Saxophone Forum


by jazzplayer15
(27 posts)
9 years ago

Key to balancing withing your section and ensemble.

When I play I can hear myself above everyone else (obviously). My teacher has been on us about balancing as a section and then as an ensemble. How do I do that when I can hear myself and it sounds like I'm in balance with everyone else, but I'm really not playing loud enough?

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  1. by YanagisawA-901
    (312 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Key to balancing withing your section and ensemble.

    what ive started to find is that you need to think of it in layers.. ive been taught this since ive been in my highschool bands.. ( in terms of volume ) 1st - basses 2nd- tenors 3rd- soprano/alto the reason is the way the sound vibrates.. bass vibrations are a lot furthur apart.. so its takes more for them to be able to reach the back of an auditorium tenors and altos and sopranos.. same concept.. soprano voice vibrates really fast.. therefore the sound travels faster and it "cuts" through more.. that doesnt by ANY means constitute playing weak.. play with the same ferocity and power that you would play in a FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF dynamic.. but at the dynamic that is written.. also, just listen.. you need to constantly be thinking "does this sound good?' and if ur band is even halfway intelligent.. itll all come together.. in time..

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    1. by jazzina
      (18 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Key to balancing withing your section and ensemble.

      YanagisawA-901, You are completely corrected about how blending will come in time... but what if you have someone in your section who thinks they are better than everyone else if they can play rrreeeeeeaaalllllyyy LOUD!!! This person just happens to be an alto to... so if they were in your section (since you are lead alto and I am to but it looks like you have a sense of disregard to people calling us highshool band students) I really need your advice. I can play louder than they can but I do not do this in concert band, jazz band, etc. I do this on my free time. What would you say to them? (the note in paranthesis was a compliment if it came off wrong because I have the same views but not willing fellow students because to them it's a social event, the benefits are why the are here in band) -jazzina

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      1. by YanagisawA-901
        (312 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Key to balancing withing your section and ensemble.

        i personally dont think its about playing louder. its not about beating out the other guys. u need to let everyone in your section know that, you guys, are infact a section. there is only one person that needs to be on top of everyone, and that is the lead player. i wouldnt however, discourage thier aggresive playing. it just needs to be tamed. thats all. remind them "hey, look at the dynamic there, for me is sez mezzo piano. probably does for you too. try to pay attention to your dynamics. stuff like that. ive dealt with the person who thinks he is better than everyone else. it really does suck. but for some reason, he was on the other end of the spectrum. he didnt play nearly loud enough. haha so consider yourself blessed in that sense. he caused more pitch problems that noone could hear than you could imagine. hope i helped=)

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    2. by Enviroguy
      (5 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Key to balancing withing your section and ensemble.

      The key here is for your whole section to think of yourselves as one instrument. If you've ever listened to old gospel or blue-grass groups, you know that the ones that usually sound the best are the ones where everybody is closely related by family. They've been making music together so long, they don't hear themselves singing. They hear the whole group as one voice. It's beautiful stuff. I recommend you and the others in your section think of yourselves as one big sax with several bells, kind of like a single piano playing cords. When you learn to listen this way, you will blend together naturally. Good Luck, Enviroguy

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