Lesson 06/16/2004 — Last lesson for a while

Posted by barb on Jun 16, 2004 in Saxophone

After the stressful week I’ve had, and with the wedding coming up faster than I can deal with it, I decided that tonight would be my last sax lesson until October. I played through a piece from The Nutcracker Suite and we tried a couple of the duets I’ve been working on, but that was about it. I plan to continue playing on my own over the next couple months, but without the fear of an upcoming lesson, I’m not as faithful in my practicing as I’d like to be.

I should pick up the lessons again sometime in October, assuming Fred can fit me into his schedule then.


Lesson 05/26/2004

Posted by barb on May 26, 2004 in Saxophone

A so-so lesson tonight. Both Fred and I were having one of those days. I’m finding that I’m not making much progress, but that’s probably because I’m not practicing as much as I could. Fred was nearly spent by the time I came in, since he’s generally been teaching for at least 5 hours straight before my lesson.

Anyway, we did play a few duets — knocked Tamburin and Minuetto off my list. He also went through and marked some pages in my method book for me to work on. I’ve been kind of lax about playing things out of that book, since the duets are much more fun.

I’ll be gone next week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Denver, so no lesson. Hopefully I’ll have lots of good stuff for the following week, though.


Lesson 05/19/2004

Posted by barb on May 19, 2004 in Saxophone

Good lesson! We played through Gigue, Tamburin, and Minuetto.

The Minuetto has four different sections that are repeated, and since I’m trying to build up my stamina, we’ve been playing all the repeats lately. After playing through the last section the first time, I went in for the repeat, which starts with a measure with just my part playing, and I hear Fred playing the beginning of the piece (it has a D.C al Fine). We stop for a second, and I look at him, “We’re playing the repeats.”

“I though we already repeated that part,” he says.

“No, we repeated the first part of the Trio, but not that second part.”

“Well look at you. You’re all on top of this and wondering where I am. Okay, let’s play through that, but we’ll say it’s the last repeat, and then go back to the beginning.”

Heh heh heh.

Of course, then we tried some sight reading of some Bach pieces that Fred had, and then I was put back in my place. For some reason I just can’t sight-read.

Next week we’re going to have an hour-long lesson to make up for some of the ones I’ve missed. I better practice like a maniac this week.


Lesson 05/05/2004 — Cancelled

Posted by barb on May 5, 2004 in Saxophone

While I was warming up tonight, the staff and notes started to go wonky. I’m still not sure if it was migraine-sign or not, but I got myself to bed with a couple Extra-Strength Exedrin in my system. Andrew popped in about half an hour before I’d need to leave for my lesson, and the room was spinning, so I had him call the store to cancel my lesson.

Sigh. It’s too bad, too, because I think I was really starting to nail Tamburin, playing faster than I could last week, and I was also getting the hang of Minuetto, which I wasn’t even prepared to play last week.


Lesson 04/28/2004

Posted by barb on Apr 28, 2004 in Saxophone

Fairly good lesson. We jumped right in to the duets I’ve been working on. I was surprised that I was able to get through a couple of them — I’ve been working on Gigue by King and Tamburin by Chedeville, but wasn’t confident that I’d be able to play them with Fred. I still need to work on them, in particular I need to speed up Tamburin, and there are a couple passages in Gigue where my fingers get tied up (though, while we played, I was able to jump back in where I was supposed to).

Fred also showed me the next duets book. Yikes! The pieces get much longer. I need to stop skipping the repeats in the pieces I’m playing to start to build up my stamina.


Lesson 04/21/2004

Posted by barb on Apr 21, 2004 in Saxophone

Pretty good lesson tonight. Knocked off two duets — one an 18th century piece, the other a Rossari piece (#s 31 and 57 in the Voxma book). The Rossari piece is actually fairly easy, but sounds cool and is a good warm-up piece, so we may play it again. The other one has been the bane of my existence for quite some time. We muddled through it again today, and Fred decided it was good enough.

We went through the book and picked a couple new pieces to try, so now I have one old piece, a Haydn Menuetto, two pieces from last time, Gigue by King and Tamburin by Chedeville, and two new ones, Minuetto by Hoffmeister and a piece by Devienne.

Next week Fred wants me to bring in a piece of music that Andrew’s been working on. Fred has ordered a book of duets for alto and tenor sax, and thinks that we might be able to transcribe it to work for alto sax and cello. That could be fun. (I’m not sure if sarcasm was intended there or not.)


Lesson 04/07/2004

Posted by barb on Apr 7, 2004 in Saxophone

I was at least more on my game for this lesson. I played through Gavorette again — it’s a Russian folk song, very fun to play, though I still have trouble getting my fingers to cooperate. Then we site-read a few duets, and looked through the sheet music in the store for something new for me. I feel like I need something new, but I’m horrible at picking music for myself — I invariably pick something that’s either too easy or too cheesy. We didn’t get anything, but he’s asked the store to get a Bach book for tenor and alto sax.


Lesson 03/31/2004

Posted by barb on Mar 31, 2004 in Saxophone

I was not on my game tonight. Neither was Fred. Not much to say besides “ouch.”

Fred: “How many beats does an eighth note get in this piece?”
Me: “Uhhhh.”
Fred: “You know this.”
Me: “Yeah, I should. My brain seems to have turned off.”

It went downhill from there.


Lesson 03/10/2004

Posted by barb on Mar 16, 2004 in Pictures, Saxophone

I tried out a couple new horns on Sunday — a Yamaha YAS475 and a Jupiter 869SG — but I confess that I couldn’t tell much difference between the two. Part of that is certainly because they both feel a lot different from my old Buescher sax from the 1920s. The old horns had the keys all in a line, where the new ones are made to be a bit more ergonomic. The keys are basically all in the same place, but just different enough to be confusing (kind of like using a natural keyboard after learning to type on a standard one).

Tonight I played a couple duets with Fred on the Jupiter sax, and liked it quite a bit, despite occasional slip ups because the keys weren’t where I was expecting them. I decided on the Jupiter because, since I couldn’t tell a difference by playing the two of them, it was the one I liked the looks of better (and it was a couple hundred less than the Yamaha). I bought it on my way out of the store! Yay!

My new saxophone


Lesson 03/03/2004

Posted by barb on Mar 3, 2004 in Saxophone

Not much to say about this lesson. We played part of one of the duets I’ve been working on, but didn’t actually make it through the whole thing — I kept messing up, losing our place, and coming in too late or too early. Ugh.

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