Saxophone Forum


by duoheer
(15 posts)
10 years ago

Jazz sound

how do i get a dark and mellow sound of an alto sax? and is meyer 6, vandoren zz reed, with rovner ligature good for jazz playing?

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  1. by The_MarkVI
    (80 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Jazz sound

    get rid of rovner and use stock (or oleg or francoius louis) and dont use any strength above 3 on the zz

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  2. by Goldref18
    (145 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Jazz sound

    Yeah i like that set up a lot. personally however i am not a fan of the rovner dark ligs. I feel that you can get a much darker sound out of a brass/silver plated Francois-Louis lig. Also if you have some money to kick around try out Vandoren Blue-Boxes, even though the ZZ's will probably be darker than the Blue-Boxes with ur Francois-Louis Lig

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    1. by Gumptious
      (40 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Jazz sound

      what u pay for is what u get in a reed IMO. try a Rico Royal Jazz Select 2M or 3M those will give you a nice dark full sound. it works for me atleast and saxophone isn't my natural instrument.

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      1. by duoheer
        (15 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Jazz sound

        hey thx alot...but are there also techniques involved in producing such a sound?

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        1. by SaxJazz42
          (9 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          I'm surprised no one has mentioned overtones as a method of practice- if you want to find a way to practice using the oral cavity and throat to change tone colors, that is the way to go. Check out Rascher's book- Top Tones for Saxophone. It is aimed at developing altissimo technique, but the excersises can be used for other purposes. Once you learn to control your throat and oral cavity, you will be able to use this control to change the color of your sound. Donald Sinta also has an excellent book out on the subject, but it is much harder to come by than Rascher's, and both are from a similar point of view. Good Luck-

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        2. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          Eh yes and no. If you have a darker set up it will basically find itself, all you have to do is practice getting it to speak. It isn't an on/off process either, it just evolves over time.

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        3. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          Plenty. When you're playing, don't blow air through the horn like you would normally. When you blow normal, you're producing cold air, so just sort of exhale, and when you need to get loud, blow from your stomach and the bottom of your lungs, not the top. You can test this by blowing on your hand. Also, you need an open throat at all times in jazz. Not only does your throat need to be open, but in jazz your mouth should be more open inside than in classical. I'm not sure how developed of and eoumbechre you have, but you need to know what you need to change for jazz. Definetly get rid of the Rovner Dark. Cloth ligs like that don't give any vertical pressure, and it's just going to be a mess. Try the Francois Louis. If that's a little expensive, then try a Bonade invert lig, they're really good for the price.

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        4. by duoheer
          (15 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          wow...must practice n practice...but the thing is...my instructor uses a Rovner, but he can produce a very nice mellow sound

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        5. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          Yeah. This is good experience though. It is a good example of different things work for different people. If i were you i would ask his advice, see if he knows of any other ligs that might help you and it never hurts to try anything out unless you have to buy it. But definately give the Francois-Louis a shot and try out some new reeds too. Good luck. (Also maybe try out some metal mouthpieces like the Otto-Link NY or even a Vintage Meyer or some of the new Otto-Link Hard Rubbers.)

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        6. by duoheer
          (15 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          is the difference between a hard rubber and a metal mouthpiece that great?

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        7. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          In terms of control yes. In terms of sound it depends on the player. I play on hard rubber, and when i tried out a metal mpc the only thing i really felt that was different was i lost a great deal of control in the extreme registers of my horn. i did not feel like my sound was anything noticably different, and i didn't like the narrow, longer feel of metal mpcs. Some people say they darken the tone a lot and some say that they help project. Depends on the horn and the player. Also the reed and a lot of new companies are making ligs especially for metal mpcs that supposedly make a great deal of difference. Try them out though.

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        8. by duoheer
          (15 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          wow u r really experienced arent u..lol how come sometimes when i try 2 different mouthpieces, the sound is almost the same?

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        9. by Armstrong Alto!
          (19 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          Hey does anyone know if playing a slightly weaker strength reed is better for jazz? I play a vandoren 4...i just don't know if a 3.5 would be any better for jazz band. Maybe i'm just stupid or something.

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        10. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          The general rule is that weaker reeds do better with more open mouthpieces, which jazz mouthpieces tend to be. It's all a matter of personal preference. You and another person playing the same horn and mpc might prefer different reeds. One size does not fit all, and any one combination is not necessarily suitable for all. A weaker reed will give more edge to your tone. Don't know too many folks playing jazz on a 4 mpc. What mpc are you using? You should plan on having one mouthpiece for legit and one for jazz. There are mouthpieces that can play a dual purpose, but again, that comes down to what your tone concept is.

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        11. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          ...on a 4 reed...

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        12. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          Yeah i think he's discussing reeds but im not positive. Idk though you should just try them for yourself and find a setup you like.

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        13. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          OK, just wanted to comment on your teacher using the Rovner... There is a huge difference between a completely dead sound, and a nice mellow sound. Rovners dead too much resonancy and frequency in your sound, and it makes it boring. There's better ways to sound mellow.

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        14. by duoheer
          (15 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          ok thanks...do u know any sites that shows you what a good mellow sound is like?

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        15. by Goldref18
          (145 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          You have to find one yourself and just experiment with choices until you find something you like.

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        16. by kneejerk52
          (397 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Jazz sound

          stupid is wasting all that space playing a 4 can olny be hard to blow you figure it out, hard to blow, sweet sound do they go together try a softer reed and see for yourself they're not that expensive

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