Pages 28-29

Pages 28 – 29
Pages 28 and 29 contain exercises 15 through 26 of Paul de Ville’s “Preparatory Studies”. The exercise are, in themselves, fine. As I play through them I am reminded that no matter how much experience someone has, they can always learn and improve by playing basic exercise and concentrating on the fundamentals. Trying to play every note with a precise, clean attack, clear tone and perfectly in tune can create enough of a challenge to make these whole note exercises a interesting.
These first 26 studies are almost all whole notes with no rests; some double whole notes. Only exercise No. 25 contains half notes. If seen from the perspective of a beginning student, I think these studies would be difficult and discouraging. As the beginner has no embouchure strength, the first studies should be a mix of playing and resting so their mouths can recover between notes. There are no melodies in these pages. After someone has learned three notes, there are some melodies they can play. Nothing is more satisfying and motivating to a beginner that being able to play recognizable tunes.
The exercises advance in difficulty too fast. Exercise No. 9 includes a low C. Again, makes me think that Paul de Ville was a clarinetist. Low C on clarinet is easily obtained by a player on the first day, but it may take a saxophonist several weeks before they have enough control to get down to low C, without honking. Exercise No. 23 leaps around by ninths and No. 26 are 8 beat crescendos. All great stuff but too challenging in the early days of playing.
I would enjoy hearing from beginner band teachers on this subject.
Thanks,
Neal Ramsay
sax 4

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Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 8:09 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your are 100% correct. These studies are to hard and boring for the young beginner. I hope that you will address this in the revision and make this part of the method like a beginning band book.

  2. Beginners can play quater notes from the get go. The first studies should have as much resting as playing. You’re right about the melodies, anything that they know will keep them motivated. Keep up thr goog work!

    • Thanks Dan C., I think. Is goog work a complement?

  3. Keep up the good work.


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