Saxophone Forum


by Blind_Sax
(11 posts)
7 years ago

how do i start my own band?

i want to star my own jazz band but im not sure on what instruments are needed. and also, what is that sax that looks like an alto but its really small, whats that called? -Casper

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  1. by swingstreet
    (315 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: how do i start my own band?

    Well, you are probably thinking of a curved soprano sax. About starting a jazz band. No offense, but it seems that you are quite inexperienced yet. Before you entertain the idea of starting a jazz band, learn as much as you can about playing music first. Get a good teacher, practice, and go to jam sessions. You have to do a bit of shedding before you can start your own jazz band. It's not like starting a rock band, where you can get your friends together in a garage and know only 3 chords and still be able to play a basic rock tune. Of course, even with rock music, you have to practice if you really want to be good. What instruments are needed? Whatever combination gives you the sound you want, and can play the music you like. Listen to aa many jazz recordings as you can, getting ideas of which instrument combinations you like best. My group in NYC consisted of me on Alto sax, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. Occasionally I added more saxes when they were available, and a trumpet or trombone. The basic set-up is the trio, piano, sometimes guitar, bass and drum. Then a quartet, where you add a horn, or a piano or guitar. After that, whatever you like. Trumpets, trombones, various saxes, etc. You can really do anything you want. However, practice and hone your chops first. Know the music, and know the instruments. If you're going to play the sax, know your saxes. I know by your question about the sax that you are still a beginner, so you're not yet ready to start a jazz band. However, after you practice and pay some dues, I wish you luck, and a happy experience in music.

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    1. by Blind_Sax
      (11 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: how do i start my own band?

      ive actually been playing for 5 years, but i have never seen a curved soprano in real life, so i had no idea how small it is

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  2. by Donnie The B
    (282 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: how do i start my own band?

    Blind- Swingstreet tells it like it is. But I got really turned on about music after I started my first band. Now as the old Swinger alludes to, it was a rock band at first - so three chords were generally good, maybe four. Within a couple of years though, I formed a medium size dance band because I loved big band jazz and could get us some gigs. In high school, we were on various TV shows frequently (more than a dozen times) and got some very rewarding gigs at an average of 2 a month. The key thing to remember here is you have to go for quality above friendship in choosing sidemen. You might make some good friends feel bad by being a good leader. It was my college years before I played in a jazz combo. Looking back on it, I can hardly believe that the country club set wanted to listen to high school kids playing Glen Miller charts (and better arrangements too). In retrospect, I know that we were not accomplished enough then to play in a small combo jazz setting. The 8-13 pieces we had at various times covered up some inexperience. I would have little interest in hearing a high school jazz combo now and would not expect even my best guys could have generated much interest in adolescent small group jazz back then. My ex-brother-in-law also played tenor sax, and played in small combos at a young age. I can't express my feeling about some of his solos better than to call it embarassing. He just wanted to play so many notes so fast (to impress everyone?) that he would lose the rhythm and sound lost. I hope he finally listened to enough of the greats like Zoot Sims - who had an inate sense of rhythm - to straighten this out. Anyway - you don't want to be out there improvising until you're comfortable enough to sound good. Take private lessons, practice and listen to the greats. - Good Luck.

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