Saxophone Forum


by kelsey
(815 posts)
12 months ago

Advice

All those real book type players (and now real book telephone players) should try and actually learn some tunes. If someone shows up at one of my gigs and has to read from some device it's the last time I'll call them. I know the melody and changes to most common jazz tunes.  I also know the words (if there are words). Reading is important when working with a bigger ensemble and all musicians should be good sight readers. Still, learn to play by ear....you won't regret it!!

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  1. by tatlek
    (3 posts)

    11 months ago

    Re: Advice

    the best way and only... 

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  2. by saxgourmet
    (109 posts)

    11 months ago

    Re: Advice

    what kind of gigs are you nworking where reading is a problem?
    Is there significant money ionvolved?  

    STEVE GOODSON
    New Orleans
    www.nationofmusic.com

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    1. by kelsey
      (815 posts)

      11 months ago

      Re: Advice

      Steve, corporate parties, weddings, Jazz clubs...ect....there is never significant money involved playing jazz!!!

      Barry Kelsey

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      1. by kelsey
        (815 posts)

        7 months ago

        Re: Advice

        Steve, I believe a player must respect Jazz if they want to play it. For me that means know the changes and melody without reading from some real book.

        Barry Kelsey

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        1. by saxgourmet
          (109 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Advice

          I agree that you should memorize the changes and melodies.....you'll get ever so much out of it if you do.....that being said, I think the jazz world is far more tolerant of reading charts at the gig than many other musical formats
           

          STEVE GOODSON
          New Orleans
          www.nationofmusic.com

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        2. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          7 months ago

          Re: Advice

          Steve, we agree! With all the young guys playing at Jazz now they bring the real book because they are lazy or in a hurry. Country and Rock guys sometimes can't read so they learn what they are going to play by rote. The tunes are of course simpler, but never the less, I have respect for those guys. I used to play music with a steel guitar player in Dallas. He couldn't read but with him we did all those tunes like Donna Lee and Cherokee. He knew them by memory. He played his butt off.
           

          Barry Kelsey

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        3. by saxgourmet
          (109 posts)

          6 months ago

          Re: Advice

          I must correct something you said: 

          I've played on quite a few million selling country albums and even more million selling rock albums. Don't kid yourself for a minute: at the upper end of the food chain, the players almost invariably have been to "fancy music school" and have world class musical skills. Maybe some of the bar players can't read, but that's probably why they're still playing hundred dollar bar gigs instead of touring with major acts.....don't paint us all with the same brush, please
           

          STEVE GOODSON
          New Orleans
          www.nationofmusic.com

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        4. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          6 months ago

          Re: Advice

          I'm from what you would call a "fancy music school" (Berklee...North Texas State)and am not kidding myself at all. I also have played on many albums but I've also played with Nashville studio guys who only read the number system. (if you've done studio work you know what that is.......) There's all kinds out there, some can play but lots just talk about it!!

          Barry Kelsey

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      2. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (17 posts)

        7 months ago

        Re: Advice

        If you cant play be ear, your not playing enough. The chord structure, melody. lyrics, are all imprtant cornerstones. You got to get it in your head. The goal is for what you hear in your head to just come out of the horn. Turn on a record, learn it verbatim, then change it around. Guess what? When you get to this point, you will know the chord structure without writing it down. When you are at this point, look it up in your fake book and see what you already know. In other words, turn off the phone, turn off the computer, pick up the horn and play till you cant hold your lips around the mouthpiece anymore. You cant play for 8 hours if all you do is look at twitter and facebook. Parker did not have an iphone in his woodshead.

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        1. by kelsey
          (815 posts)

          6 months ago

          Re: Advice

          I agree. To play really well you've got to know the language. The language includes reading, playing by ear, knowing the melody, knowing the changes, listen a lot and practice hours.

          Barry Kelsey

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          1. by historicsaxwhisperer
            (17 posts)

            6 months ago

            Re: Advice

            For those listening to this ADVICE: Dont start with Giant Steps or Countdown and think you are going to see ultimate progression. An excellent place to start is with the Billie Holiday/Lester Young 2 C/D collection A Fine Romance. Here you get 40 excellent standards that are easy to follow and not to difficult to learn. Parker, Coltrane, and Rollins all thank Prez for his input. The tunes are very lyrical and easy to follow. Don't just stick with the sax solos, every master on these recordings have something to say. After a few weeks you will learn that many many tunes are alike and the idea of learing hundreds of jazz tunes is not such an impossible task to reach.

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            1. by GFC
              (359 posts)

              6 months ago

              Re: Advice

              Not to mention some very fine listening.  Hearing those early Columbia sessions was a big step on my way to becoming a tenor player.  

              Lyricism and style are a glaring weak point of so many developing players, and they don't have to be.  It's never too early to start learning them.  Hell, they're the weak point of a lot of "educated" players too.  There's nothing more ludicrous than somebody doing dotted-eighth-sixteenth "doodle doodle doo" figures over the changes to All The Things You Are and thinking they know the tune.  

              There are so many complaints in the jazz community about the small jazz audience and what a bunch of philistines the public are, but players aren't in a position to complain unless they take a hard look at themselves and think about what they're doing to really communicate with music.  It's a matter of basic respect for the audience's time, let alone their money.  If somebody's just practicing or going through the motions on a gig, I lose interest rapidly and tend to write them off.  

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