For a few years now, I’ve
been putting together some new exercises, new ideas, and new approaches to
practicing the exercises. I’d also
like to have a chance to explain in more detail how to practice them. The book isn’t formatted yet, so
here’s your opportunity to have some input regarding what goes into the book
and how it’s presented!
Just as a small bonus, here’s an example of something I’ve been
using and will probably include in the book: I got this from awesome bari saxophonist Ken Hitchcock.
I’ve been practicing this over two octaves, (starting way down, 2 octaves below what’s written here, transposing up by half-steps) but you don’t have to! You could practice only what’s written here! There’s no “should” or “must” about this kind of practice. That said, I recommend at least transposing it into one or two other keys; say “Horn in G” or “Horn in C”. My usual approach is to transpose it up a half-step, then another half-step and so on. I do highly recommend using a metronome, just so you can keep track of your improvement. It’s a really good idea to occasionally practice it very slowly.
Something that’s important to understand, when you’re deciding how to practice is this: no one can play exercises like this as fast in the extreme low register, as they can in the mid-to-high register! It’s also important to realize that when improvising a jazz solo, you probably won’t be using pedal notes all that much except maybe at the beginning or end of a phrase. So, you may decide for instance, to only practice the exercise in the range you’d be likely to use when improvising, i.e. maybe only a range of an octave and a half. My personal preference is to cover as much of my range as possible, “just because”….it gives me more of a feeling that I’m in control of my Horn….