Saxophone Forum


by jazzina
(18 posts)
8 years ago

Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

I recently have become obsessed with impro and going off the melody path/wailing. I can play what I hear and think is semi right but other than that my impro stinks. I have no idea what to play sometimes... my questions are.... How can I improve my improvising? Is there certain chords? I can wail but I can't growl... i have tried almost everything... advice is needed. I naturally have a sweet sound and my intonation is what my director calls "right on" but I truly WHAT to play big band pieces without sounding balladish.... any recomendations.... thank YOU!!

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  1. by saxophone2001
    (31 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

    Ok, to growl, what I do is I either hum while I'm playing, as well, there is a trick where you roll your tongue in the back of your throat, and it lets out a really big growl. There are certain chords for soloing, and I suggest learning the fundamentals before soloing seriously. Start with Dom7 chords. 1 3 5 b7. That is the base chord for jazz.

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  2. by connsaxman_jim
    (2336 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

    I can't growl either. I just hand my sax to my dog and let him growl for me! Smiles

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  3. by Dark Eyes
    (138 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

    Saxophone2001 is right. It will take patience and practice but humming in the back of the throat while you play is traditionally how it is done. When you hum you want to change the pitch around until you get the type of growl you're looking for. Eventually you will get to where you can remember pitches and won't have to search, so, in effect, you could play slews of licks all in a gravely growl. All I have to say about improvising is start with the basic chord progressions that Saxophone 2001 metioned. Also, try to take the scales that fit those chords and manipulate them into different patterns. For example, instead of 1-3-5-b7 you could play b7-5-3-1 or even further with 1-5-3-b7, b7-3-5-1, and so on and so on. Just try to practice as many different patterns as you feel comfortable with and in addition to giving you material it will also increase your fluidity on the scales. Also, with the basics in mind, you could jazz it up a little with different rhythms such as triplets, sixteenth notes, and so on. A good website that gives lessons on improv. is www.petethomas.co.uk This site accepts donations but I am ashamed at myself because I've never donated=( Donations are not required. This site has techniques also, it just takes a little patience to find everything. Good luck in your future efforts and I hope your improv. skills improve. Cheers, Dark Eyes (unloved thesis)

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    1. by Dark Eyes
      (138 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

      Sorry, ment to put paragraph markers. Its a long paragraph. ;-}

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      1. by jazzina
        (18 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

        Could you explain what you mean by 1, 3, 5, b7? don't understand.... my director hasn't had time to teach me so I am learning on my own.

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        1. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

          I'm guessing 1 is the root of the chord, 3 is the third, 5 is the fifth, and b7 would be the 7th flatted. In the key of C, this would be C, E, G Bb.

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        2. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: Le Sax Technical Fun Stuff...

          I wish my director taught us how to read chords too >_

          Reply To Post AIM