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Tip #1 – Learning Licks in ALL 12 Keys One of the greatest tools a soloist needs to learn is transposing and learning ideas, patterns, and licks into all 12 keys so that it can be used in any situation freely. At first this is not only daunting, but can be extremely frustrating… it takes a mass amount of patience and tenacity to sit down each and every day and work out these ideas in new keys.
A great tool that I’ve been working on developing for myself is to take note of the movement of the line or passage. Is it moving in a scale form? Is it arpeggiating? What is the spacing between the notes? Here’s a good example, and a nice little exercise that will help you develop this concept.
Take and play C, D, E in the middle of the staff. You’re creating a major sounding pattern because of the E natural. Also note that each note is a full step away from each other. Now, start chromatically descending that same pattern. So from C, D, E – move downward to B, C#, D#… then down to Bb, C, D, etc.
You can start to make this exercise as easy or as complicated as you’d like… but the idea is to get your mind and your ears used to hearing the same pattern in a new key. As you advance into longer and more complex patterns, just remember the spacing and the movement of the line.
Tip #2 – Clarke – The PAINFUL Way! I thought you guys & gals might enjoy seeing how I abuse myself with range extension exercises. This example isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be, but everything is always a work in progress… enjoy!
“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.”
1902-1993, Concert and Opera Singer
Have a GREAT week!