Saxophone Forum


by YanagisawA-901
(312 posts)
9 years ago

"Overblowing"

ok, this year is almost a big reckoning for me in the fact that i cant squeak by anymore. im the best junior sax player at my school, theres another one whos been playing as long as me, and one that just started 2 years ago who is better than the other junior. but im almost at the level of our senior player, and we only have one of him.. me and him double up on 1st alto, and the other 15 saxes are 2s..crazy i kno, were a catholic highschool that doesnt have enough ppl for 2 "select" bands so we have to take everyone.. but to my problem. im a 2nd alto in jazz and a 1st in legit, and ive been working on support, playing out more and whatnot so i can stand out a lil more in jazz because the 1st alto,2nd alto, 1st bone, and 1st trumpet almost make a trio that lead the rest of the band. at least thats what ive been told, plus were more of a big band style jazz.. i noticed though, that when im trying to play alone, but make my part stand out, i dont know if the rest of the numb brained dumbasses in the band ( and trust me, they are nothing but that ), i dont know if theyre playin to loud or i just cant play. when im at the peak of my volume range, it sounds as if im overblowing and almost is out of tune.. might that be my mpc?? (selmer s80 c*) or reed?? or maybe the band is playing too loud?? help me out

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  1. by Goldref18
    (145 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: "Overblowing"

    Ok dude wow that is like the furthest from a good way to look at it. While i sympathize that you may seem like an eagle among turkeys in your jazzband, it does not mean that you should always try to be heard. Fact is most of the music you are playing is probably written to make THE BAND sound good and there is no reason why you should try to make yourself constantly heard over the band and for that matter your lead player. Your mpc and reeds and horn are fine it's just that you have to understand that it's not always about standing out and looking the best. Everyone will be more impressed if you learn your part, play it as written or as was really originally played and made the band overall sound better.

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    1. by spottspidermunki
      (55 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: "Overblowing"

      ive always had trouble getting a c* to project. try looking for sometihng more open, where u can move more air. Joel

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      1. by martysax
        (148 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: "Overblowing"

        If you don't like the fact that you're not heard among the lesser qualified masses, you need to change. To be a humble role-player is a major qualification for a professional musician. Sometimes you just don't like the guys you're on stage with. At least in your situation you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, being the best senior player next year. But don't forget the year after, when you might become a little fish in a big pond again. My advice to you is to start a small combo as leader or co-leader and be true to yourself. And, of couse, keep practicing. Otherwise, try a Dukoff D8/ Vandoren Java 3 setup, you'll standout then.

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        1. by johnsonfromwisconsin
          (767 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: "Overblowing"

          I agree with marty. The ability to understand your role is underated at that level of playing. When you aren't a soloist and you're in a section of nearly 20 saxophones, you shouldn't expect to be heard above everyone else (if you are, you could be causing a problem). No matter what your skill is compared to your peers, you are just a cog. If you want to lead and be heard, try getting players interested in a saxophone quartet.

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        2. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: "Overblowing"

          In fact, (talking legit here) sometimes as a saxophone player, you have to become accustomed to playing so softly that you can't hear yourself at all, but it might be just what the conductor needs.

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      2. by YanagisawA-901
        (312 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: "Overblowing"

        actually i do hafta play really quiet in legit except for like horn cues and solos and stuff, then im out in the open.. but i am in a quartet, were working on a piece right now called "scherzo" or somthing like that i see what you guys are saying about not needing to be heard..but its still important to be evenly heard through the whole ensemble..i need to compliment the lead alto, who in our band does stand out and i need to accompany him.. but i see what you guys are saying, thanks for the feedback

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: "Overblowing"

          You know, the title "Overblowing" is actually misleading. Overblowing is a technique used a lot for altissimo range notes, also known as overtones. Playing as loud as you can just to be heard over the band isn't overblowing, it's just being an idiot(or a trumpet!).

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          1. by FutureBandTeacher
            (45 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: "Overblowing"

            The general point of playing the sax is being heard WITH the rest of the band. I'm the only alto sax in my school's band, and while I know how frustrating it is to not be heard and yet have some talent (sorry if I sound like I'm bragging; I'm not trying to), you have to be a mere part of the band. Remember from the movie "Drumline"? "One band, one sound." Unless you are being featured, you are not the main attraction in the band. So don't worry about being heard, just wail. That talent does not go unnoticed.

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        2. by YanagisawA-901
          (312 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: "Overblowing"

          yea i see what you mean.. now im working on being delicate and blending real well..were playin a song caled "after you've gone".. really slow swing piece which demands precision and delacate playing..and the trumpets are working on playing out and being heard and what not, but thats not supposed to be it.. they need to be the subtle soprano voice in the group and the bones and saxes are a lil bit on top cuz we hafta bend into like, every damn note and whatnot cuz its a slow ass piece..haha this song is gonna be a joyy..haha

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          1. by Goldref18
            (145 posts)

            9 years ago

            Re: "Overblowing"

            Slow swing pieces must be blended in if you try to be an iddiot and stick out the whole thing will sound bad. Good Luck

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            1. by martysax
              (148 posts)

              9 years ago

              Re: "Overblowing"

              That's why so many slow swing pieces are rushed by young bands! It's a way to hide many imperfections. Slam/Bam/ThankYouMam. Slow down any song, and focus on the sound and blend. I'll never forget when "Satin Doll" was handed out back in college at a Jazz ensemble rehearsal. Everyone started racing through the song to show they knew it. Several re-incarnations of Bird and Dizzy were suddenly playing the chart at break-neck tempos. The director then proceeded to count it off at a funeral procession tempo. What a sound we got after a few tries. A totally diferent sound. We worked it until it was so lush, it dripped. Being in a we'll tuned sax section, well blended with vibrato and all, is one of life's rewards.

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