Saxophone Forum


by mattdude
(74 posts)
9 years ago

i really could use some quick advice.

i'm a 17 year old tenor player. just finished my 6th year of playing. our jazz band is one of the best high school jazz bands in new england, certainly the best in the state (new hampshire). i play first and, trying not to sound conceeded, am quite a bit ahead of everybody else at my school, save our bari player next year alto player, who's about as good if not a little better than i. anyhow... my parents think i'm hot shit (as most parents do about their kids) and neither of them is extremely educated in music. my dad's reasonably educated, but not terribly. i'd trust most of the guys on this forum's judgement over my parents any day. i've finally kicked my butt into geer on getting going on getting good. i don't think i'm all that great, but i'm a realist and know that i'm the best in my school except for that one kid... anyhow, i'd appreciate it if some of you guys could give me some advice on what to work on, what some good points are etc. this is a recording of our jazz band doing buddy rich's channel one suite. this is the original version, our book also includes groovin hard, love for sale, and other top name charts that can't come to mind at the moment, that are all original un-watered down versions. anyway, now that i've babbled into way too much detail, here's the clip. sorry for the poor video quality/lighting, but that's not really what's important, now is it? thanks for any comments in advanced. www.bassportnh.com/channelone.wmv

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by mattdude
    (74 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: i really could use some quick advice.

    damnit the link isn't working... www.bassportnh.com/channelone.wmv try that?

    Reply To Post


    1. by mattdude
      (74 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: i really could use some quick advice.

      there we go.

      Reply To Post


      1. by blackfrancis
        (396 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: i really could use some quick advice.

        Aye, listening to Menza can be inspiring... There is no quick and easy way, but do these and you'll get there. Play (both practice and gig) and listen. Don't just listen to sax players- trumpet, bone, guitar, whatever. They all have musical ideas that you can learn from. And stick with it. All the best!

        Reply To Post


        1. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Clean it up a little just because it's jazz does'nt mean it needs to be slurred all the time Jazz at times needs to be precise . Your staccato and separation of notes is hazzy. It also sound like your fingers are a little late on some notes. More on this later As far as sound goes a little more focused your support is based on air volume should be based on air speed. As a consequence there are too many holes between the notes tighten this up.

          Reply To Post


        2. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          first off thanks for the comments. i do listen to people. christ i've gotten ideas from rock bands like dream theater or what not. but i will note that i do listen mostly to saxophone, i'll try to get recordings of others. any suggestions? i know i slurr far too often and tongue pretty poorly. my dexterity is more than quick enough to play all the notes, but i think i can lay partial blame on my horn. the keystroke on this thing is monstrous. one of the things i really regret about the horn that i wish i knew more about when i bought it. sound; see i know what equates to a good sound, but nobody's really ever explained to me what the difference between faster air and more air feels like. how do i make the air move faster, rather than just give it more air? what does more air do instead of faster air? what do you mean by too many holes between the notes?

          Reply To Post


        3. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          More air seems to give more volume it does nothing to make the sound more full ,,actually more air is quite inneficient causing you to take breaths more often than needed . You probably do not articulate well because you do so with a puff of air. Your muscle memory has convinced you that if you do not help yourself with a small puff of air into the horn the note will not start. You have not understood yet how notes are started on a horn or what role the breathing plays in saxophone playing,,,,you are playing by instinct although not bad ,,,,,does not mean that the insticts are well trained. Have you ever thought of pronouncing the melody notes a little more during the riffs ? How would you do this with extra air? As for holes ,,,not a common word in english musical dialogue but these are the gaps between notes that are caused due to insufficient support ,,they are more evident when playing slowly . Try playing an arpeggio at say 72 at medium to soft volume listen to the transition between the notes , Do they seem to slightly overlap one on top of the other ( they should ) ,,,think of an organ if you release one note while pressing another the response is instant without any gaps and at the same volume as if the note never stopped just changed pitch . this lends to good musicality without this it will always be choppy and rough. I suspect you do not like ballads but prefer fast playing , Why do you think it is so? Your pitch is also affected by this. i have also been listening to your pedal notes they lack body but this could be just the quality of the recording ,,,are you happy with these?Enough for the present. By the way the alto sounds like a kazoo could this be the recording or is it a bd student horn?

          Reply To Post


        4. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          first about the alto player.. no he is just awful. thank god he's a senior and he's gone next year. ok i get the difference between mroe and faster air... but how do i make the air move faster? how do i fix this puff of air you're talking about? thanks for being patient with me...

          Reply To Post


        5. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Ok let me start at the begining .. first I need an answer from you . I want you to play a long G with only the left hand on the horn . Now do it again but while you play the note,,, this time do so while closing your nose by pinching it with the right hand,,,,,,,,,do it a third time this time pinching and increasing the volume of the note . As the increase is happening let the nose go ( release the pinch) . tell me what happens?

          Reply To Post


        6. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          nothing.

          Reply To Post


        7. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Impossible---- are you playing loud enough???? release the pinch while continuing to play do not alter the throat or air supply

          Reply To Post


        8. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Oh sorry--- pinch the nose before starting the note on the third try and then release while playing loud

          Reply To Post


        9. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          yes, that is what i'm doing.

          Reply To Post


        10. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          nothing happens to the sound. i'm playing as loud as i can

          Reply To Post


        11. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          If nothing happens does that mean that the note continues uniterrupted?

          Reply To Post


        12. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          yes.

