Posts Tagged ‘Learning’


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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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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2 points that need updating:

point 1: 11 out of a maximum 15 spaces have been booked already-yehaa!!!!

point 2: Nick Hislam has agreed to travel all the way from Wales to lead the Improvisation session and help with the rest of the day as well.

Nick has run the improvisation class for the last 8 or 9 years, and is my go to guy for this. He is a great saxophonist with a tone to die for, and a teaching style that everyone understands.

So if you have been procrastinating or even just thinking about whether you should book a place on the workshop, here is another reason to just book it now.

You know its the right thing to do!

thanks for looking.

Dave

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It was only yesterday that I announced the first StaxofSax saxophone workshop for the Isle of Wight, and already more than 25% of the places are booked.

If you know of anyone that either lives on the Island or may want to visit the Island and join us, please pass the message on.  That would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Dave

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I am very pleased to announce that the first StaxofSax workshop for 2020 is happening on Saturday February the 29th in Newport on the Isle of Wight.

Not sure if this counts as an overseas event, but it is a beautiful place and we love living here.

The workshop will cover a Q and A session about anything saxophone related,  Large ensemble playing, and help and advice on taking your playing to the next level plus other items.

The details are on the flyer below, and I would really appreciate it if you could share this post with as many Saxophonists as possible please.

More details will follow, so watch this space, and hope to see some of your in February

Many thanksFeb29Flyer

Dave

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Well as you can see there has not been a lot of activity on my website for a long time.  There are genuine reasons for that, including, Moving house, Work, Renovating the new house, lots of gigs,  rebuilding my business, taking on new students and starting to do some work with Daniel Christian of SaxCasts.com.  So, pretty hectic, but now I’ve used those excuses, I won’t be able to use them again!!

Anyway,  I am planning on adding quite a bit more content on here, going forward.

I will be putting up some short posts in a minute, and would be happy for any feedback or questions you may have.

 

Thanks for sticking with me, and hope to speak to as many as I can soon.

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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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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As some of you will know, we moved to the Isle of Wight at the end of 2018.  My wife had to stay in Leicester to finish off at her job, but finally moved over permanently 2 weeks ago.  She started her new job here on Monday and has survived the first week, in pretty sound condition.

For me, I am building my business back up. This includes attracting new students, talking to venues about possible gigs, busking, workshops and networking meetings.

So far, I have started working with 2 local students doing face to face lessons.  I have also  kept some of my Leicestershire and Rutland students by using Facetime and Skype (this is working really well).  I have also just booked a trial lesson for an adult clarinettist.  I am running a workshop for a local Saxophone ensemble in March along with giving a presentation about wedding music to a group of Brides to be at a networking workshop run by a local wedding co-ordinator.

Tonight, I am playing at Cowes Golf Club for a social evening, and next month I am playing at a Yacht Club in Cowes for their Jazz evening.

So things are moving in the right direction for us.

If you would like to talk about lessons for yourself or a friend, via Skype or Facetime or face to face, then please get in touch or pass on my details.

 

Many thanks

 

DaveIMG_20150409_210607

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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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