Check out the recital details here. It’s taking place on April 29th! More details and registration are available on the linked page. It would be great to have you perform if you are available.
#1. Continue deep breathing.
This is an exercise that won’t always translate directly to performance (We often don’t have this long to breathe in a piece), but it will help you become more aware of the true volume of your lungs and the feeling of good air support. Remember: full, vibrant tone comes from proper use of your air and an embouchure that doesn’t get in the way of the reed’s vibration.
- In order to breathe as deeply as possible you need good posture: aim for a stacked spine, a supported line from your hips to your head. Use the bottom muscles of your abdomen to support your torso, but avoid tensing the abs; tension there will prevent you from filling the bottom of your lungs. Also try to be aware of any muscle tension in your shoulders as you finish your inhalation.
- Before your inhalation make sure to exhale all air in your lungs. If you have properly exhaled all of your air a vacuum will be formed by the diaphragm relaxing against your empty lungs; the moment you allow air to flow back into your lungs (through your nose and/or mouth) it will sound like a gasp.
- Inhale deeply, letting your belly fill first, then your middle and upper lungs. Think about breathing into your lower back, relaxing the muscles there and allowing your lungs to expand. I know that I’ve inhaled at a truly deep level when I feel the muscles of my back stretch. Think about that. At the top of your inhalation, hold your breath for a moment, stopping the air from escaping with your closed lips.
- Exhale by opening your lips just slightly, allowing your body’s natural pressure to push the air out (like letting the air escape from an inflated balloon). As you exhale further you’ll need to engage the abdomen muscles as well, but see how far you can go by letting your body exhale using relaxation. When the abdomen is engaged, practice a controlled ‘crescendo’, pushing out the air to the end of your breath.
- Repeat 5 times every practice session before picking up the horn.
#2. pg. 12 #1. of Top Tones for Saxophone.
#3. Continue F# minor scale in thirds at the back of the Voxman Book. Work up in speed, never losing sight of the goal of consistent technique.
#4. Continue F# minor etude – prepare for recital.
- isolate bracketed bars and play as a longtone overtone exercise.
- practice with metronome at 70 bpm
- isolate F#m arpeggio and work up in tempo
- exaggerate dynamics!
This coming lesson let’s approach the piece as a performance; we’ll spend the lesson working on the musicality and less on the technique of the piece.