How important are warmups up to you?
How long do you spend warming up?
What exercises do you warm up with?
All these questions and more are answered in my latest radio show on the BAM Radio Network with my special guest, Nick Mainella, from the 10 Minute Jazz Lesson Podcast.
You can listen to the entire episode here.
Many musicians, in particular woodwind players, do not warm up properly before they start practicing or performing. Since irreparable damage can't necessarily be done by not warming up on a woodwind instrument (as opposed to a brass instrument), some folks don't recognize how a good warm up can enhance your playing.
The function of good warmups
According to Nick, a good warm up connects your mind with your body: the mental with the physical states.
When warming up, we are not just mindlessly playing long tones or running scales, we are thinking about how we are producing our tone, how we are coordinating our fingers, articulation and breathing.
A good warm up keeps everything working the way you want it to.
If you don't warm up, you're not paying attention to your physiology, and you're not even coming close to what you can get out of the instrument if you physically prepare your body.
Playing the saxophone is physically demanding, and you need to prepare yourself for that.
The main function of a warmup is to get your mind and body connected so you can make music efficiently.
You can listen to the radio show episode here.
Comprehensive Saxophone Warmups
This book is a compilation of some of the most important warm up exercises Nick himself uses daily. It has all of the typical warmups – scales, long tones, arpeggios – but there's also a detailed explanation as to why Nick uses these exercises and how students should too.
There are certain core concepts in this book that you can never leave behind, even for the most advanced players.
Nick tried to make the book as if the student was sitting in the room having a lesson with him.
If you want to purchase a copy of Nick's new book, click here or on the picture below.
How can Band Directors Get the Most Benefit
Everything in the book is geared specifically towards the saxophone. Unlike band method books, that often start on awkward notes for many of the instruments, Comprehensive Saxophone Warmups takes into account the full range of the horn. This allows musicians to improve their flexibility, coordination, dexterity as well as intonation.
This is a good book to give students who are advancing and want to go beyond the typical band method book. The book is especially good for students who don't have a private teacher and want to advance their skills.
How Can Private Teachers Get the Most Benefit
This book can provide private saxophone and woodwind teachers with a new perspective on warming up.
As any good teacher would say, each student is different, and the more resources you have as a teacher to reach them, the better.
Want to know more about Nick Mainella?
Nick is a New England based saxophonist, educator, and entrepreneur. Nick hosts The 10 Minute Jazz Lesson Podcast as well as the Inside The Saxophone Mind Podcast and has long been an advocate for online jazz and music education. He has also just published his first saxophone method book, Comprehensive Saxophone Warmups. Nick also plays in the award winning ensemble, The Soggy Po' Boys and freelances regularly in Boston and New England. Nick attended the University of New Hampshire and then later, Western Michigan University where he received a Masters Degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance.
Nick also maintains a large studio of private and ensemble lessons as well as Skype students from all over the world.
If you would like to reach Nick please visit his website at: www.NickMainellaMusic.com