          Reply To Post


        13. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          am i blowing wrong, because i know i'm not following your directions incorrectly. i pinch my nose, start to play at a piano or so, and then get louder to an ff at which time i release my nose and nothing happens to the sound.

          Reply To Post


        14. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          try it again with a diminuendo loud to soft

          Reply To Post


        15. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          same thing. sound uninterupted :-\

          Reply To Post


        16. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Then it is good I suspect then that it feels like you are diving into water and your nose is closing on the inside( what is reffered to as the soft palate )Is this so ?

          Reply To Post


        17. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          yes. i can open it if i chose to and shove air into my nose, in which case when i release it the air stops, but i'm guessing that's bad, no?

          Reply To Post


        18. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          No you want to close it once and never open it again not even during breathing . Your breathing should be from the upper ( that's right upper ) lip since the lower one is the support for the reed and changing it will change the sound so the upper lip is raised and air sucked in . Now email me and I will send you something for you to read and try .

          Reply To Post


        19. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Well any progress with this did you find the info challenging ????

          Reply To Post


        20. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          well your explination on how a conical bore works isn't quite right. i found a physics website that explained it. i talked to my sister (vocalist major) about the breathing, because frankly any good vocalist who knows what they're talking about can explain breathing for the most part a lot better than instrumentalists. she said what you were talking about was right, but you were just explaining it in a weird way. she never got around to training me with the breathing though, lord knows i can't get any better, eh? ;) i'll bug her about it tomorow.

          Reply To Post


        21. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          oh about the conical bore.. what's especially wrong is the reed closing all the way, which doesn't happen, and the notion that the reed doesn't make the sound. completely false.

          Reply To Post


        22. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          What i sent you is not conjecture it is the result of a high level research at Paris conservatory done with special xray machines . The reed does close all the way ( try playing with a reed that is chipped enough to prevent it sealing or a warped table ) and the reed does not produce the sound . The sound is produced by the length of the air column and vibrating air within this column. The idea that the reed makes the sound and the horn is the amplifier went out with the stone age. This is true of pipe organs of trumpets of any brass instrument actualluy even harmonicas and accordions the reed is a valve!!!!!!! But then,,, who am I to argue with you ? As for vocalists ,,,they never produce enough pressure to satisfy brass playing they have the opposite problem trying to retain air since there is no resistence to help them much like a flute . Thier advice is not much help for a saxophonist /

          Reply To Post


        23. by mattdude
          (74 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          well the first part doesn't make a single lick of sense tbh, how can the air possibly go back up the horn when you're still blowing more air into it? and the notion that singers can't breath well enough is extremely arrogant and ignorant of what a good singer can do. here's the physics thingy i was talking about www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~jw/saxacoustics.html

          Reply To Post


        24. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Here is a quote from what you pasted However, as the pressure gets large enough to bend the reed, it acts on the thin end of the reed and tends to push it upwards so as to'' close the aperture'' through which the air is entering (the arrow in the sketch at left). Indeed, if you blow hard enough,'' it closes completely'', and the flow goes to zero. So the flow-pressure diagram looks like that in the graph sketched at right. Notice the word close the aperture if the reed would not close you could not play for more than a second or two without running out of air ,,but actually can probably play for about 45 seconds How SO? try the link at bottom on for size maybe you can read some french Quote (Lorsque l’onde arrive au bout du bec (fermé par l’anche), elle rebondit et repart vers le pavillon (tout en restant une onde de dépression). Translation ( when the wave arrives at the tip of the moutpiece ( now closed by the reed ) it rebounds and returns toward the Bell while remaining a low pressure wave) The air does go back and forth in a conical bore . Try this;; while playing a low Bb ask someone to drop into the bell a one square inch piece of tissue paper . Ask them to observe that it stays suspended in mid air . try blowing it out by playing louder YOU Can't ...you can stabalize it even more but you will never be able to blow it out . If you could make a perfect horn you would blow into it once and play it forever on that one breath ( perfect horns don't exist) like I said Who am I to argue with you ?

          Reply To Post


        25. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Reply To Post


        26. by k7michal
          (34 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          I don't suppose I could get a copy of that article on breathing and Saxplaying.

          Reply To Post


        27. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          k7michal-- Are you as stubborn as mattdude ???

          Reply To Post


        28. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          k7michal-- Are you as stubborn as mattdude ???

          Reply To Post


        29. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          k7michal-- Are you as stubborn as mattdude ???

          Reply To Post


        30. by k7michal
          (34 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          I didn't even read the entire string, and I don't plan on it, I just got to the part where Mattdude sent you something, which I have yet to read..... what ever it is..... I wouldn't loose too much sleep over it.

          Reply To Post


        31. by martin-instyle
          (24 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: i really could use some quick advice.

          Email me i will risk it

          Reply To Post


      2. by mufasa
        (9 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: i really could use some quick advice.

        I haven't read the whole thread and I'm sure you got a lot of feedback. Here's a couple essentials: 1.) everything you decide to make a part of your playing - tunes, licks, scales, blues forms, etc....be able to play in all twelve keys!! It's tough at first but becomes second nature faster than you'd think. 2.) 1 tune learned inside and out is 1000 times better than 20 tunes "sort of" learned. In 5 years, if you only had 20 tunes that you knew inside and out you'll make a better impression in playing situations than faking your way through tunes you barely know. 3.) don't become a pattern playing computer - if you go to a good school for music, there is going to be a lot of pressure to do that. Explore. Improvise.

        Reply To Post