andy in action IV

(c) uta großkopf | photosphaere.org

Welcome to my very personal “Sax-Workout”! Here you’ll learn about the way I teach,  practise and play saxophone, flute and didgeridoo. It is not a very new or that unique idea, but it’s my way!

Graduating from music conservatory, I was a walking encyclopedia in music-theory, arranging-techniques but was also able to play that stuff I learned plus all kinds of musical styles, techniques… If you want to be a pro in music you got have these chops for sure. But by that time it didn’t inspire me any more. I had the feeling to be in at a dead end road.

– Today I’m practising the above mentioned stuff from time to time. –

So I started to watch out for other sources of inspiration. What really had a huge impact on my way to play (physically and mentally) was when I started to practise TaiChi and QiGong. Since day one being an absolute beginner in this form of the martial arts, I try to shift the inner composure and the position to my playing and practising.

After practising TaiChi and QiGong nearly every day for about five years now, I focus strongly on the physical aspects of TaiChi when teaching saxophone, flute or didgeridoo or doing workshops.

I experienced not to need that much energy when playing my horn, since I do TaiChi on a daily schedule. As all martial arts emphasize: the energetic centre of the body is about two inches down the navel. So that’s exactly where a windplayer’s supposed to center the air when breathing!

For me it is very important to have a good feeling of my body with my feet on solid ground. That’s when I feel cool enough and comfortable and ready to play. I’m able to breath freely and deeply. And that’s what I want for my students and other players coming to my workshops as well.

When I have really lots of time to practise (that is seldom enough) I do TaiChi & QiGong for about 20 to 30 minutes before I take the horn in my hands. Maybe it’s just my imagination but I think playing scales, arpeggios, songs and improvisations is much more easy!