I’m on my seventh day back to the sax.
(I had to miss one day a few days back, as I spent three hours searching Saigon for sax accessories, unsuccessfully, and the rest of the day was tied up with other things.)
Not much to report as yet, though I’m still doing the exercises I got from Phil Barone; the overtones exercises he gave me are the ones with which I’m making the most obvious progress, to the point where now I can get more than one upper partial on certain notes, at will. I am very much wishing I could get my hands on one of those keyless saxes so I could do intensive overtone practice… if it worked for Sigurd Rascher, it’d be good enough for me, and I feel so much more aware of what’s going on in my mouth and throat in terms of how it affects my tone and so on:
That said, my embouchure is still pretty weak, my air support isn’t all the way back up to optimal levels, and I have to take breaks to get an hour’s practice in every day. (I’m kind of crapping out after about twenty to twenty-five minutes, and a break only makes another ten or fifteen more possible before I need another break.)
I feel like I’m moving forward, though it’s slow. But forward is forward, and I’m sure it’ll accelerate a little once I get used to taking more mouthpiece, and have my questions about embouchure sorted out a little bit more. Then I can get some technical exercises in, and really start sounding like I’m playing music.
(I’ve been working my way through “Oleo,” one of the few tunes I remember harmonically well enough to improvise on, daily, and without the chart in front of me it’s getting a bit repetitive and tiresome. I suppose I’ll have to find myself a music stand or something… which is another reason to get a a full-sized iPad, I suppose.)
And, sadly, I found it impossible to buy mouthpiece cushions–you know, those little adhesive thingies you stick on the bite plate of the mouthpiece–let alone picking up any kind of jazz mouthpiece here in Ho Chi Minh City: there’s so small a market for sax stuff, it seems, that it’s not even really worth looking unless you’re just trying to buy reeds.
(The one site I found with the mouthpieces I need has a retarded international shipping policy that a lot of American shops seem to have, though even more stupidly restrictive: they require my order to be sent to Korea because that’s where my credit card is from, and won’t even ship to my package forwarding service in the US, since my credit card isn’t associated with that address, either… So I guess it’s back to hunting online…)