Sam Newsome

Sam Newsome
"The potential for the saxophone is unlimited." - Steve Lacy

The 55 Bar - Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Noise From The Deep: A Greenleaf Music Podcast with Dave Douglas

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sound Calisthenics Part II: Overtone Triplets

Several months ago I posted an overtone exercise called Sound Calisthenics: Overtone Repetitions, a sound etude designed to help with flexibility, endurance, and basic overall sound control. When working on my sound I sometimes opt for this type of overtone workout, since they're a lot more interesting to practice than conventional long tones. However, let me just say that I think they're both very important to the sound development process.

Shown below is a new sound etude that I've been practicing more recently that's been helping me build up my endurance as well as strengthening my altissimo register--which can be very hit or miss on the soprano.

I can barely play this etude more than twice in its entirety. I call it my corner-burning routine. It's patterned after the weightlifter's approach to working out, which is to isolate a particular muscle, tire it out with a repetitive exercise that enables you to tighten and release pressure to that muscle, which is to be repeated until the burning sensation becomes unbearable. And after you break the muscle down, it will become bigger and stronger, when it rebuilds itself. So that's the philosophy behind sound calisthenics.

Have fun with this etude. It works wonders!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sam,
    We may have spoke about this before, but I kind of forgot what exactly your answer was and it's still something on my mind. Lately, I've been playing with a harder reed on my soprano. Actually, it's a clarinet reed size 3 1/2. I've been trying to get a bigger sound and more resistance. How do you feel about playing harder reeds and playing clarinet reeds at that? Hope you're well and hope I can get another lesson soon. - Jaleel


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