Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, more recital prep

So today started with 45 minutes of Long Tones and a big portion of that was spent on making the F# sound better and be more consistent.

On the scales I ran through them all at 160, 162 and 164bpm. Major modes, Melodic minor modes and harmonic minor modes. Blues and Pentatonic.

The following 6 hours of my day where spent between Transcribing Myron Walden's solos of Red River Revel, Soloing over all 5 of my Recital songs, Have You Met Miss Jones is coming along greatly! Confirmation has been having its moments so I'm going to spend a lot of time on it tomorrow. Dear Lord is going really good now thanks to transcribing Kenny Garrett's version off YouTube. Oh babe is fine on my part and should be sweet with the band. The last 8 bars of the form of Red River Revel is not going good, so need to work on that to.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday, 13 hour day

Friday started with 1 hour of overtones, working wonders with the strength of tone of the altissimo register.

I then had a full almost 2 hours of scales including the major modes in 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths and 7ths, and scale tone 7ths. not all amazing and at speed, but getting there. Then melodic minor and harmonic minor modes normally and in 3rds.

I then had a great rehearsal with the band.

Then a spectacular session transcribing some red river revel solos and some dear lord solos and doing the same work I always do on it. They have been going good, especially Dear Lord. I have learned a lot from the Red River Revel solo by Myron Walden there is so much rhythmic diversity and the choice of tones are so strong.

followed by almost 4 hours of teaching.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday

A lot of wasted time waiting for people to arrive at a rehearsal. Probably 3 hours gone for about 45 minutes productivity. Not good, however the 45 minutes worth of playing yielded good results. Ax and I worked for about 15 minutes on getting our phrasing tight on Confirmation.

I then spent about 1 and a half hours soloing through the changes of the 3 main tunes.

On Thursday I had a much more productive rehearsal. After starting my day with a solid long tone session, then major modes at 140-150bpm, in 3rds, 4ths and 5ths, and attempting 6th and 7ths, which are easier than first thought, I'm not solid on 6ths and 7ths, but I'll get there. Harmonic minor scales at 140-150 in 3rds as well, and diminished and blues scales at 140bpm.

Followed by 2 hours of soloing through the changes and 1 hour worth of transcribing Kenny Garrett's Dear Lord on YouTube. I got through the 1st chorus, before I had to go and teach.

Tuesday the 3rd

So on Tuesday I had my hour of long tones and on the F#, A, Bb, B and Up the tones are sounding really good and strong. G and Ab are becoming more consistent, but the tone doesn't sound like a sax, its that growning loosing your voice sound.

On the scale front I still covered my major modes between 132-138bpm. Thanks to smooth sailing in producing all the altissimo sounds I was able to play the major scales in the altissimo range at 70bpm. I played the scales in 3rds and I had the 4ths and 5ths happening! finally. I then followed the same routine with the melodic minor scales and played them in 3rds as well. So far no mistakes, everything was sounding smooth.

I then practiced written out solos over Confirmation, HAve You Met Miss Jones and Dear Lord, this was about 30 minutes worth.

Followed by Transcriptions of the above mentioned songs, trying to memorise the transcriptions.

Then Soloing unaccompanied with a metronome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scales and Tunes

Today I spent almost 2 hours on Scales and about 2 hours on Tunes. Hense the title.

But for starters there was almost a full hour of long tones, with about a 10 minute break for a chat with Ax, thanks man. The Altissimo is coming a long as normal, sounding good and healthy strong tone on all notes. The G and Ab still aren't the easiest to produce, but when I get them, they have a very strong tone.

I spent an hour playing the major modes (at 130, 132, 135 bpm and varying between these tempos). I played them in my natural range, and then in the altissimo range as it is much slower. Then in 3rds, and altenating 3rds and I attempted 4ths and 5ths again, but my god I struggle to do that, I always get mixed up. I'll get there though, it just needs persistence. I played the pentatonic scales in 3 note cells as triplets, 4 note cells as quavers and 5 note cells as quintuplets. I found them easy to play in the altissimo however.

I spent about an hour transcribing some parts out of Oh Babe by Adderley. Nat Adderley's lines are hard, they are so bent!!! its awesome.

I then spent 2 hours playing confirmation and learning that Cannonball Adderley played it on a TV appearance on NBC in the late 50's, I'm tracking it down now. I spent a bit of time working on the melody of confirmation around 20 mins, then about 15 minutes playing one note with the metronome set on 2 and 4 at 200. I spent about 25 minutes playing the changes with the metronome set on 200, 198, 196, 202, 205bpm's, hard going, but I feel my time is coming together. Then half an hour playing some of the changes with the piano and improvising over the chords and half an hour with an aebersold.

I have also composed an awesome song. 7/4 Bossa song, with a melody inspired by an Adderley lick.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Getting slack

Don't worry! Not in my practice regime, in posting on this blog. my intention was to have a much better practice diary because 1 I wouldn't loose it, and 2 because I would keep posting as its online.

So on Tuesday, I woke up and had actually started to feel a little bit six as I had an ear ache and soar throat, was petrified that I was going to end up with some kind of flu and not be able to do my 2 exams. So after an hour of long tones in the morning I decided it would be best to go home and rest. Which is what I did.

I woke up on Wednesday and felt fine! I did a crammed version of practice as I had an Improv exam and a harmony exam that day. So my practice went for 2 hours and consisted of 20 minutes of Long Tones. 20 minutes of scales that consisted of all Harmonic minor stuff, and Melodic Minor in Particular the Eb and Ab harmonic and Melodic minor modes. All performed in variations of around 120 and then again at 130. I then attempted 20 minutes of my transcription of Hi-Fly in 6 keys, I worked on the double time parts in all 6 keys, working them from slow to speed. The second hour of my practice consisted of about 20 minutes of playing through the changes of Confirmation and Have You Met Miss Jones with the metronome set at various speeds around 120. Doing that all from Memory. I then had 2 good friends join me for around 30-40 minutes in which I played my Dexter and Kenny transcriptions of the 2 songs with the other guys tapping time along with me. I did the same for them listening to their various solos over the same tunes. Then in the exam, we ran out of time so I had to do my test on Friday.

On Thursday I spent 30 minutes on Long Tones, 30 Minutes on the Pentatonic Scales in 4 note cells, and the Blues Scales, Bop Scales and Diminished (Dominant) scales. These where performed up to 140bpm. Then I performed my transcriptions in about 18 minutes or so and then spent the remaining 40 minutes on trying desperately to memorise my list of 20 tunes. The one thing that I've neglected over the semester. While I should have (and will in the future) focused on a song at a time, I was trying too hard to get through the list of 20 tunes that in the end I only had 5 memorised and couldn't play them well anyway. NB for next year!!!!!

On Friday I spent a half hour on Long Tones, In the scale department I spent a half hour on the major modes, harmonic and melodic minor modes, the pentatonic, Blues, Diminished and Bop scales at 200bpm. Some where not flash, but most where fine. I then spent about 40 minutes on my transcriptions. Then 80 minutes including 4 small breaks to have a quick drink and stretch. This 80 was on the tunes, yet again, I can see my problem was rushing through tunes trying to memorise every single one of them. While on the morning of an exam, I should have studied smarter and learned one at a time.

I the test I did ok up until the tune part in which as you could imagine I could only play 5 out of 20 which doesn't go well for a good mark! Then of the 3 I got to play, Confirmation, Miss Jones and There Will Never Be Another You, I stuffed all the melodies up and soloed like crap as well. So I'm very disappointed how I went, I know I could have done better. I don't know, I think it was a head space thing.