|Notes on Notes|
Looking for study materials to follow beginning method books ... for the young saxophonist's second or third year of playing? Perhaps you want to refine or expand your basic tonal skills and need some easy but musically valid phrases to turn. Maybe you need some etudes that are not terribly difficult to help you get back in shape if you've been away from the sax for awhile. Take a look at the two volumes of the Melodious and Progressive Studies.
| Book 1:
Melodious and Progressive Studies (MAPS, for short), Book 1 provides the intermediate student a perfect challenge for continued development of his musical and technical pursuits. Not only are these classic woodwind studies a joy to practice and learn, they are a pleasure for the teacher as well. Written in the nineteenth century European diatonic style, these etudes will help players develop proficiency in keys up to four sharps and flats, rhythmic fluency in all the basic meters, and basic articulation skills.
These studies can be used effectively on a great variety of levels. After the student has mastered them for rhythmic and reading accuracy, additional work can be effective in guiding the student's awareness of and ability to play with style, expression and rhythmic inflection.
For more advanced students who may want to make some basic changes to refine their tone -- making embouchure changes, for example, and incorporating advanced techniques in breathing -- it is wise to simplify the study materials. Attention can then be focused more fully on stabilizing the newfound techniques rather than on other difficulties of the music at hand.
Many fine college saxophone professors incorporate this book during the first semester while making the needed corrections to a student's basics: tone, finger movement, articulation, rhythmic precision. Learning to do the simple basics really well while strengthening muscular reflexes can be very tedious. This material can help do the job!
While refining the slower Nocentini and Baermann etudes of Book 1, it is well to begin practicing the up-tempo Gambaro studies in Book 2 for finger and tongue dexterity. The key signatures of these etudes stay within three sharps and three flats so that these scale and chord patterns can be totally mastered.
The Dont studies, originally for violin, challenge the student to develop not only greater finger coordination, but also the ability to maintain their best sound while connecting notes of more extended jumps in pitch.
Additional studies concentrating in specialized areas - tongue, speed, chromatics, trills, etc. - can be approached as needed.
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Revised: Saturday, May 03, 1997 URL: http://www.jdhite.com/music/saxophone/notes-s1.htm