As I am digging deeper into Ulysses and customize the app to my liking I ever so often discover some of the little things that make the app so awesome. The other day I needed to export a few sheets to PDF and wasn’t quite happy with the available export templates. No problem. After browsing through the style-exchange I quickly came across a simple template that was already close to what I was looking.
Some of my favourite etudes that I ran into over the years are the Kröpsch Clarinet etudes, especially the first volume. The exercises are short, almost easy to remember and overall effective, challenging and fun to play. I always wished there would be something like that for Jazz saxophone studies. Last year Eric Alexander published a book with similar exercises which are fun to play and easily to be used in improvisations.
Recently I shared some thoughts about the saxophone sound and some of the materials that I use for my own practicing and teachings. Overtone exercises have been for years at the centre of my practice routines and I consider them crucial for my own (ongoing) development. In that post I mentioned a rather new book that, even though being a rather recent acquisition of mine, had become my go-to-book for all things sound, embouchure and, naturally, overtone exercises: Ben Britton’s A Complete Approach to Sound
To me sound is one of the most important things to focus on when playing and practicing the saxophone. The sound is the first thing the listener hears of a performance and it is the one element that differentiates one player from the other. But what is the sound? It is a combination of many different elements: the actual tone of an individual note, the tonguing, vibrato, tonal nuances and a little bit more ethereal: the sound imagination.
In the recent past I haven’t writing much about one of my weak spots: text-editors. Mostly this is because I haven’t had much time to actually do sit down and write some things for the blog, and also because I have been actually rather satisfied with my setup and choice of applications. Needless to say, that I still kept an eye open and looked for new applications and tools. Even though my needs are limited, considered that I’m not a writer, more of a typer actually, it turned out that a one-size fits all approach, the editor to rule them all so to speak, doesn’t seem to work for me at all.
Over the past few years, the act of writing has become somewhat of a regular task for me. In fact I often find myself writing not with the purpose of writing something for either of my blogs, or to write my next e-book, but simply sort the frequent nonsense which is going on inside my head. These little snippets of thoughts can be anything. In most cases they are nothing else than a more elaborate pro/con-list.