My saxophone teacher at the University Of Pittsburgh, Dr. Nathan Davis, developed a series of exercises he called, “The Holy Six.” Each exercise has a practical musical application and also builds fundamental technique.
- Holy Six #1 is a series of major arpeggios weaving up and down a half step at a time. For variation, try different chord qualities and inversions.
- Holy Six #2 is a pattern based on a V-I progression and is repeated by transposing a whole step. For variation, try different chord qualities.
- Holy Six #3 is a pattern based on the diminished scale. A favorite of John Coltrane, this exercise has plenty of practical application and room for variation.
- Holy Six #4 is a four note pattern (1-2-3-5) repeated in the interval of a minor third.
- Holy Six #5 is another four note pattern (b6-5-3-1) repeated in intervals of a major third.
- Holy Six #6 is a pattern I like to call, “The Windmill.” A flurry of fourths within a larger pattern of minor thirds—the faster this pattern is played, the more you blow people away.
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