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Deliberately Practicing the Saxophone

Journal article
Authors Per Anders Nilsson
Published in Ruukku
Issue 7
ISSN 2341-9687
Publication year 2017
Published at Academy of Music and Drama
Language en
Keywords Practicing, Saxophone, Improvisation, Jazz, Scales, Patterns
Subject categories Music


A point of departure in this exposition is the author’s experience of practicing and playing on the saxophone for more than 30 years. In particular, three aspects of practicing a musical instrument are discussed: firstly, development and maintenance of general skills; secondly avoiding stagnation, and thirdly practicing for specific events. These aspects of practicing are elucidated thru lengthy time personal experience from playing and practicing on the saxophone. The saxophone [1] is an acoustic instrument where its properties are given by design and acoustics, and it is up to the player to master and perhaps extend its playing possibilities to its physical limits. Noteworthy, parts in this article is taken from the author’s thesis A Field of Possibilities (Nilsson, 2011), however practicing examples are either reworked or new, and formatted for this context. In my thesis, which treats designing and playing digital musical instruments, the purpose of discussing the saxophone was about to create a background, the other, as contrast to the main subject. In this exposition practicing the saxophone is the main subject. In this exposition however, written after more than 15 years’ experience of deliberately practicing electronic musical instruments of various kinds, they take the role of “the other”.

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