Saxophone Forum


by dijayjeremy
(8 posts)
10 years ago

Help!!! Playing for my church

Wassup yall my name is Jeremy and I'm 16 years old and i have been playin' the alto sax since 6th grade....and I know I have a good tone and all but everytime someone from ask me from my church to play 4 the church(as in the church band), I say no b/c if you are playing in front of people you know you want everything to be perfect and I always say"I'm not ready yet" b/c I may not know all I need to know.(as in scales and transposing).........................Any suggestions????

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  1. by Blind_Sax
    (11 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

    Hey Jeremy, Im Casper. one suggestion I have is simply this: Since you are worried about your scales, just practice them until you feel that you are comfortable with the way you play them as well as their sound. But you said that you have good tone, so thats not a problem. As far as transposing, im not sure if they are going to try to make you sightread a piano piece or something in bass cleff. Maybe you should ask your church band what you will be playing and get a copy of the music so you can practice ahead of time so you will be comfortable with it. If they want you to improvise, you can go ask about that in the jazz saxophpone section of this forum for more in depth detail. I hope I helped answer your questions enough to help you. Good Luck -Casper

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    1. by newreedsyndrome
      (343 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

      If you're playing sax in church, I'd assume it's gospel (correct me if I'm wrong), so listen to some gospel recordings with a sax on them. As far as scales go, it's not bebop, and it's just a little more harmonically sophistocated than the blues. All you really need for scales is pentatonic (1 2 3 5 6 of the tonic), the blues scale (1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 of the tonic), and some diminished arpeggios (just go up/down in minor thirds, you'll find there's really only three of these, as the notes overlap). With those under your fingers, and the sound in your head, you can pretty much play it by ear. Make sure you're comfortable playing in every key; anything that involves singers involves modulations (especially in gospel), and "vocalist keys", like B and F#. And make everything you play count. You can forget all those scales, just make sure you got soul. Note* Bass Clef to Eb is actually a very easy transposition. All you need to transpose is the key signature - the notes read the same.

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      1. by syrasax
        (75 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

        Jeremy- IMHO there is no better place to get more experience with "playing in front of people" than church. You'll never find a more accepting, forgiving and supportive audience than church. Practice, do your best, ask questions of those more experienced than you and go for it. You have a gift, play.

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        1. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

          Ask the people who are asking you to play if they will have written music for you. Depending on the church, they might. When I ask people to play in church (unless they're professional musicians), I usually plan to provide music they will not need to transpose. Alto saxophone often gets the melody... so no problem there! If your band is a regular part of every service, they might do more improvising. Ours is usually only special occassion.

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      2. by saxitup
        (49 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

        I agree with the other posts. I play in my church band also and I have to improvise almost all the time. I recommend you start by practicing with the group a few times during the week to get comfortable. You don't have to play on every selection. Start with just doing the intros. Then the easy E flat/B flat stuff. Then you can play as much or as little as you wish.

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        1. by kneejerk52
          (397 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

          depending on which hymn book you use, there are books written to key of you instrument which we purchased at my church. we use majesty. and what the other post says usually the people are very good about being forgiving. the music is very easy to sight read, not alot of fast runs, ususally eighth notes at best. i use my soprano and the people like it. it blends well with the trumpet and trombone next to me.

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      3. by trevor_sims
        (5 posts)

        2 years ago

        Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

        Hi Jeremy, I read this post and it was like reading the story of my life! im 16 and my pastor wants me to play my alto in church but im scared ill mess up cuz im not so good at transposing... I know this post is old but tell me, did u overcome this fright? and if so, any tips for playing in church?

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        1. by Anamarys
          (2 posts)

          3 months ago

          Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

          Hello, my name is Anamarys. My boyfriend has been playing saxophone since he was 6 years old. He is a professional teacher, and he would love to help you. If you are interested call him his name is Kevin and his phone number is 786 916 0369. Thank you in advance, and God bless you

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      4. by Anamarys
        (2 posts)

        3 months ago

        Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

        Hello Jeremy my name is Anamarys. My boyfriend has been playing saxophone since he was 6 years old. Hee is a professional teacher, and he woulld love to help you. If you are interested call him his name is Kevin and his phone number is 786 916 0369. Thank you in advance, and God bless you.

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        1. by historicsaxwhisperer
          (125 posts)

          3 months ago

          Re: Help!!! Playing for my church

          Hello Anamarys. Just so you are aware, this post is 10 years old.

          16 year old jeremy is now 26 and probably figured it out by hmself.

           

          Good Luck!

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