Every musician wakes up in the morning and says, “I can’t wait to play my scales!”… If only it were that easy. Scales and their associated exercises often fill musicians with dread, yet they are essential to mastering the saxophone. One can always push for further development and refinement in technical mastery. A few musicians find this hopeless and depressing, but I look at technical development as an exciting challenge. The musician must find the drive from within to practice technical exercises and this is most easily accomplished by designing your own personal technical curriculum.
Memorization creates vulnerability for the performer, but it also empowers the musician. Woodwind universally acknowledge that performance by memory is preferable, but for many years it was an uncommon practice outside of concertos. I’m in a little bit of an unusual position due to my extensive background in piano. All through elementary, middle, and high school I would perform piano music by memory. The memorization process is not new for me. I have found saxophone music to be more difficult to memorize than piano music.