Saxophone Forum


by SelmerParisPassion
(59 posts)
10 years ago

*dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

I have my first gig with a serious jazz band this Thursday. We're playing at some steakhouse place, and I think I'll be the only alto sax in the group, it was just kind of a "hey, come play with us, we could use you there", but anyways. They're a kind of bluesy band, I think. What kind of jazz is played in "this time", I guess, lol- all I listen to it the old no-name stuff you pick up at flea markets (ooo, it's the best). All the guy said was that I have to be able to play alright by ear and improv.... I'm so nervous, but that's not to bad, the question is... What do I study?! What should I look at to kind of prepare myself?! Arg! What's the most common key used (if there is)? If I get up there and fizzle, well... that's not an option. This is really really really really important. Any reccomendations for practicing, suggestions for what should be said in my obituary, etc? Thanks so much for your time, Christie J

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  1. by Bass sax man
    (31 posts)

    10 years ago

    *dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

    When I have to do quick blues improv... I just use a blues scale descending from the tonic in the pattern (by half steps): 1--2---3--1--1--2--3 C-Bb-G-Gb-F-Eb-C You can apply this pattern to any key just using the tonic and descending or ascending by playing it backwards: 1--3--2--1----1--3---2 C-Eb-F--F#--G-Bb--C You can improvise by playing the notes in any random order. If you get in trouble... sticking to the tonic is a good idea. Hope I was helpful ~Blaise~

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    1. by Spike
      (248 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: *dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

      if you have some albums of stuff you might play, just pop em in and play along. jolly good practice

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      1. by SelmerParisPassion
        (59 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: *dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

        Thanks so much for your help, guys :)

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: *dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

          What I uesd to do when I had to playblues right away and didnt really know the song is the similar to what Blaise said. You should memorize(if you haven't already) the 12 bar blues. The chord progression goes 4 bars of I, 2 bars of IV, 2 of I, 1 of V, 1 of IV, and 2 of I. Plus the turn-around at the end. So what I used to do was go down from the lowered 3rd starting on count 2, then come up at the end. So it was like Bb G F D Db C B G F D F G---- " Eb C Bb G Gb F Eb C Bb G Bb C---- Bb G F D Db C B G F D F G---- Then for the last four start on count 1 F D C A Ab G F D Eb C Bb G Gb F Eb C Bb G F D Db C Bb G F D F G--- Usually the most common key is Bb(G for alto). That probably made no sense at all written out like that, but oh well. Hope I helped.

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        2. by Hexaclon
          (90 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: *dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

          Common blues keys: Bb and F

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        3. by Saxman2200
          (64 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: *dies* What do I do?! ARG!!!!

          If there is a gitar player make sure you know E, A, D, G, and B concert. Being a guitar player myself I know that they do not like to deviate from these keys. It's always easier to just use open, 1st , 2nd, 3rd and 4th frets than to play in something like F where you start in sixth fret. But Guitar players being the lazy bunch they are also don't like to set a certain pitch to tune to either, and sometimes they come out of tune half way through a song too. So be ready for anything.

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