Posts Tagged ‘improvisation’

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:
Flattened 3rd
Flattened 5th
Flattened 7th
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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Hi Folks
Its time for the Easter StaxofSax Saxophone workshop 2017.
Please see the leaflet for details of the date and venue and contact details.
We will also be continuing with the format that we had at Christmas, with Large ensemble in the morning and Jazz OR small ensemble in the afternoon. Its your choice as to which you do after lunch, just let me know your preference.
Could I ask that everyone forwards this post on so that we can get in touch with as many Saxophonists as possible please.
We have 30 spaces to fill and would love to see a full hall.
Many thanks
Dave and Chris

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Just an update for those procrastinators amongst you.,  We have 22 places booked on this workshop and that leaves only another 8 available, and they are going fast now as people finalise their plans for Christmas.

If you would like to join us for a fun day of after Christmas music making in Leicester then please let me know.

email is

Telephone is 07736 471861

I have attached the flyer with the full details for you to look at and please share to any sax playing buddies and teachers.





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22 sax players of all shapes and sizes, from curved and straight Sopranos right down to our very first Bass sax had a great day of making music yesterday.

We should have 26, which would have been our biggest event yet, but the seasonal plagues took their toll on four players. Hopefully they will be able to join us on the next one.

If you check out our Staxofsax Saxophone workshop page you will find that one of our regular attendees, Mandy, has posted some recordings, including the initial playing of ‘Lady Marmalade and the final playing of the arrangement.

Have a listen to the improvisation recording and bear in mind that at least for of the players had never improvised before.  So well done to them.

An extra thank you should go to Mandy for bringing along enough cupcakes with saxophone decorations on for everyone to enjoy with their lunch.

Keep an eye out for the next event which will hopefully be at easter.


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Hi Folks

I just wanted to let you know about the Christmas StaxofSax saxophone workshop on Tuesday the 30th December 2014 at the Leicester South Salvation Army Hall.

Full detail can be found on the link below, please help us to make the day fun and enjoyable by spreading the word amongst your saxophone playing friends.

We will be playing an arrangement especially commissioned for the day in the large ensemble session and then working on your improvisation skills during the afternoon (beginner friendly session)

Its got to be better than being sat in front of the TV watching ‘The Great Escape for the umpteenth time, or a good excuse to loose the relatives for the day.  Its also a great opportunity to show off any saxophone related gadgets and toys that Santa may have brought you.


Come and join us for a great days music making in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

To book or chat call 07736 471861 or email


Please feel free to pass the flyer on to as many people as you can.


Look forward to hearing from you



Christmas flyer

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Hi Folks

I just wanted to let you know that we have booked our next Saxophone workshop.  The date is Thursday the 28th of August 2014, and the venue is the

Leicester South Salvation Army Hall

Ladysmith Road

South Wigston


The day is open to any sax players age 11 or older (this includes adults) who have been playing for 12 months or more.

We have run more than 20 of these events now and that players come back time after time because they are fun, friendly and they are informative days of music making.

If you would like more information or to reserve a place then please either email, Facebook on the StaxofSax page or  telephone 07736 471861 for a chat.

There are pictures and audio clips on the Facebook page.

Click on the link below for more details

August workshop2


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Yorkshire is calling again, so on the 3rd of March 2013 we are heading to the Rural Arts Centre in Thirsk for our 2nd workshop at that venue.

We will use a similar format of large and small ensemble playing along with an improvisation session in the afternoon.  In October at least half of the 18 attendees had not improvised before and they all came away very enthusiastic about it.

The Rural Arts Centre is a lovely venue with a great Cafe which we use for lunch, they made us feel very welcome last time we were there.

Cost of the day is the same as last time, £30 per person and we start at 10am and finish at 3pm.


If you want to ask more questions or book a place, please give me a call on 07736 471861 or email

Check out the staxofsax facebook page or  here for details of previous events.  Hope to see some of you there.







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The 14th workshop at Leicester was another successful days playing.  The large ensemble piece was Michael Buble version of feeling good.  Now this provided everyone with a challenge as the tempo is very slow to start with and this can be as difficult as a fast piece.

The small groups worked on ‘Fever’, 4 Gershwin tunes and ‘When Sunny gets Blue’. good performances put in by all three groups.

The improvisation session included the tunes, Jamaica farewell, Canteloupe Island and Watermelon man. We looked at maintaining your place within the tune as you improvise and how to make your solos more interesting to the audience. 

The day finished with some pretty impressive jazz playing by the 3 groups, well done everyone.


We will announce our next day as soon as we can.  Hope to see you on the next one folks



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Jamaica Farewell

Martin, Neil, Spencer, Sharon and Paul playing Jamaica Farewell in the jazz session

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Hi Folks

Due to unforseen circumstances, 2 people have had to drop out of the Manchester playday, and so I have 2 paid for tickets to give away rather than let them go to waste.

Its on a first come, first served basis, so give me a call on 07736 471861 or



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