Thoughts as you go over the materials today

You may find as you go through these exercises that some sections are more helpful than others. Use this material as a guide and adjust your practice routines to what best develops both your technique and your ear training.

Review: Bb minor scales and 3rd exercises

Review the scale and in intervals of thirds. This is one of the more challenging keys, but worth the struggle. It is the relative minor of Db major (which is also C# major). That is good to keep in mind. If you’re playing on a Bb instrument, C# is 7 sharps; but the guitar and piano are in 5 sharps. Not entirely uncommon. And if you’re playing an alto sax, they are in the key of E – even more common.

So stick with it and learn these.

Do: E major scales and 3rds

I find the keys in flats are a little tougher on saxophone than the sharps. So this is a little easier. But this is a day for some tougher keys if you’re starting out. Just go with it. You’ll be glad you learned them all.

Review: A arpeggio exercises.

Review these arpeggios and remember to play slowly at first until you have the fingerings “locked in” as second nature.

Do: Minor chromatic arpeggio exercises

These chromatic arpeggio exercises are written specifically to get you used to thinking in the key you’re actually playing. I have been a little frustrated with products out there that I’ve paid good money for, only to see them written in the key of C, with every different key change simply marked with accidentals. That’s not the way to learn the keys. This, I believe, is a better method.

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