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Transitioning into Christian Lauba's music

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Transitioning into Christian Lauba's music

Thursday, August 26, 2010 4:08 AM
Author: Andrew Janak

Hello everyone! Its been a while since I last asked a question but I have been busy with separating from the military and getting everything in order for school. I have a few questions concerning how to properly transition into working on Christian Lauba's music... Now this may seem like a strange question, but as we all know his works are quite challenging. I have been working on the transition into the more difficult traditional works for saxophone since I have started playing again (i.e. Dahl, Albright) and things - so far - are going very well. I havent stopped learning the core literature since those are indeed our most cherished works, but I am hopeful in being able to further my technique and extended techniques through repertoire, and in that regard I have been flirting a bit with Lauba's works. I have worked up to a decent level the "Balafon" but that is currently as far as I have gotten. My question as to how to successfully navigate his works and get the full benefit from them is as follows: 1. Should the works be broken down into the less challenging sections first and from that foundation branch into the rest of the work (for example, "Steady Study on the Boogie" has certain sections that are straight forward with few extended techniques that last up to two pages), or should the work be studied in its entirety to begin? 2. The Neuf Etudes carries a lot of weight in each piece, but they all focus on a specific extended technique. Which can you gain the most by rehearsing first? Or is it essential to do them in order? 3. I have noticed that by simply playing "Jungle" slowly that my technique in the low stack is improving at a much faster rate than before. Could works like this be used (in small doses) to younger students to train them in areas where they are weakest (i.e. Jungle for the low stack, Balafon for consistancy in the air stream, etc)? Sorry if I over analyzed this but that comes from years of being socially awkward :-) I hope to have a good discussion and learn much more from this. Best, Michael Christensen


Thursday, August 26, 2010 1:31 PM
Author: Jasmine Hankey

Michael, I'd say if you've done Albright & Balafon you're well on your way to Steady Study, Jungle, etc. Personally I don't think it's possible to 'over analyze'. I think it's good to be over-prepared. Practice different ways (metronome, memory, silent, all on 1 static pitch, each note gets a beat ie. static rhythm, with sounding tuner, rhythms, etc.). Each different way gives new insight, so you ultimately RECOMPOSE the piece, not just read it. I agree with your #1, to break it down into sections. I assume you have Joel Versavuad's CD of the 9 etudes. Joe Murphy www.saxophone-education.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010 5:44 PM
Author: Andrew Janak

Yes I have Joel's recording. I consider it a "must have" for the recording library. I make it a point to listen to it at least once a week. I have been doing some of the techniques you have mentioned but I have never tried silent practicing before. I think I will give that a shot. If anything else it will help be ignore how the piece sounds, and focus more on proper fingerings. I assume that is the lesson in that practice technique? I have mostly also been looking into these works as a way to make other music... well, easier (by comparison). I have found that after tryng to play Jungle or Steady Study, works like the Dahl and Albright are much more simple. Perhaps that is just a personal thing... i am not sure. Michael

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