Saxophone Forum


by golferguy675
(600 posts)
10 years ago

What makes a good sound?

What in your opinion are the characteristics that make a truly good sound come out of a sax?

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  1. by birdwho
    (15 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: What makes a good sound?

    i think a little fuzz ( not nevesarilly subtone) makes the sound more interesting, puts a little edge on it. as far as how to get the best sound, listening is more important than anything

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    1. by golferguy675
      (600 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: What makes a good sound?

      I'm not really ASKING how to get a good sound, I'm just curious as to what other people's opinion is on what makes a good sound.

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      1. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What makes a good sound?

        Clarity and conveyance. Meaning that a musically trained listener could not only transcribe the notes, but add expression markings based on what was heard. This sounds perhaps dry and analytical, but it's like being able to carry on a good conversation. The people listening "get" what you're trying to say - even if they have to stop and think for a moment.

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What makes a good sound?

          Good point, saxmaniac, I hear a lot of recordings where the player isn't real confident about what they are playing, so they decide not to put a lot of air behind it, so you find yourself trying to transcribe some half-ass lick that could have sounded great.

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        2. by chiamac
          (586 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What makes a good sound?

          "I hear a lot of recordings where the player isn't real confident about what they are playing" I have heard A LOT of sax players in person (high school, college, and jazz camps) that arnt confident about anything. It's really sad since a lot of them have great fundementals and stuff. They just don't want to be loud or something. Also, open your throat to get a nice warm open sound. Or that's what I have found at least to get the sound I want. Which is kinda like wayne shorter, kinda...

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        3. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What makes a good sound?

          Yeah, have you ever watched Dick Oatts play? He's the lead alto in the Village Vanguard. His throat pops out wider than his head, he's got a vein that looks like it's about to explode. My old jazz teacher actually got to take lessons from him for a while.

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        4. by 5fingercurveball
          (11 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: What makes a good sound?

          I don't think volume and confidence necessarily have to go hand in hand - I'm thinking mostly of Paul Desmond and Stan Getz, two guys who didn't put a lot of force behind what they were doing but were most definiely confident in their ideas. I think the most important thing about producing a good sound is being confident in what you're producing. Ornette Colman, Parker, Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Desmond, all have completely different sounds, but they're all great because they're confident.

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      2. by Saxman2200
        (64 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: What makes a good sound?

        You have to know where your going. If your just up there playing whatever comes out of the sax the listener will hear just that. But if you have a definite goal to what your playing, the listener willhear that too. It's impossible to make a statement if you don't have an opinion.

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