Saxophone Forum


by mufasa
(9 posts)
9 years ago

Developing a more contemporary angular sound

I'm trying to make the transition from be-bop to a more contemporary sound. I've read Gary Cambell's books and Walt Weiskopf's books on intervalic playing and practiced that stuff a lot, but the intervalic patterns don't seem to stick or come out naturally. I also love David Mann's sound which is a little more chromatic - seems to be a popular contemporary approach. Can anyone give advice on developing a more contemporary sound, i.e. practice advice?

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  1. by jamterry
    (573 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Developing a more contemporary angular sound

    You can break improvisastion down into two basic approaches, vertical and linear. Vertical involves spelling chords which are composed of intervals. If you can spell chords, intervals will be easy for you. Linear involves scales and modes, of which the chromatic scale is a part. Work on scales and diatonic modes. Listen to John Coltrane play "India". This is a good example of linear improvisation. You will hear will hear licks which are based on the dorian mode. When I was a kid, I got a lot of cool sax and piano licks from listening to Coltrane. Practice your licks in different tempos. A drum machine is great for this application. Practice at a speed in which you can barely hold on for ten minutes. Take a ten minute break. Come back and slow it down to where you intended to play it. You improve your finger dexterity, and have more brain space to work on your expression. Best of luck to you :)

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    1. by EL Seano
      (255 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Developing a more contemporary angular sound

      In addition to what terry has said, also practise long notes. Its really boring but well worth it in the long run.

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      1. by tsax_player
        (76 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Developing a more contemporary angular sound

        Making the transition from bop to a modern sound can be difficult. I would suggest the Bergonzi pentatonic pattern books. They are great patterns that are not so far from standard be bop that your ear will have trouble adjusting. When you say "contemporary" you are in a very broad range of players, who are you listening to that you enjoy. The best things you can do is to listen, and transcribe. Give me a list of a few players you are in to and I can be more informative on a theoretical approach for you. (still check out the Bergonzi books) Have fun Tracy

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        1. by mufasa
          (9 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Developing a more contemporary angular sound

          Thanks, yeah I really like the Bergonzi book on linear/chromatic playing. Follows to reason that the rest of his books are good too. It's interesting that of those who replied to my initial message no one replies with..."do this one thing, it will make a huge difference in getting to a contemporary sound"....which follows to reason too I guess.

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        2. by mufasa
          (9 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Developing a more contemporary angular sound

          Oh sorry - I think a sound that gets my attention and I can't quite get what he's doing on a theoretical level is David Mann.

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