Tuition and repertoire books for Wind and Brass instruments are a big part of our publishing output, so big in fact we couldn’t fit them all in this catalogue! We hope that this resource will help you find out more about the titles that you already know, and highlight those hidden gems you may not have come across before.
THE SAXOPHONE IS YOUR VOICE Thoughts for saxophonists and other wind instrumentalists 15 DAILY PRACTICE EXERCISES Most saxophonists say that their model for a perfect sound is the human voice and this is, of course, a worthy aim. by John Harle But exactly how to get that sound Essential – that techniques liquid, floating, for regular personal practice statement – has, in reality, evaded most of us, most of the time. We can get close sometimes, when all the conditions seem to be right, but how can we reproduce that ‘vocal sound’ that somehow seems to lift our playing time after time without a technical framework to rely on – without really knowing how we’re doing it? The sound of the voice in singing or speaking relies on three naturally interconnected processes – the air travelling from the lungs, the vocal folds producing vibrations, and those vibrations becoming louder in the open spaces and liquid resonating areas of the head before exiting the mouth. Substituting the vocal system with saxophone concepts, we do, of course, share the same breathing system as singers, but our vibration producer is a saxophone reed. The third element in the singer’s set-up – the resonators in the head – is the area saxophonists are least aware of, but this is the key to finding our ‘vocal saxophone sound’. By developing our knowledge of the resonators in the head, they may become a natural and integral part of our playing. Whatever the source of vibration – vocal folds or saxophone reed – the resonators are the key to the expansion of that vibration into musical sound, and if understood and used in the same way as singers, will produce a saxophone sound that is uncannily like the human voice. When the saxophone reed vibrations are resonating fully in the head, we sense a ‘letting go’ of tension and our sounds become more personal. What happens in these resonating areas is where the sound of the saxophone and reed changes into music – and where ‘technique’ has a true musical beginning. The sound becomes humanised, warmer and softer: a mirror of our thoughts and our individual physical construction. Two other extraordinary things happen: intonation issues are more or less completely solved and articulation becomes much easier, crisper and faster. 8 Faber Music wind & Brass Catalogue
122 THE SAXOPHONE: VOLUME 2 “The challenge is to sing on something that’s outside of your body.” Stan Getz The Saxophone presents my view of how our sound can transcend the ordinary and visit the magical world of true musical connection with an audience – and the book provides both structure and insights into achieving that. It’s based on the evolution of my personal technique over many years, and my use of the head resonators as part of my day-to-day playing. But it has only been after intensive investigation into the system of resonation adopted by singers that I have been able to articulate how to do this fully. You will discover that by heightening your awareness of what happens inside your body before the saxophone sound leaves through the instrument, you can learn how your body, the saxophone and the reed inter-connect and how you can refine your playing. The concepts within The Saxophone were developed over many years – it has been a labour of love born out of the infinite possibilities for personal expression that the saxophone bestows on us. Individuality and power are in all of us, and my method will help you release your own power and find your true, personal saxophone sound. “The Saxophone is a work of art, combining scientific research with balanced and poetic presentation” Claude Delange 16 PERFORMANCE Transcending the ordinary Chapter outline This section touches briefly on some general aspects of performance, analyzes what happens as we perform, and gives strategies for preparation and performance: • Performance vision – ideas for creating personal models for your performance • Performance style – some practical thoughts about ou role as instrumental soloists • Unlocking performance – what happens as we perform? • The performance system – practical aspects of preparation and performance • Music as words – pacing your playing to engage your audience • Practice and performance strategies how to practise specific pieces for performance • Adrenalin and performance anxiety – how to cope under pressure. Performance vision Taking charge Taking charge of your own playing and performance style is more important today than it ever has been. As many of the old certainties about careers in music evaporate, the shifting goalposts of the modern musical world require today’s successful saxophonists to be focused and flexible. This new musical landscape provides opportunities for saxophonists with a vision of their own and an approach to performance that will fulfill your musical and personal goals, perhaps even more easily than in the past. The musician as magician From an audience’s perspective, a first-rate professional saxophonist can perform miracles. A breath is taken from the air and is transformed immediately into the warm and generous sound that comes from the player’s instrument. That sound represents a world of magic to the audience, who have come to a musical event to be transported into an realm of enchantment and fascination. But how can we begin the adventure that could lead us to be that player? Having a vision of what you want to achieve as a performer is essential. Stylistic and musical choices are individual to you, but the closer you get to your personal vision of what constitutes a great performance, the more authentic and enjoyable your experience will be. Here are two tips to help clarify your personal vision. They are: • How to perform – the style and sound of your ideal performance • What to perform – the music or genre that will inspire you to perform at your best. Performance vision 1 – how to perform This is very simple advice. Put yourself in the audience’s place. Try this exercise: • Close your eyes and imagine yourself in an audience, hearing and seeing yourself playing in an ideal performance ten years from now. • This ‘fantasy’ performance deeply moves and impresses you. • Don’t limit this vision in any way by relating it to your current technical or performance standard. ! REMINDERS • Play the exercise at 60 bpm. • Do not use your tongue to star the exercise. • Relax your jaw. • Alternate between single- and fu l doublelip embouchure with each repetition. • Use the practice wheel to change focus as you practise. with the Repeat, focusing on placement of first note Focus on: Point of Primary Resonance Focus on: Undulation in low abdomen Register 3 upper power lines Alto • Referring to the diagram, pull an imaginary elastic line back inwards towards the point of primary resonance. • Simultaneously focus on the lowest part of your abdomen pushing outwards, compressing your lungs with the muscles of your back, ending at the point of primary resonance. • The point of primary resonance should feel active, soft and powerful. • Sense changes in the vibrations at the back of your head and undulation in your low abdomen in a wave-like movement as you move through the chromatic note changes. • Repeat the exercise, ‘placing’ the first note correctly as you become familiar with the sensations of the power lines in the upper part of register 3. EXERCISE 9 Prepare Power Start Up Register 3 (High) Power Lines Focus on: Vibration changes in back of head h = 96 INCREASE GRADUALLY TO h = 112 116 THE SAXOPHONE: VOLUME 2 Alternate single- and double-lip embouchure Pull in low back of head and push out lowest abdomen TA TU TU TU KU TU KU TU KA TA KU (sim. ...) TA KU TU TU KU TA (sim. ...) 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 (TA) John Harle: The Saxophone This seminal work by master saxophonist John Harle offers players of all levels the most in-depth approach to playing the saxophone. In The Saxophone, Harle reveals his ground-breaking techniques for encouraging fluent and natural playing – transforming the musical experience of students and professionals alike. Every aspect of playing and performing is explored, from breathing, resonant tone production and fluent articulation through to techniques for building ease and flow in performance. This high-quality, boxed-set edition features bespoke music exercises, illuminating graphics and illustrations, and superb photographs to inspire every player. 0571539629 John Harle: The Saxophone John Harle £48.00 €64.49 Faber Music wind & brass Catalogue 9