers know their scales, because they see the benefit to their art.

I am going to leave this here for now, but I will be coming back to the subject of scales, and looking at how different people remember them and how different people teach them.

 

Davewp-image-59582707jpg.jpeg

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I Have been out and about today, putting postcards in shop windows.  This is with the aim of increasing the number of students that I work with and spreading the love of making music.

 

If you fancy learning how to play or improve with the either the Saxophone or Clarinet, then please contact me for a chat.

Open to all ages from 7 yrs upwards.

 

Feel free to share this post with anyone that may be interested.

 

Many thanks

 

Davesax postcard 2

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Yesterday I met up with my first new local student in Ryde.  Like me, she moved to the island only 3 weeks ago, and wanted to restart having clarinet lessons.  She has been playing for about 10 years and has reached a good standard, but took a break recently with moving house and looking for employment.

We had a good lesson and spent a lot of it, just getting her lip back into shape and working out how each of us work.  We are arranging further lessons in between Christmas and the New Year, and I am looking forward to helping her carry on making good progress and having fun at the same time.

The remote lessons via Skype and FaceTime are going well and the signal here is very good.

Someone said  recently that it is the  modern equivalent of Short wave radio school lessons that used to happen in places like the outback of Australia or Africa, when people lived to far away from schools to travel.

I think this is definitely the way forward, as it allows you to work with the teacher that you want, rather than having to work with someone purely because they are local, and for some students it means being able to have lessons rather than struggling on your own if there is no one local.IMG-8967

What do you think?  Why not get in touch to see if I can help you?

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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