1-Minute Tip for Keeping Fingers Close to the Keys

For those 10 or so of you who follow the Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever. on social media or are subscribed to the sax tips newsletter, by now you have probably heard me blather on about saxophone recording artist and master class clinician, Adam Larson’s new video course, Lightning-Fast and Crystal-Clean, which I am publishing through my music education website, InfiniteMusician.com.

We had a very successful pre-launch of the course for newsletter subscribers last week, and during that pre-launch I received the following technique-related question which I forwarded to Adam.

Now, Adam’s course delves way, way deep into the exercises and techniques that lead to developing killer technical chops, but I thought his response would be worth sharing because it’s in the theme of his new course, and takes all of a minute to read the exchange. My hope is that, at the very least, it’s a good reminder to for advanced saxophonists, while being an eye-opener for newer players.

The Question

Are there any tips you could offer on keeping your fingers “welded” to the sax keys? I find that if I concentrate on this when I’m playing, it’s at the expense of playing notes correctly. Equally, when I concentrate on the playing, I find my fingers tend to fly off the keys,

Is it just one of those ‘practice, practice, practice’ things?

— Mike

Adam’s Answer

My best suggestion is to practice all of your scales at quarter note = 40 bpm with a metronome, making absolutely certain that as you move from each note to the next within the scale that you are moving exactly with the click of the metronome.

By doing it this slowly, you will have more than enough time to be aware of where your fingers are at in relationship to the keys, and also have time enough to hear the pitch in relationship to the larger picture, which is the scale.

After you can play everything in perfect time at that metronomic marking, begin moving the click up a few beats every two days.

More on Lightning-Fast and Crystal-Clean

If you’re not signed up yet to the Lightning-Fast and Crystal-Clean email list, then I hope you’ll take a moment to do so now to get 3 free killer saxophone technique lessons from Adam.

For more info, head over to SaxTechnique.com.