May 03

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Warm up, Part 1

I usually find myself addressing how students warm-up.  Most saxophone players typically don’t give warming-up much thought. But, without it we can develop bad habits and setup ineffective practice sessions.

Generally, warm-ups start with no brainer type things and progress to more specific and demanding things. Warming-up is not practice.  It is not supposed to be attractive or perfect.

First, you need get your air moving and throat relaxed.  Without the saxophone, take a big breath and exhale fully.  A lung full of air takes ½ second to exhale without pushing.  If it takes longer, you are restricting your breath.  Do this several times, pausing between breaths so that you do not hyperventilate.

Then, play breath attacks with a lot of air.  The tone should sound like it is accented, but without changing the air speed (“fffffff – Ahhhh).  It is very important to move a lot of air.  Start on a middle B and work your way down to a low Bb. Then work your way from middle B up to a high D.  Don’t worry about making an attractive tone.  The sound should be raw and brash.  You also might find that you are playing flatter.  That’s OK.  Let it be flat for now. I’ll write more on this later.

I will post more warm-up in upcoming weeks. Stay tunes.  Tell your friends, because this is stuff that will automatically improve your playing.

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