Monday, December 08, 2014

Practice Journal: 1 December 2014

Monday:
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys using an expanding minor 2nd cycle (C, C#, B, D, Bb etc).
Overtones
Modus Novus - finished off remaining 6 from yesterday much easier and did the first 6 again.
"Feet Music" - working on the melody solo and with the recordings.
Worked on rhythm in between each of the above. Playing a bell pattern with a shifting pulse beneath and then a bemba rhythm.

Tuesday:
Rhythm - playing 6/8 and counting 6, 4 and 3.
Letting It Fall.
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys using the same pattern from Monday but with 5ths instead of 2nds (G, D, C, A, F etc). I'll probably write something on these cycles in the near future.
Overtones - tone matching into the Rascher book (the last 2 exercises on page 15). I was struggling with this today. After hanging in there for a while I changed my reed and it made all the difference. Even though I'm struggling with E off C (unstable and inconsistent) I'm still going ahead with regular overtone work and I feel they are getting better overall.
My concentration blew out but I managed to salvage things a little running through the melodies of "Broadway Blues" and "Feet Music"
Worked a little on a Bemba rhythm.
Modus Novus - this one was a little tricky about half way through it started coming together. I may return to this later in the week.

Wednesday:
Rhythm - playing 6/8 and counting 6, 4 and 3. Bemba Rhythm (I worked in this earlier in the day and while I was in line at the post office)
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys (Major 3rd Cycle)
Overtones - Letting It Fall, Rascher book - last two on 15 and first 3 on 16.
Modus Novus - this one was a little tricky as well but I hung in there with it. Some days these fall into place and other times they don't!

Thursday:
Rhythm - playing 6/8 and counting 6, 4 and 3. Started looking at some of the other bell rhythms. I spread this throughout the practice session.
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys (descending chromatically)
Overtones - Letting It Fall, Rascher book - last two on page 15 and about half of page 16. A few mouthpiece scales to round things up.
Modus Novus - the last couple of phrases I've worked on gave me a work out but today things fell into place and it seemed much easier.
Ear training - singing and playing a couple of tracks from Elvo S. D'Amante's Ear Training Series (Vol. 1 and 2). Intervals and scale fragments.
"Feet Music" - playing the melody along with the recordings and solo. Felt like I had a better blend today.
Finished off with about five minutes of improvising.

Friday:
It was a slow start to the day and I'm surprised how focussed I was when I started playing.
Modus Vetus - 1 phrase in all keys
Overtones, Letting It Fall and Mouthpiece Scales.
Modus Novus - another tricky phrase and I also stopped after 6 keys (just as it was falling into place) but then pressed on and finished it off.
It was a solid 75 mins blowing and then I hit the wall.
Today's practice was bookended by rhythm studies - working through the chart of bell pattern variations in Pure Rhythm.

Sunday:
Kicked things off 3 or 4 minutes of free Improvising to warm up the horn.
Long times with various dynamics before moving into improvising with focus on dynamics (this seemed to have quite an impact on the make-up of the lines I played).
Overtones - having a crack at the higher end of things with mixed success. From low Bb things are going pretty well, less consistent from low B and pretty average from low C.
Joe Viola's Technique of The Saxophone Vol. 2: Chord Studies - slowly played the first 10 or 12 exercises from Section II: Studies on Chord Sequences. I noticed that Eb minor didn't want to slip under the fingers today.
Played the melodies of "Feet Music" and "Broadway Blues." Looping each one separately and then alternating each melody.
A couple of minutes improvising to finish things off.

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