Pages 55 – 57

The “Preparatory Exercises on the High Notes”, that begins on page 55, are easy to over look as inconsequential and perhaps even filler. There are half note, with a few quarter notes thrown in, long tone studies. But, don’t be fooled by their apparent simplicity. If played with attention to detail these are effective tone exercises for the upper register. These are the first studies, in the Universal Method, to introduce the palm key notes D, E and F. (He makes us wait for D#.)
They are interval studies that starts with slurring up and down by thirds. He continues with fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths, and finally octaves. The upper range increases until we are playing high F. The last two exercises are scale studies, in C, that take you from third space C to high F.
I think that Paul de Ville should have included some instructions for practicing these pages. It is important to have students play the high notes without an increase in jaw pressure. Also, there should be no break in the tone while slurring these intervals.
These are should repeated be on a regular schedule, as they are developmental. One time through does not insure a great upper register, but repeating over time will. To really make these effective, a chromatic tuner could be use to check upper register pitch.
Page 57 is “Chromatic Scale of the Saxophone”. Paul de Ville takes the opportunity to make another pitch for the Evette and Schaeffer System. The chromatic scale is written out as quarter notes showing how the Evette and Schaeffer System will simplify your life and referring to fingerings that are not listed on the fingering chart. He suggests that you use the 1 & 1 Bb in the chromatic scale. (To each his own.)
As always, your comments are welcome.
Thank you,
Neal Ramsay
1867_st

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Published in: on October 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I would like to see more of a discussion on reeds, mouthpieces and their effect on high notes.
    What model sax is the one on today’s blog?

    • That is an Adolph Sax, saxophone. And, you’re right the revised version will have plenty of info on reeds, mouthpieces. ligatures and how they interact with each other.


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